From the Editor: Roots for Rookies
Follow our game plan to start tracing your family tree.

So you want to trace your roots. Well, you're not alone. These days, family history is experiencing unprecedented popularity, a craze Time magazine has dubbed “Roots Mania.” And if you've already begun dabbling in genealogy, you know this hobby really is an obsession.

It's kind of like the enthusiasm die-hard sports fans exhibit at playoff time. Finally finding that ship manifest of Great-great-grandpa's journey from Hamburg to Philadelphia feels like winning the Super Bowl. True, genealogists (usually) don't don their ancestral countries' flags before they hit the library stacks. But the congratulations you'll get from your fellow researchers is akin to the high fives passed around the football stands after the game-winning touchdown.