Family history can be an enthralling pastime and it can uncover some amazing stories about your ancestors. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, or how to start your research. In order to trace your ancestry, you will need to start a family tree, if you have not already done so.
What information can be obtained about ancestors?
Researching your ancestry can uncover the following information about your ancestors: Birth, Marriage and Death information, occupations, whether any of your ancestors served in the military, their regiments and where they served, Immigration records or passenger lists, Parish records, Probate records and Business records.
The beginner researcher
If you are a beginner to family history, you will firstly need to assemble some basic facts about your relatives. Speak to your family to ascertain the full names and important dates for your grandparents and great-grandparents. Once you have this information, you can now begin to assemble your family tree.
There are many very good subscription websites available such as Ancestry.com, Find My Past, The Genealogist or Genes Reunited. Once you have joined up to one of these websites and added more information, your research will progress and you will be able to find census records which detail where your ancestors lived, with whom they lived with and their occupations. You will be able to trace whether any of your ancestors emigrated, and where they emigrated to, and even find information in census records taken in America, for example.
As you find more information, you will uncover even more discoveries about your ancestry. You need to check whether there have been any
one-name studies undertaken for your surname. These can provide a wealth of information about your ancestors if one has been set up. The Guild of
One-Name Studies website is a good starting point.
The experienced researcher
If you have already begun researching your family tree, you will have already started to trace your ancestry, and may have uncovered some remarkable stories. Many people have relatives from across the UK, Ireland, Europe or even discovered ancestors who emigrated to America looking for a better future.
Aardvark Editorial Consultants
How much you research and what you research really depends upon how detailed you would like your research to be, and whether you would like to research places and times when your ancestors lived. There are some family history companies such as Aardvark Editorial Consultants which will collate your research, and write a 'my ancestors' family history in a professional story, or present it in digital form which can bring your family history to life. Stories such as these are perfect gifts for family members which can be passed down and enjoyed for many generations to come.