Historical Roots: 3 Ways To Begin Digging Into Your Family Tree

Family Tree roots and books

If you have ever wondered about where your ancestors come from, you may want to take a peek at your family tree. Thanks to technology and the widespread flow of information nowadays, you can possibly locate family information with a few computer keystrokes. Here are a few tips on getting started.

Interview Older Relatives

Aging relatives often have surprising family stories and facts locked in their memories and will eagerly share them with those who ask. Someone who is in their eighties in the early part of the twenty-first century may have a great-grandmother or great-grandfather who was living around the time of the Civil War. Although generations-old stories may blend into fiction in some points, there are often clear and reliable recollections that can aid in the search for your family tree roots.

Check Religious Records

Family Bibles or other religious books, including hymnals, as well as baptismal records or church baptisms are especially helpful in the quest to learn more about our forebears. Even unofficial church records, like the names of members who contributed to building the church or synagogue, or who attended a member’s wedding or funeral can help to place a family member in a certain location on a specific date.

Consult Research Professionals

Genealogical experts offer services for a fee. If you know one or someone who dabbles in this skill, you may be able to barter services, like building a website (if that is your expertise) in exchange for a certain number of hours spent researching your family line. Local professionals, like a library expert with an online masters in library and information science, often know just where to look and are happy to share their skills to help community residents.

Travel To Your Ancestral Region

Try to plan a trip to the area where your ancestors lived. For some, this might be in the same county where descendants now reside. Others may need to travel across the state, the country, or the world. An exciting trip to the land of your forebears will likely be a memorable experience with revealing findings. Talk to locals, and browse government archives to discover anecdotal and factual family information.

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