“Look into your past to find out what to do in the present so you can create the future that you want!”
Our family history plays a big part in who we are as an individual, so understandably, there are a lot of different benefits of discovering it.
Alongside giving you a sense of purpose, it allows you to connect with long lost relatives.
You may even be able to find out information that is helpful towards your medical knowledge and find solutions for unresolved family issues.
However, knowing where to get started can be challenging, especially if you’ve moved around a lot.
Below we are going to discuss ten ways that you can research your ancestry.
Sound interesting? Then keep on reading.
10 Best Ways to Research Your Ancestry:
1. Relatives and Family.
The first place to start when researching your family history is with those closest to you.
Contact your relatives and see how far you can all trace back together.
Even just gathering some names and a general idea of where they lived can help you get started. If you’re lucky enough, you may have some old records lying around your parents’ home.
Just remember that in order to do this effectively, you’ll need a place to record your data.
Check out some of these free family tree charts that are printable.
They’ll help you keep track of everything so that you can further your research later on.
2. Social Media.
While browsing social media too much can be considered a bad habit, it can come in handy for researching your ancestry.
Alongside helping you reach out to relatives from all over the world, there are lots of different accounts and pages that may offer you need leads.
Just remember that you need to be extremely careful.
You should always protect your identity online and never give out your personal information.
3. DNA Testing Kits.
Another way to track your ancestry that is becoming extremely popular is to use a DNA testing kit.
By sending a sample of your DNA, you can find out a wide range of information, including your geographic origin.
Some services will even compare your data to other test users so that you can find long lost relatives from across the globe.
Just make sure that that the saliva collection device you use is of good quality and is kept sterile.
This will help you get the most accurate results possible.
You also want to avoid using companies with a lack of security. All of your information should be kept private.
4. Public Libraries.
If you know that most of your family have grown up locally, one of the best places to get started is at your local public library.
Most have a vast database that you can search to find information and images from a select time period.
While it might take a little bit of digging, you would be amazed at what you can find once you put your mind to it. Sometimes the best information is the stuff that is discovered offline.
5. Online Books.
Not all published material can be found at your local library, especially if your family has immigrated, so it’s worth checking out some online book sources too.
Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Google Books are a few places you can check out with plenty of digitized data.
Just type in a few terms and phrases, and you’re good to go.
You may find nothing but you could also find a diamond in the rough. You won’t know until you try.
6. National Archives.
Without a doubt, one of the best places to fill in missing information on your family tree is to look at The National Archives and Records Administration.
This contains a wide range of data from military service records to censuses, immigrant, and naturalization records.
You’ll certainly want to check it out.
7. Online Newspaper Archives.
Did you know that most old newspapers are now uploaded onto the internet?
If you’re aware of a particular event that occurred which may have been put into the local paper, you might be able to look it up on the digital archives.
For instance, weddings and births were often published and can help you track down specific dates even further.
Also, it can be very interesting to see how different life was back then.
Just check out some of these vintage ads, for example.
8. Family Tree Websites.
Nowadays, one of the most popular ways to start a family tree is through an online website such as MyHeritage, FamilySearch, or Ancestry.
Not only can you do everything digitally, but most of them have access to a wide range of records, automatically filling in information for you.
They really can save you a lot of time researching. However, you should remember to be careful as sometimes suggestions are inaccurate. Back in the day, many individuals were given the same name.
There’s also a great website called Find a Grave that helps you locate gravesites. This can help you fill in birth and death dates, and you may even want to visit to pay your respects.
However, you will need to have some information to generate the search first.
9. Paid Researchers.
Want to find out information but don’t have time to do the research yourself?
There are actually many different people out there that are happy to do the job for you.
While there are some services that you can pay for online, there are also freelancers that you can contact as well. Have a look at Fiverr to get started. Some will even create a beautiful family tree that you can display in your home.
10. Discussion Forums.
Finally, the last way to research your family history is to try reaching out on various discussion forums.
You would be surprised at how many people are out there trying to track down information as well.
Try and narrow things down to a specific location and time frame.
You may be able to swap photos, stories, and other information to help each other with your search.
However, much like social media, you still need to remember to be careful.
It’s always best to be cautious when you’re online.
What you should remember?
Knowing your roots is one of the biggest steps toward understanding your real self.
It might be out of individual interest or a health related purpose, but finding your ancestral line is getting more and more famous.
With new technology and the internet it’s also getting easier.
There are many ways you can do that, in this article we sorted out the 10 best ways for you.
If you follow your past you might find out something important about your present.
Are you struggling to find out who you are and what your true purpose in life is? Than try this exercise!