Unlocking the Secrets of Your Ancestors: Where to Find Genealogical Records in Other Countries

Discovering genealogical records from other countries can seem impossible at times. Learn how to unlock secrets of your ancestors with these tips & resources.

Unlocking the Secrets of Your Ancestors: Where to Find Genealogical Records in Other Countries

The desire to explore our past is universal, and the internet has made genealogy easier and more popular than ever. According to Time, genealogy websites are the second most visited category of websites, after pornography. Similarly, ABC News reported that genealogy is the second most popular hobby for Americans, after gardening. When it comes to researching your family tree, there are a few key steps you should take.

First, use pedigree software to build your family tree and carry a printed and digital copy with you. Asking someone to help you fill in the blanks in a family tree is better than simply asking when a particular relative was born. If you want your request to a busy government records office to be noticed, sending a genealogical chart with blank spaces highlighted is often the best way to get your request addressed and receive a response. The old reservation system, the federal census, generally only provides one country of origin.

Even immigrant passenger lists can be unpredictable, sometimes indicating a town or city; other times, just a province or region. Birth, marriage, or death certificates and military documents may have clues. Obituaries can indicate the immigrant's place of birth, but because a family member or associate provided the information, it may not be accurate.Online family history courses for several countries are available at FamilySearch.org. This is a great resource for genealogists and can reveal a lot of fascinating and new information about your ancestors.

You can also search for historical records of ancestors in Europe on this website. If you're looking for records from other countries, consider hiring a professional researcher based in your ancestral land. Keep it short and simple, use short sentences, and request records related to only one ancestral line at a time. You can also write to the national or local archives of the area you want to search in and ask them if there are any census records available there.The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists or Progenealogists is another great resource for finding professional researchers in other countries.

You can also consult the online directories of organizations such as the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Genealogists Certification Board (BCG).Finally, don't forget to explore FamilySearch's free genealogical record search, the massive and totally free collection of genealogical records collected and digitized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). A keyword search helps you arrive at a specific group of records or topic (for example, the Hungarian census of 1869). Genealogical research can be quite difficult, but going beyond the borders of your own country to discover records in other nations can seem downright impossible at times. With these tips and resources in mind, however, you'll be well on your way to unlocking the secrets of your ancestors.

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