Locating Family History Records
When you make up your mind to trace your family history and create a family tree, you will need to browse through various types of records in order to find useful information. You will discover data critical to the success of your project contained on birth certificates, death certificates, newspaper articles and a host of other public ancestry records that are sure to get you off to a good start with your genealogy research. Once you begin searching through the various types of ancestry records, you will learn many things about your family's past and will be able to construct a family tree that is as elaborate as you like.
If you are looking to create a more comprehensive family tree, you can begin by searching through various ancestry records under your surname, or the last name of you father. You may also want to search on the Internet for the specific names of members of your family of which you are already aware. Many of the records that you will need to research for your genealogy project are available to the general public; however, some of the records that you need to access in order to find out as much as possible about your family's history require proof of relation or proof of ownership.
Tracing your family history can be quite a daunting task, so if you are planning to take your genealogy project farther than a simple hobby or pastime, you need to be prepared to commit to the time and effort that it will take to uncover all of the information that you seek.
Begin With What You Know
Begin by making a list of all of the relatives that you know. Be sure to include middle names, surnames and maiden names. It may be difficult to trace back through your family's history with just a first name, or even just a first and last name because many people in the days of old were given the same name. This will make your task of distinguishing between one Uncle Bob and the next. Keep in mind that the more information you have on each member of your family, the easier it will be to find out more.
When you know the middle name of the family member for whom you are searching, you have a clue that will help you along on your quest to find where all of your relatives fit on your family tree. Once you determine who is who, you will be able to take your genealogy research project even farther.
By locating family history records and searching for your relatives, you will be able to learn about the type of work your ancestors did in the past. Many times, some of the documents you find will have your family members' signature on them, which adds excitement to your quest for information. Often the ancestry records that are on file will provide information about a particular relative's parents, spouse, siblings or children, which will help you link all the pieces together as you add to your family tree.
Building a family tree, both online and off, requires novice detective skills in order to put all of the pieces together with great success, although it does not take any kind of expert to learn of your family's past, so long as you know where to look.
Where to Search
From birth certificates to cemetery records, you will be able to find literally thousands of resources available on the Internet to trace your family's history. The Internet is one of the best places to begin your genealogy research. No matter what you are hoping to find out about your family history, your chances of finding the information you seek are dramatically increased if you use the Internet to aid in your research. If you do not have a computer at home, several local libraries provide computers with Internet access that you can use to move forward with your genealogy project.
Begin by searching through obituaries. In order to get off on the right foot with your research project, start by looking up information on the members of your family who are the most recently deceased. Obituaries are a great resource for collecting information because they often include information regarding the deceased person's parents, brothers or sisters, spouse, children, grandchildren and sometimes even cousins and step-relatives. You will also be able to find an age or date of birth, date of death and final resting place. In some cases, you may also be able to learn the cause of death from a person's obituary.
In addition to death records and obituaries, cemetery records are also a helpful way of locating family history records. Even better than going from cemetery to cemetery on your own to find the information you seek, simply search through the cemetery transcriptions that can be found online.
Online cemetery transcriptions are a massive resource for genealogy research. People from all around the globe have volunteers to travel from one cemetery to the next searching for information. These people post names, dates and often photographs that all prove very useful in any genealogy research project.
Once you have uncovered all of the information that you can find by searching though the records of your deceased relatives, the next place to look is census records. Census records should provide you with detailed information that you will be able to use to move ahead successfully with your genealogy project.
When you have narrowed down your research and most of the information points to a particular town or country, the best way to continue to move forward with your genealogy project is to visit the place that holds the most history for your family. By traveling to the location where most of your family history was made, you will be able to discover an abundance of detailed information that you may not find elsewhere.
Finally, another great source for locating family history records is at the library. Many local libraries have records and documents that pertain to the people and places in a specific area that you may not be able to locate anywhere else. Take the time to browse the Internet for various library websites to find all the records you need to complete your genealogy project with great success.