St. Ignatius

Junior Ancestry Project

You will be exploring a journey that your ancestors took. This journey might be from a different country to the United States; it might be from one part of the nation to another; it might be from a rural to an urban setting. 

This video demonstrates how to complete each of the steps below.

Step 1: Gather Resources

Collect basic information about your ancestors and your SFPL barcode and PIN on this form. (Hint: You received your SFPL barcode and PIN via email on August 20th in an email titled "Welcome to San Francisco Public Library" from the email address



Step 2: Collecting Information

Use SFPL's free access to Ancestry Library Edition. Sign in with your SFPL barcode and PIN.

Use the strategies Ms. Wenger modeled in the accompanying screencast to find information about your ancestors.


Step 3: Finding The Story

Cross-reference your genealogical research with known migration trends to see if you can find possible reasons for your ancestor's journey. Keep track of information in your notes.

Good resources to help:


Step 4: Digging Deeper

Interview family members for more information. Ask why and how questions. Ask for stories. Take notes or audio record (with permission, of course).

Good resources to help:


Final note: Remember to cite your sources and create a correct Works Cited page. We recommend using as a Works Cited entry generator. For interviews, choose Manual Entry and drop down to Interview.

If you have any questions at any point during this research, please don't hesitate to contact the library faculty. We are available via email any time at and in-person and via LiveChat during library hours.