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Research Your Family Ancestry

By Edited Sep 3, 2015 0 1

Family Ancestry

It's not always easy to research your family ancestry. There are many avenues you can go to get information though. Some of that information is right under your nose and other information will take some detective work. One thing is sure; you can do it yourself with a lot of hard work and patience.

The very first thing you want to do is put down on paper what you do know. Make a tree of your relatives that you are aware of. If you know birth dates that may help you later. So put the birth dates next to the person's name.

Talk to your relatives. Tell them what you're doing and ask for their help. They will want to tell you stories which may even help you somehow piece everything together. If there are any documents they have from parents or grandparents, ask if you can make a copy of them. Try to talk to the oldest people in the family as they can tell you further back in your family ancestry.

Search through your photos of parents and grandparents. Look on the back of photographs for dates of the photos. Record dates of weddings, births, and birthday parties. These will all serve as clues for the dates you may need to dig up in public records that will lead you to good results while you research for information.

Your computer can be a huge help in your research and save you some time. You might try to purchase genealogy software for your computer to keep things organized. You could join an online research website like, ancesters.com or genealogy.com. Besides these sites ,which may be used if necessary, there are a ton of tools on the internet to help you hunt down your relatives. 

If you can find out where relatives were buried, it can also be helpful. There are lots of families that have cemetery plots together. If you know of the cemetery where some or all of your relatives are buried in, it's an easy task from there. This will be helpful in knowing birthdates and burial dates. Make sure you contact the cemetery to find where your relatives were laid to rest. Otherwise, it may be too difficult to find the headstones.

When you research your family ancestry, reading a book or two or listening to a CD while traveling about this type of research, can be very helpful. There are lots of books on specific steps of researching your family ancestry. For instance, there is a book on just using the courthouse to do your research ("Courthouse: Research for family historians: Your guide to genealogy treasures"). There is also a book on "Finding your family on the internet" as well.

Start with the easiest steps, finding out what you know first. Use your relatives to draw more information and documentation. Once it gets too hard, you may want to pay for help or pay for a ancestry website. Take your time, there is no hurry and enjoy the process.

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Sep 26, 2009 7:24pm
My sister is the one in our family that wants to know about family ancestry I'll send this on to her thanks for the great info.
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