If you are interested in tracing your ancestry, you can find your family history on the internet.
Researching your ancestors and finding out who they were, what they did and how you came about is a very interesting process. You might find yourself linked to royalty, to a famous general from one of the wars or to a famous author. Whoever your trail leads you to, your ancestors are the reason that you are who and where you are and knowing their stories will help you discover more about yourself and your family.
How to trace your ancestry
There are many historians and genealogists who specialise in tracing people’s ancestry. If you can find someone who knows what he or she is doing and who has access to information and a database of family links, they could help you find out about your family’s history. However, genealogists and historians who specialise in tracing ancestry are few and far between. You might not be able to find a professional to help you in your area. If you do, they will probably charge you a fee as well.
There are, however, other, more convenient ways of tracing your family history.
Could this be your long lost family?!
Find your family history on the internet
There are many historical websites and bits of information online that you could use to piece together your ancestry. Before you look online, however, you should gather all the known information from your family and make a note of it. The information you could use includes:
- Your surname
Your surname is the best link to follow to find out more about your ancestry. If you would like to trace your ancestry down both of your parents’ lines you could trace both of their original surnames.
- Knowledge about your heritage
It would be helpful if you knew something of where your ancestors came from. For example, your great, great, great grandfather might have immigrated to the country from England or Ireland. Knowing where they came from would be helpful in searching for more information.
- Knowledge about what your ancestors were doing at certain major historical events
It is also a good idea to use major historical events, like the wars, as a reference point. Knowing where your ancestors were and what they were doing at times of great social and political overhaul will help you track them.
- Look for photos and documents
Your family is likely to have some photographs and documents of their predecessors that might be helpful in your search. Even if the link is a great uncle or a third cousin, it still might be helpful in finding leads. If photographs are dated and labelled, you could use them to piece together the puzzle. Someone in your family might, at some point, have attempted to put together a family tree and this would make a good starting point to begin your research.
Once you have enough information to start looking, you could do random Google searches with your surname, with an ancestor’s full name, with an ancestor’s name, a date and a place or with a company or organisation you know that they were involved in. You might find more information in history books if you know the time period and social set up.
There are also several websites that have a large database of names and links. Generally, these websites offer the free service of a platform for you to put all the information you have found into. These websites will sort it out clearly and you can view any link easily. These websites will also link you up with data that they think might tie in with yours.
For example, if another user has also been researching your family name they will send you and the other user a notification asking if you want the two family trees linked. Sharing information like this is a useful way of finding out what you need to know.