Decide which line of your family you wish to trace - it is easy to be side-tracked by coming across records of other branches of the family, or unrelated families of the same name, and so waste time and effort.
Get all the information which you can from members of your own family - names, dates and places. Even when some of this information proves not to be accurate, it can often provide useful clues or pointers in the right direction.
Read one of the many guides to family history research which are now available.
Try to find out whether anyone else has done work on your particular family. The best way to do this is to contact the local Family History Society; most of these Societies keep a register of their members' interests.
You can find helpful guidance, and order birth, marriage, civil partnership, death, adoption and commemorative certificates online at the General Register Office website.
Derbyshire Record Office provides the archive service for the County of Derbyshire, City of Derby and Diocese of Derby.
The Record Office is legally appointed to hold and make available to the public archives of all types - such as official, ecclesiastical, business, family, society, school, hospital and industrial from the Middle Ages to the present day.
They hold many different sources available for family history, but are unable to provide copy birth and death certificates. Copies of marriage certificates may be provided if the ceremony took place in a local Anglican church.
Visit the Derbyshire Record Office page for more information.