Are you ready to start your genealogy journey? It can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you find the information you need? This guide will help you get started on your genealogy journey and unlock the secrets of your family tree. The first step in any genealogy search is to start with yourself. Write down your name, date and place of birth.
Then work backwards and write down the same information about your parents and their parents. Make sure to include all the names of your ancestors, as well as the dates and places of their main life events. Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about their memories. Don't just ask for facts and dates, get the stories of their growth and the ancestors they remember.
Try to phrase the questions with “why”, “how”, and “what”. Our list of 20 genealogy interview questions can help you get started. See our tips for oral history interviews for more information.Don't forget to reach out to distant family members too! Send an email to ask them if they have records that could be helpful in your genealogical search. Once you've searched for your family's last names, try websites that deal specifically with your ethnic heritage or about parts of the country where your family members lived.
You may even find websites about your family created by distant relatives researching the same family tree. A great place to start is our Best Websites section, which compiles more than 100 great genealogy websites.If you are a member of the older generation and are “new to genealogy”, this first step is also important for you. It's a rewarding way to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and bring your heritage to life.Now that you know where to start, it's time to begin your genealogy journey! With a little bit of research and some help from family members, you'll be able to unlock the secrets of your family tree.