My interest in genealogy was evident in my childhood when I read the obituaries before I read the comics. Later I attended classes in genealogy and observed that the class instruction was generally a "shot gun" approach: "try this record, try that record, maybe you'll find something." As a university graduate in microbiology, I was trained in an organized approach to identifying the unknown, and I began making the comparison between microbiology and genealogy. We can't see the microbes and we can't see our ancestors. We identify microbes with the evidence left by their presence; we identify ancestors with the evidence left by their presence. If success in microbiology requires isolating a culture, then why shouldn't success in genealogy require isolating a family group? If there is an organized approach to identifying microbes, then why not an organized approach to identifying ancestors? Genealogy Fundamentals is the result of this comparison.