How to Find Genealogical Records

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/19/2007 | Genealogy

So you have finally decided to take that big step into the unknown and do some research about your familys history. It is a big day for many people when they finally decide that they want to learn more about their roots and where their family came from. For some families, such research is very easy to do, as these families are open with each other, willing to divulge all kinds of information and may have kept plenty of family records about their relatives. On the other hand, some families can be notoriously difficult to draft family trees for, as nobody may get along with each other and all of the family records may have been lost to the various disasters that we have faced throughout history. Fortunately though, if you are willing to do anything necessary to get all of the information for your genealogical records, your job will likely succeed. After all, sometimes all a project like this needs is a little bit of heart.

One of the best ways to go about finding genealogical information that you can add to your records is to simply ask the people in your family. If you are lucky, you will have started this project when you are younger therefore you will have plenty of older relatives to chat with about your family. However, most people unfortunately find that they start their genealogical search when they are older and their parents may have come and gone from this Earth. Your first step in either case should be to find the oldest living relative that you know about. Provided that they are still sentient enough to know some information about your familys past, they are perfect candidates to interview for some of the foundations of your family tree. From there, progress to younger relatives that may have heard some information about your family from their parents, as most families do not tell everyone everything especially about people that one family member may not have particularly liked.

After you have compiled all of the data from your original interviews, you should take your search for long lost relatives online. The internet is an amazing source of information for families from all walks of life and from every part of society, as it is able to join people from around the world together and form one big community. There are plenty of bustling forums that you should check out where people search for their relatives, and with a little bit of luck and some researching skill, you may be able to find some family members that you had no idea were even around. The further back you go in your pursuit for the most complete family tree imaginable, the better your odds will become that family members will come out of the woodwork. Sometimes all it takes is one unknown family member to start a whole new branch of your family tree. If the person you find is into genealogy as much as you are, then you can share information and construct one amazing chart of genealogical data for your family.