Genealogy is the study of families, and the tracing of their blood lines and history.
Genealogical research has a goal of demonstrating kinship. Reliable conclusions are based on the quality of sources (ideally original records), the information within those sources (ideally firsthand information), and the evidence that can be drawn, directly or indirectly, from that information.
Genealogists often skillfully assemble indirect or circumstantial evidence to build a case. All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them, is then assembled to create a cohesive family history.
Genealogists begin their research by collecting family documents and stories. Building from that foundation, they research -- examining and evaluating historical records for evidence about ancestors and other relatives, and the events that occurred in their lives. Many genealogists put their ancestors and relatives in a larger context of the times and places they lived.
The Chippewa Valley Museum's Glenn Curtis Smoot library holds the collection of the Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire (GRSEC), more than 425 volumes in all. The library and archives also has a more general study collection, some 1,600 volumes mainly about regional history. The museum hosts the GRSEC's monthly meetings the second Saturday of every month from September through May. Meetings begin at 10:00 AM, with informal help and coffee shared by members from about 9:00 AM until the start of the meeting. The public is welcome.
Below you'll find some other sources to start of continue your quest in this region:
L.E. Phillips Public Library genealogical resource start page
Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire
Chippewa County (WI) Genealogical Society
Chippewa County Government genealogy site
Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Dunn County genealogy