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By: Adwina Jackson
It is always fun to discover who are our grandparents, great grandparents, etc, especially
if they were popular and smart people in their times.
If you want to satisfy your curiosity about your ancestors, these are the steps you
can follow. Reveal all the secrets you want to know about your family by:
1. Getting Started in Genealogy
Do you know that there’s a study of family history? Yes, it’s called genealogy. It
will unlock the door to what your family has lived through and provide you with a
look to the world that they were exposed to. You’ll find that this is a very rewarding
experience to be in.
2. Working on the Living Members of Your Family
Your family is a great source for genealogy research. The first thing that you will
want to do is to work on names of ancestors by interviewing your families. What you’ll
do next is to try to construct a family tree based on the names that have been given
to you. In these interviews, you can also ask anything you want to know about your
ancestors. For example, your relatives perhaps can tell you about the cities in which
your family members grew up in or whether someone was in war. These are informational
pieces that you can use to begin your journey into the past.
3. Finding Sources for Genealogy Research
Be creative in finding information. Using the web is absolutely a helpful effort.
For example, if you learn that your mother’s grandfather was in the military, you
may be able to find information based on this on the web. You could use old military
records or even find info about something that he did heroically. These small pieces
will open up the puzzle of your genealogy.
4. Taking Genealogy Research Further
As mentioned before, using the internet’s wide resources is very advantageous. There
are also other ways to take the research: using the online databases provided by
church organizations, using message boards, joining forums, and writing or looking
for genealogy blogs. You probably couldn’t find the information you have been looking
for by doing these, but at least they provide you with good advice on how to find
your ancestors. If you become stuck and really want to track your family’s history,
consider calling on a professional genealogical individual to help you in the pursuit.
Often, they provide more information because they have the necessary resources already
established to help you.
5. Preserving Your Genealogy Research
When you have taken time to do all the searches and collected so much information
about your ancestors, it is now time to preserve all the data safely. Probably the
best way for you to do this is to secure the information in a genealogy software
program. This program will not only offer you a place to store all valuable information
that you have learned so far but also help you get more solutions to your needs.
Your genealogy means everything to you and you must provide the best preservation
When you start looking for your ancestors you could start your search online. You'll
be surprised by the amount of information available to you there.
A good start is to do a search of obituaries and death records. There is a National
Obituary Archive you can search through. There is a lot of information in an obituary
that can help you in your search, the names of spouses and children for one, along
with a reliable date of death. If you didn't know your ancestors home town you can
find it in the obituary.
If you live in the area where your ancestors did you may be able to take a trip to
the cemetery. Tombstones are a very good source of information for birth and death
dates and an easy way to fill in your blanks.
Some families keep family bibles which list important dates such as marriages, births
Another valuable source for information for your family tree may be found in the
local historical society. They will have copies of old newspapers and important town
papers that may yield information for you.
There are many different sites online offering information on various types of genealogy
searches. Some of these sites offer information on specific groups such as East European
Family History Societies, New England Historic Genealogic Society, American-Canadian
Genealogical Society, Italian Heritage and Genealogy Home Page. You can search U.S.
and U.K. Census records and passenger and immigration lists.
Get all your family members involved in your search, it will add to the fun of the
search and you never know what information a second cousin may have. If you have
older family members you can talk to take advantage of them. They may be a wonderful
source of information and family stories.
Perhaps you'll want to arrange a family reunion of sorts so that your family can
get together and exchange family stories and information. Make sure that you write
all these stories down. If you have any old family photos make sure those family
members that can identify the people in the pictures do. Write down their names and
the approximate date of the picture on the back.