There’s a whole world to be investigated when looking for your family history so it can be quite difficult to know where to start, but once you get the ball rolling you can uncover some pretty amazing things. Family history spans the entire world and you never know what you could find. Many people are shocked to discover that their heritage is somewhere completely different to where they thought, which leads them into a search of many avenues. This kind of research does take time but it’s so rewarding when you start making discoveries, so let’s take a look at the best ways to unlock the hidden wealth of your ancestors.
Your Family Tree
Starting with your immediate family is the best way to get your project going and you can do this by drawing your family tree with everyone you know that should be on there. Starting small this way will help you feel like you’ve made some decent progress whilst mapping out the beginning of what you need to grow. Once everyone is in place you will be able to speak to everyone to see if they have any information about the family that you might not know, grandparents are usually a good place for this kind of information as they will be able to tell you about generations before them. You can display this in any way that you like, a hand-drawn family tree will look pleasing to the eye, but one that’s displayed on a computer will give you allowance for more detail.
Get a Professional
That’s right, there are professionals in this line of work and they are called genealogists. Most of the time when researching our family history we might hit what’s known in the industry as a brick wall, this is where we have delved down a line so far that we can’t seem to get any further and this is where the professional genealogists come in. They have top-notch sleuthing skills that will enable access to records you didn’t know existed, even if you have paid for an online historical documents archive. Take a look at this site for more information on genealogists, having one in your corner will help your search develop more than you could imagine. It’s also brilliant to have access to their opinions on things, they’ve seen so many cases that they might be able to shed light on something you would have otherwise found meaningless.
One At a Time
When searching through your history it’s probably best to keep it to one storyline at a time, this will help reduce confusion and help with being productive. It’s a difficult thing, researching numerous storylines at the same time without getting confused so keeping to one will do you good. Choose a bit of your family you find interesting and delve into that lineage and keep going until you can’t find out anything more. You could find yourself expanding your family tree by hundreds of people researching from your grandmother alone, just imagine how big it could get once you’ve done that with everyone. Who knows, you might even discover some long lost relatives that are alive today. Family crests are also a good starting point for your research – more information can be found here: How to find your family crest.
Start at Home
When I say at home, I don’t mean your apartment in the city, I’m talking about your family home. These will often play host to a wealth of information you will need to get going. If you are able to go and visit your family home then talk to your parents or grandparents, this is a vital part of understanding your family history as they will have the keys to many locked boxes. You’ll often find scrapbooks full of information or letters from previous generations, all of which will give you clues as to how they were as people and how they used to communicate.
A brilliant way to get your search started is searching with your DNA, this will give you a whole host of information you didn’t know you could gain access to and really kickstart your search. Genealogists will be able to help you with this avenue or there are some websites online that will send a starter kit, in this situation I would go with the professionals as you don’t want to be given false information.
Starting your family tree is an exciting prospect and one that will give many answers to even more questions that you never knew you had in the first place. There are so many benefits of discovering your lineage that may include some vital medical information, so if you’re just starting your project then get deep into some research and enjoy the process.