Family tree research can be an exciting enterprise - you may find long-lost relatives, discover that your ancestors were involved in historic events, or even uncover a completely new branch of your family tree. However, researching genealogy can be a time-consuming and difficult task, and success is by no means guaranteed. We have gathered a few tips and sources for making your family tree search more effective and successful.
5) The first thing you need to do is to talk to your family - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, anyone who is willing to share their history with you. Ask where and when they were born, what their parents’ names and marriage dates/locations were, what other living relatives they have and who the oldest ones are. Ideally, bring a tape recorder and a notepad to avoid forgetting important names or dates.
4) Once you have the basic picture, the detective work begins. The first place to start is census records, which will tell you exactly when and where your family lived. Once you have that information, you can go on to other genealogy records such as obituary notices, marriage records, land records, tax records, and more. Such research is easily possible online, for instance at http://www.instantfamilytreesearch.com
3) Get birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses and certificates. These most always show parents and sometimes other valuable information including where the parents were both born, their occupations, etc. Marriage certificates show ages, parents, witnesses and other various pieces information including in some cases where the bride, groom, and parents were born and their occupations, etc. Death certificates show death dates, birth dates, parents, who reported the death, where the deceased person was residing and much more info including causes of death, etc.
2) Further genealogy information sources include for instance parish records (Bishop's transcripts, etc. ), cemetery records, newspapers (obituaries and births), immigration records (into a country), emigration records (exiting a country), ships passenger lists, school records, naturalization records, military records, social security records, court records, official documents (county records), business filings, wills, deeds, hospital records, criminal records, bankruptcy records, and more.
1) If you find yourself at a dead end while looking for a particular ancestor, it is often advisable to try an alternate approach. One of the basic rules of genealogy research is to start with yourself and work backwards, in different directions. Try searching for other children or grandchildren of the ancestor independently, and if you are successful, working backwards in time from there.
If you really struggle and aren't making progress, you may want to consider one of the large subscription-based record research sites such as http://www.findapersonservice.com .