How to Research Your Family Roots
Conducting a family lineage research can be an exciting journey, though difficult. Anyone who has ever dug into their family history knows how time-consuming (and even frustrating) the process can be. The do-it-yourself approach to learning your ancestry may lead you down a series of blind alleys. We compiled advice to help you do your ancestry search – just keep reading and you will learn how to do the research like a pro!
Tips on Researching Your Family Roots
Every journey starts at home. Start the research about your ancestors with having a conversation with your relatives. This will help you learn about your ancestors more closely.
Your older relatives are living libraries and can save you so much time and effort. Even if you’ve heard your family stories and legends for many times already, taking time to interview your relatives and asking specific questions can help reveal new details. Quiz them about your grandparents and, if possible, beyond. Ask them to identify people and places in old photos and don’t forget to learn all basic information like ethnic background, occupations, addresses, military service, where relatives are buried, and other important clues.
Treasure Hunt at Home
At this stage, you can start searching for records, personal correspondence and old photos somewhere in the attic, basement or drawers. Documents with dates are especially helpful. Some clues may be hiding in plain view at home – just keep your eyes open.
You may involve your relatives in the process of discovering your roots. Explain what you are doing and why guide each other. This can save you a great deal of research time.
Use the information you’ve collected to search online. There are websites that collect genealogy records and resources from around the world. They provide various books, online records, and publications to ease your mission. Look for local history centers or go to a library – there you can get access to various online databases, like immigration and emigration books, border crossings and passports information, citizenship and naturalization records, and many others.
Get a DNA Test
A DNA test can help you determine deep ancestry and lead you to people and places you would never find simply by doing some paperwork. DNA tests are immensely popular today, both among seasoned and novice researchers. However, there are some things to consider.
Genetic testing is an extremely powerful tool, but you need a clear understanding of what to expect and how to use the results. Don’t expect that a genetic test will help you avoid routine paperwork. DNA tests are definitely worthwhile but be prepared that you will still have to conduct traditional documentary research.
Don’t Neglect Social Media
Through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you can connect with people with the same ancestral surnames and look for organizations, archives and libraries, and other services in your ancestor’s birthplace. Besides that, you can find people who live in your ancestor’s hometown and contact them to ask some questions.
Besides that, you can join various networks of family historians and make new connections to gain insight into how to expand your family history resources.
Get Organized and Keep Going
The first weeks of your journey might be tedious since it’s not that easy to collect facts about relatives. Plus the amounts of data you’ve gathered may be difficult to process and systematize. To organize everything you’ve discovered, choose an online genealogical database to help you keep the data.
One of the most popular questions asked by researchers is “How long does it take to research a family ancestry?” Well, it can be a never-ending challenge, since the farther back you go, the more ancestors you’re likely to discover.
Build an online family tree to systematize your results. Thus you will be able to keep your records organized as you continue to find new details. Our tool will help you build stunning family tree visualizations and facilitate your research journey!