How To Find Your Family History The Beginners Guide

How To Find Your Family History: The Beginners Guide

Finding your family history can be an overwhelming task for most people. Here is a complete guide to help you on your journey.

How To Find Your Family History The Beginners Guide

Tracking your family tree can be fun and enlightening. For most people their family history doesn’t go too much further than their grandparents. For some people it may go back as far as great grandparents. For a lucky few it may go as far as great, great grandparents. But, your family history goes beyond that. Finding your family history not only allows you to learn more about yourself, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to get closer to your roots and discover your ancestry. 

This article will help you learn more about the methods of finding your family history.

How to find your family history?

Researching and building a family tree can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. The following guidelines will help you in this journey.

  • Gather existing information from family sources – Personal knowledge can form the first branch of your family tree. Start by collecting and organizing your records and talk to other family members. Browse the birth, baptism, graduation, marriage, and professional records, old letters, photos and souvenirs.  Interview all your elderly relatives and ask questions about their lives and the past.  And be sure to ask if you can see your old family notes, letters, photos and memories. These documents can help you expand your search.

  • Document the information – After collecting family information, it is important to correctly record it in the form called ancestry chart. Save them digitally and archive the information in an organized way so that you can find everyone in the ever-growing collection.
  • Search the web – The Internet is a great place to find potential customers and share information. However, don’t expect to “find your entire family tree” on the Internet. Explore several websites. After checking your family’s last name, try a website specific to your race or the country where your relative lives. 
  • Create a family tree – Now that you have collected some information, it is time to create a simple family tree. Write down the youngest generation in the family at the bottom of the page. Make your family tree work backwards from yourself, starting with your parents, then theirs, and so forth. When you discover new information about an ancestor, Internet forums, or always check the facts in the online tree before adding it to your own tree.
  • Explore the official records – Now review the available birth, marriage and death certificates to discover more ancestors. The birth certificate contains the names and occupations of your parents. The marriage certificate contains age and occupation, as well as information about the bridegroom and the bride’s father. The death certificate states the age and cause of death. Libraries and archives with important genealogical collections are important ways to develop family history.  These collections contain organized family stories and trees, local stories, and possibly useful reference materials. In addition, most libraries and archives have unique collections of unpublished materials, including biblical records, newspaper and photo clipping archives, and surname archives. 
  • Keep accurate records – As you find out new ancestors, keep a record of the information. This will help to avoid errors as the work progresses. If make sure that the findings are recorded electronically.
  • Explore more – After exhausting family resources, the Internet, and the family history center, you can go to the places where your ancestors lived, churches, cemeteries, and other places where ancient records are kept. This will help you learn more about your ancestors. 

Your family tree is ready

Now that you have created a family tree, share your research results with your loved ones. One of the best things in finding the family history is that this is a task that is memorable and helps you connect to your roots.

If you need professional help in building your family tree, get in touch with SBL. Our genealogy division is capable of tracing ancestry details from all sources to provide you an accurate family tree.

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