Learning the History of You
Researching your genealogy can be one of the most fascinating things for you to explore. Are you a royal or a commoner? Are you related to George Washington or Billy the Kid? Whatever your past and that of your family might be, the history of you can be one of the most interesting studies you will ever do.
But how do you study the history of you? It isn’t like there is a course at the local college. By following a few simple steps, and using some readily available tools, you can find out a great deal about the history of your family. You’ll also discover some astounding facts about your family tree.
Start With Who You Know
The first key to discovering more about the history of your family is to start with the family members you know. There’s a good chance that there’s a family Bible or some other book somewhere that your grandmother or another relative wrote down at least some of the recent generations of your family.
If not, you may have relatives who are still alive who may know some of that information. Try to determine your paternal and maternal grandparents, great-grandparents, and as far back as you can go on either side. This gives you a starting point. You’ll find the last names of people who married or remarried and will have a strong basis for your future search.
Find Out More About Where
As you do this research, find out more about where your relatives lived. This is especially important if you have a common name. For instance, if you are looking for the Williams family tree, they may meet several generations back in England, but there are several branches in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Knowing where your grandparents and great-grandparents lived will make this search easier. The more you know, the less likely you will be to get your family lines confused with someone else’s.
Get on the Web
There are all kinds of tools on the web to help you continue your research. MyRelatives.com is a free online search that looks through millions of public records, including census data, to find the what you’re looking for. Of course, the more information you already have when you open these tools, the more likely your search will be successful.
The point of these tools is to find your relatives by filling in the missing leaves on your family tree. You can search by name, age, location, and more. This can even help you find missing pieces lower on your family tree before you get to relatives who are much further back.
How do these searches work? They look in public records both current and from the past to determine where you came from. These records include:
- Birth Notices
- Death notices
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Records
- Criminal Records
- Cemetery Readings
- US Census Data
Because all of this information is public record, much of it has been digitized and is already on the internet. You may also find that your search will intersect someone else’s from another part of your family tree, and they may have filled in some blanks for you.
Are you are looking for a long-lost cousin, aunt, or uncle? Maybe you’re trying to determine if your family tree is filled with criminals or political greatness. Gathering all of the information you can, find out where your relatives might have lived, and use MyRelatives.com to determine who is living in those branches of your family tree.