All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

5 ways to find out more about your ancestors.

5 ways to find out more about your ancestors.


You would think, since we live in a digital age, we would be more in touch with exactly who we are and where our families came from. There was a time when most UK and western families were comprised of Britons who could trace their lineage back countless generations. Such is the case with our family.


Those days are quickly fading into obscurity as more and more people travel the globe and emigrate to new countries, perhaps many times in their lifespan.


Are you looking to trace your family tree? You can find out more about your ancestors using these 5 handy tips.

(Featured image above: Lincolnshire Regiment, WWI.)


1.   Start with your own immediate family.


Family portrait from the mid to late 60's with us girls in coordinating outfits hand made by Mom.
My immediate family portrait from the mid to late 60’s with us girls in coordinating outfits hand made by Mom, c. 1967. (That’s me third from the left, just behind my Mom.)

Sometimes Mom and Dad know more than they’ve shared with you.

Perhaps you were too young and they didn’t think you’d be interested, or they were just too busy with the everyday affairs of raising a family.

Start with your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They might have clues you could easily follow up on!


2.   Search photo albums and scrap books.


Search photo albums and scrapbooks.

This is another tip you could use right in your own home. Start checking out the family photo albums and scrap books. These might hold clues to ‘unknown’ ancestors you never knew existed.

Sometimes families keep mementos through countless generations and these might hold the real key to your ancestry!


3.   Research driving records.


Traffic Violator

Whoever would have thought that learning to drive a car would be a way in which some long-lost relative could find you in their family tree?

As you are preparing to take your driving theory test and are making use of online practice tests, just think about how important this might be one day. Not only will passing your driving theory enable you to go on to the practical exam, but some day, that driving licence just might put you in touch with a distant cousin you might never have met otherwise.

They may have more information on ancestors you want to record in your genealogy.


4.   Online resources and genealogy chat rooms.


Genealogy chat rooms.

One really useful site that many searching their ancestry use is an online chat room at Genes United. Here you can chat with others, post messages that you are looking for a specific branch of the family, or simply talk to others about how they are proceeding in their search.

Other important genealogy research sites are the GenUKI group of sites and the UK GenWeb, Canada GenWeb and the US GenWeb sites, which provide valuable information, tips and hints, and also a ton of links to other valuable resources and sites.


5.   Join a family history society.


Federation of Family History SocietiesThere are a number of family history societies that you might like to join. Some are small local sites while others have a huge online presence.

Certain church affiliations put a great deal of emphasis on ancestry, so you might find a family history society in your local church as well.

Whether you find information from driving records or from relatives you find online in chat rooms, there are so many ways in which to conduct a search that were never available in previous generations. In fact, there are even DNA testing sites that can tell you if you are a ‘blue blood’ or of mixed ancestry.

The key is to be persistent and record, chart and document everything you learn. There are numerous free or inexpensive software programs that make this easy, leading you through step by step.

Before long, you may even be able to trace your lineage back to the Middle Ages.

Wouldn’t that be fun?

Originally posted 2016-05-18 11:43:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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