So, you’re looking to find out more about your families history? This can be a fascinating way for you to spend your time and a hobby that keeps giving you a lot of joy. Uncovering your family tree will reveal a lot of interesting information along the way, maybe even a few surprises.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Read on to learn how you can begin to discover all about your family’s history.
1. Start with what you know
The best place to start with any genealogy search is to speak with your family members and find out what they know. You should also work on gathering as much physical evidence as possible. This includes photos, letters, diaries and even newspaper clippings.
2. Ask your grandparents
Speaking with your elderly relatives can also give you some great clues on where to look next and even some important names for your deceased relatives. Write down everything they say.
If you have people in photos that they can identify, write their names on the back of the photo. You should ask as much as you can about the person so that you have a good understanding of who they were and where they lived. Try to get as much information as possible as their close relatives. A spouse, brother, sister, or cousin can be a really helpful lead.
3. Keep detailed notes
You should write down everything that you can to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. You may not be able to verify everything that you hear but it is important that you keep notes on even vague information. You may be able to use this later to support another link that you find or even to steer you in the right direction. If you are able to verify some information make sure that you not down the source of the verification.
4. Keep focused
You should not try to complete your whole family tree in one evening. You should focus on one relationship at a time and exhaust all avenues until you have found the next connection or run into a dead end. If you need to leave a black space for no then that is fine, you may find some information later on that you can use to find out what you need.
5. Take a genetic test
This can be a great way to uncover a lot of information about your family’s history. DNA testing services like CRI Genetics will include some information on where in the world your family is from and even some links to others who have taken a DNA test in the past. This can open up a whole new avenue of information as even though they might be a distant relative you might be able to join forces to solve some of the mysteries in the family tree that you are building.
6. Use the internet
Since the advent of the digital age, the internet has allowed information to be disseminated and found with much greater speed and ease than ever before. If you find that you are stuck and have exhausted a lot of other avenues, you should look around on the internet for any mention of your family throughout the years.
By now you should have at least a few relatives that you know some information about. You can search their names along with their professions and any education or military background that they have. This can take a while, but you need to keep your eye on the prize and keep looking for the next thread to pull on. When you find it, the feeling is ecstatic.