Tom Clark's Blog

A Blast from the Past: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Family Lineage

What are the chances that you are related to some of the most influential figures in history? Perhaps if you trace your ancestors, you could realize you descend from a royal family.
[i]There are numerous [url=]reasons you should learn your ancestry[/url]. These reasons include:[/i]
[ul][li]Curiosity into the history of your family[/li] [li]Tracing your origins to past generations[/li] [li]Finding out if there are any hereditary medical conditions in your lineage[/li] [/ul]You may be wondering, "What is my ancestry?" as your interest to find family history grows. Like many other people, you may not have a clear road map of how to go about it.
If you are interested in learning about how to trace your ancestors and family lineage, you have come to the right place. We have compiled an elaborate step by step guide you can follow to discover who your ancestors were.
If you are interested in learning how; keep reading.
[b]1. Start at Home[/b] When commencing on your search to find your family history, start by interviewing your close relative. You can ask your parents to provide relevant information on your family's history.
For instance, parents can help you trace between three and four generations of your family that came before them.
[i]Also, make a point to look at old documents that have been stored away in the attic. The materials can include but are not limited to:[/i]
[ul][li]Birth, marriage, and death certificates[/li] [li]Old letters and postcards[/li] [li]Old family picture albums[/li] [li]Records such as diaries, letters, etc[/li] [/ul]Kindly note that some of these documents may be very sentimental to their owners. Hence, before you go diving into someone's property, make sure you have their consent. Additionally, it could be very beneficial to go through the documents with someone who can help you in:
[ul][li]Putting names to faces in photographs[/li] [li]Remembering events and people[/li] [li]Organizing a family tree[/li] [/ul][b]2. Interview Your Elders[/b] If your grandparents are still alive, you have an added advantage to your search for family ancestry. After you have dug up the old documents from your family members, make time to visit your elders.
If you have old pictures or diaries, they can be very eventful in jogging your elder's memory on people they knew in the past. For instance, you can start by showing them the old pictures you found.
See if they can remember who is in the picture and when it got taken. If the elder can remember such details, they will probably tell you a story about it. Make sure to carry a digital recorder to record your interactions. Somewhere in their stories, you could find a valuable lead that will assist you in tracing your family lineage even further.
[i]Essential questions to ask your elders include:[/i]
[ul][li]Names of their family members. i.e., their parents, grandparents and even great grandparents[/li] [li]Where the above family members were born[/li] [li]Where they lived[/li] [li]Where they immigrated from if applicable[/li] [li]Their nationalities and ethnic backgrounds[/li] [li]What they did for a living[/li] [li]Where they got buried[/li] [li]Where you can find extended relative descendants[/li] [/ul] [b]3. Choose an Online Geneology Database[/b] With all the information you acquire from your search, you need [url=]online geneology websites[/url] such as:
[ul][li][/li] [li][/li] [li][/li] [/ul]The reason you need these online resources is that they make it easier for you to utilize all the information you have been gathering. For instance, you can use to trace your genealogy to several ethnicities and nationalities for free.
The website has been collecting family records from all around the world for the past century. Hence, they have one of the largest genealogy libraries in the world. But the best part about it is that you can access the library for free.
You can also request for a free loan at the nearest public library to view various publications on Family Histories. Most libraries will have the Ancestry Library Edition which provides access to some of the website's records on:
[ul][li]Citizenship and naturalization[/li] [li]Immigration and Emigration[/li] [li]Border crossings and passports[/li] [li]Passenger manifests[/li] [li]Pictures of ships and manifests[/li] [/ul]These online resources assist you in checking and verifying the information you gather from your elders as well as old family documents. Due to the extensiveness of the libraries provided by these websites, it is essential to take your time.
There are millions of family trees currently recorded on these websites and hence, finding where your lineage fits, is not as easy as conducting a google search.
At this point, it is also important to note that most records will only be able to help you learn your ancestry up to a particular generation. You will need to conduct due diligence when tracing your lineage to various places all over the world. However, you should note that people were still emigrating and immigrating a lot, even in the past.
Unfortunately, not everything got recorded back then.
[b]4. Get a DNA Test[/b] If your quest for finding family history will not be complete, you might wonder [url=]what to do next[/url].
The next step to answering the question 'what is my ancestry?' involves getting a DNA test. Besides confirming paternity, DNA tests can reveal a lot about your ancestry.
As it so happens, people from different geographical locations have different DNA properties. Additionally, these properties get passed down generations over time. Hence, within your DNA lies the DNA of all your ancestors who lived before you.
[i]This means that by analyzing your DNA, you can determine:[/i]
[ul][li]The ethnicity of your ancestors[/li] [li]Where they lived or came from[/li] [li]If they had any hereditary health concerns[/li] [/ul]Many organizations have been researching DNA all over the world. These institutions have databases with millions of DNA samples from across the globe. Hence, they can match your DNA to at least 3 or 4 ethnicities and their locations.
If you decide to go for a DNA test, ensure you pick institutions with the most extensive databases available. This will ensure you get a more comprehensive search and match result towards your search for ancestry.
[b]5. Get Social[/b] As you discover more branches of your family tree, you need to start communication with more people. If you have extended family abroad, make a point to get in touch with them. They can also assist you in tracing your lineage if your family's ancestors migrated from their regions.
[b]Conclusion on How to Trace Your Ancestors[/b] A common mistake you want to avoid as you trace your ancestors is a failure to conduct due diligence. You are going to come across lots of potential ancestors. You have to investigate the relevance of the information linking you to your ancestry.
If not, you might end up linking your family to the wrong family tree. Hence, your ancestral lineage will be false.
Continue reading our blog for more insights.

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