My name is Shauna Whitney Kuykendall Larson, a bit of a mouthful I know. I come from a family of genealogy and family history loving people and one of my first memories is being in my grandmother’s house, looking at the pedigree and family group sheets lining the hallway. My Grandma told me wonderful stories about my ancestors and she also taught me how to figure out how people were related to me. I loved learning about 2nd cousins once removed and all the rest. But, as much as I love genealogy, I don’t love hallways lined with paper. I honestly wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be that person with the room full of boxes full of papers full of information. And yet, I was truly interested in what was on those papers.

And then something wonderful happened. The personal computer was invented. As soon as genealogy programs started to come onto the scene I was interested. I began to enter my data with enthusiasm and I also began to help others by showing them how exciting it was to have everything on one little box.

In 1998, I was tasked with the project of scanning old family photographs onto the computer. I found myself completely overwhelmed. What was I to name them? Where was I to store them? How was I to connect the people in the photographs to the people in my database? Would it ever end? How could I eat this giant genealogy elephant? As I sat in my office feeling overwhelmed a scripture came into my mind. The scripture is found in Matthew, 10:30 and it says, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” I felt a sense of peace wash over me and realized that I was not alone and that this work is indeed finite.

But then I started wondering, how would I number the hairs on someone’s head? I figured the easiest way would be to divide the hair into small sections and then count each small section one by one and under close observation. Looking at the entire head of hair would be overwhelming, but sectioning off a little at a time would be almost exciting. And so this program was born.

Here you will find multiple lessons and as you read and work through them you will find the task of “genealogy work” less daunting, less overwhelming, less large. I will teach you about my numbering system that will help you tie what is on your computer to what is in your bins in your basement, helping you know at a glance what belongs where. As you learn my 4-generation method you will see that you, too, can eat the genealogy elephant - one bite at a time.