I know it can do the same for you. Western European Ancestors. Ancestors in Specific Localities.
Discover your ancestors - Genes Reunited
Mecklenburg, Germany. Buckinghamshire, England. Ancestors in the Records. Other Western European Records. List of Publications. Contact Me or Sign up for the Newsletter. All rights reserved. Understanding Your Important Dates. Source and Links. Immigrant Ancestors. The Ship Voyage. Terms apply. Add a few family members to your tree, and we'll search for them in our record collections. The leaf is a hint—it means we've found something intriguing that may match your ancestor.
The hint could reveal a new name to search or even a new ancestor to add to your tree. The more you add, the more hints you get. And gradually your family story becomes clearer. Your DNA can reveal your ethnic mix and ancestors you never knew you had—places and people deep in your past where records can't always take you.
Irish ancestry: the hunt for the townland, Part I
Try AncestryDNA, and get a new view into what makes you uniquely you. Marrying into Eric's family, Katherine was told of a rich Italian family history—"My lineage was all Vecchios and the Zuccolis," according to Eric. Many researchers find it helpful to organize by surname and then by the given name of the father. Each person in your tree exists in two families: as child and later as parent.
For more tips on how to stay organized, visit our Getting Organized page. Your direct ancestor may not have left a record with the names you need, but their brother or sister might have. Find out the names of as many siblings as possible and research as necessary. Critically evaluate the information you have found before you decide to add it to your tree see below — Techniques.
Once you have completed these steps, you are certain to identify further questions and other missing pieces of information. Start the research process again by locating and identifying sources that might help you answer your next set of questions. Several software programs and other resources exist to assist you in tracking and organizing your genealogical information.
To help you choose a program that meets your needs, check out our learning guide on selecting a software program. Below are some commonly used abbreviations you will encounter during your family history research. Want to maximize your research? NEHGS can help! We offer a number of services that can help you break down brick walls and expand your research. Check out our extensive collection of subject guides. We have focused subject area guides such as 17th-C.
Want research guidance from a professional genealogist? Our experts provide minute to two-hour consultations in person or by phone. Schedule your consultation today or contact consultations nehgs. Our team of experts can:.
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Hire Research Services today or contact research nehgs. By Ann Lawthers Genealogist. Introduction So you want to find out about your family history.
A new view of your family tree
Steps to Creating Your Genealogy Rule 1 of genealogy is to work from the known to the unknown. Identify what you know. Begin your family history by writing down what you know onto a standard form. If the first rule of genealogy is work from the known to the unknown, genealogy Rule 2 is Write it Down. Capture key pieces of genealogical information: names, relationships, dates and places of birth, marriage, and death. Interview yourself. Talk to relatives: what do they know? What family stories were they told? Decide what you want to learn research goal. Review what you have compiled and determine what information is missing.
What individuals or families intrigue you the most? Make a list of the missing pieces and choose a few goals or questions to research. Focus on one genealogical question at a time — multi-tasking while doing genealogy leads to confusion and potentially errors. Identify and locate your sources. Options for finding genealogical information exist on the web, in libraries, court houses, churches, and your own home.
Start with your house and your family. Systematically go through your list of research questions, finding and recording your information. Keep in mind Rule 2: Write It Down , which includes writing down where you found the information. A date or name without a source is merely hearsay rather than information. Consult multiple sources while collecting as many records about a family or individual as you can. Who provided the information for the record? Was the informant a participant in the event e. How long after the event was the information provided e.
What new questions occur? Step 1: Identify what you know. Tools Starting your genealogical documentation is as simple as purchasing a spiral bound notebook for your notes, but several standard forms greatly simplify the task of recording important genealogical information. Techniques Interview Questions Interviewing your relatives may seem like a daunting task.
To help you begin, consider using questions such as the following: Where did you live when you were growing up? How did your family come to live there? Were there other family members in the area? What were their names? What older relatives do you remember, and what do you remember about them? What were their nicknames and where did they live? Do you remember any traditions associated with them?
What was your family religion? Your grandparents? More distant relatives? What stories have you heard about the European or other origins of your family members and their immigration to America? Is there a naming tradition in the family? Genealogical Recording Conventions The field of genealogy has several conventions for recording information. Dates: Dates are usually captured as day — month — year, e. Maiden Names: List a woman under her maiden name.
If her maiden name is unknown, leave blank space e. Surnames: Many genealogists capture surnames in capital letters to highlight the name in a text field.
States: Either spell out states or use standard abbreviations. Do NOT use the two letter postal codes.
Step 2: Decide what you want to learn. Typical genealogical questions include: Who are the parents?