When you first start out to find your family tree, you’ll probably find that you’re asking yourself, “Who are MY ancestors?” You may even start to look and quickly find that you get overwhelmed with all the different pieces of information.
Didn’t things used to be simpler before the age of the internet? It seems now that when you ask a question you get so much information that you end up getting answers to questions you never even thought to ask. You know what I mean?
Well, to be honest, it really is simpler to find your family tree now then it used to be, but you just have to be a bit of an ancestry detective to get the information you want and make sure that it’s correct.
Look at the image above. This is a family tree from the 13th century. It’s pretty clear who the children are as it’s all right there, but what if you had to search for that? Let’s say you know the family tree was in England, but not sure where in England. How on earth would you ever find the exact book that had the hand-written family tree? Chances are you wouldn’t.
So today, when you set out to find your family tree, it’s really a matter of gathering all the known facts about those people closest to present time. Get their full names, their nick-names, dates of birth, places of birth and the same for any parents, spouses or children. Find out where they may have lived throughout their lives and what jobs they might have held.
All that information must be recorded somewhere. You can look into various free and paid websites, use the ones you want, and get this information. You can have a family tree that is connected to the internet or one that you keep on your computer or you can even have a simple hand-written copy. The point is that you need to be able to look at your family tree as you search, or else you’ll lose track of things.
The site https://familysearch.org is free and is a very good website to search in. You can download the available documents you find there and you can store your family tree right there as well. That’s a very good way to start if you’re a beginner and just want to try your hand at it.
This is the simple way to go about this: Start with the person in the family tree closest to present time and use the facts that you have gathered and know to be true and then build backwards in time. Piece by piece you’ll find your ancestry and build your family tree.
If you have any questions, feel free to write. I’ll be more than happy to help you in your search to find your family tree.