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How To Trace Your Family History

How To Trace Your Family History

Tracing your family history has never been easier, especially now VideoJug has teamed up with author and Family History Specialist Stella Colwell. So watch this great step by step guide on how to trace your own family history.

Step 1: Getting started

First, write down everything you know about your family. List all names including surnames and occupations, (this may help you later). You'll need to identify all the names and relationships to you and to each other and decide which line you want to pursue – Paternal or Maternal. Keep asking questions and keep recording answers.

Step 2: Sorting out facts

Start with yourself and start to sketch your family tree. Your tree may not stretch very far vertically but may do horizontally. If you have gathered your information, make sure you include full names, dates of birth, locations, education records and as much additional documentation as possible.

Step 3: Researching Online

A good place to start your research is the internet. There are many indexes and directories available to you online, including Freebmd.org, bmdindexes.co.uk, thegenealogist.co.uk, ancestry.co.uk, fhsc.org.uk that you can use to help you flesh out your findings. You will also find the Census, Births Marriages Divorce and deaths – registration online too. And if your heritage is not English you can start at www.movinghere.org.uk as a first step and from there you can contact genealogists from overseas to continue your research further.

Step 4: Other ways of finding your ancestors

Local records, directories of names, historical and migrant records are widely available in libraries, family record centres or your local Office for National Statistics. If you become really stuck try data sharing to find any other descendants online. A good place to start would be geneanet.com.

Step 5: Storing your Findings

Don't forget to include your own story and stick to the facts. You must make sure your findings are clear, concise and dated. You can record everything in diaries or start a family bible but the best way to keep your records safe and secure is to save it to a CD-ROM or display it online at one of the many sites like ancestry.com