Thursday, September 12, 2013

Family Secrets: Ways to Make Your Family History Research Possible

Looking into the past can bring your entire family closer together and give all of you a better understanding of where you come from. With websites like and other easily accessible genealogy resources, doing in-depth family research has never been easier or more rewarding. Just a few clicks of your mouse can lead you to a wealth of family secrets and stories that that can in turn, help you discover who you truly are.

Outline What You Want to Find Out

Focus on basic information first. Before you look into the background of individual family members, write down their full names and any other relevant details you can find. The more you know about your ancestors, the easier it will be to get accurate information about them online. In addition to recording names, come up with dates or approximate timelines for life events that are the most likely to have corresponding documents.

Find Documents You Have

Take a closer look at family records and pictures that are stored in your home. Family scrapbooks and photo albums can be full of valuable details you can use to find new information on the Internet. Don't overlook any documents you may have as well from marriage and birth certificates to newspaper clippings.

Do Some Digging

Use dates to find leads. Because you can search documents and photographs online with dates and keywords, looking up annual records can be an easy way to find leads when you are short on other information. For example, you can look at the US 1940 census if you have an idea of where one of your relatives was married in the early 1940s. Once you find that information, it can in turn lead you to private addresses, pictures of official documents, and other important details.

Get Organized

Remember to come up with a way to document and organize your findings as you make new discoveries about the past. Family stories can take many surprising turns, so you want to be ready to keep track of any interesting details you find as you continue to move back in time. Putting together a family tree on paper or online is a good place to start, but you might also want to get a separate album that you can use for collecting new stories, photographs and documents. If you run into a dead end, take some time off to look through your personal records and contact other family members. You never know when you might stumble on a hint that can send your search in a whole new direction.

When you are looking into your own past, it can be a great way to stay connected to family both those who are gone and some closer to home. Use the resources you have to make your own family tree.

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