Ways to Know about Your Ancestry and Genealogy
They say the real journey begins at home. Speaking on the same note, the search for one’s ancestry involves traveling back to your roots–Knowing who your forefathers were, where they came from, where they settled, and it follows. The hunt begins in conversations with family members and relatives, looking for possible references in old photo albums and ransacking basements and attics for articles of the past, family archives or browsing through a list of genealogy websites and undergoing a DNA test. While buying a DNA test kit is pretty common these days, one can visit bestonlinereviews.com to compare DNA testing kits and decide for themselves. Having said that, it might sound a bit surreal, but digging your ancestry lines does account for time traveling. Here’s an insight into how one can go about knowing about your ancestry and genealogy.
Getting the ground ready
One of the earliest steps towards discovering your ancestry is gathering facts from your close relatives. However, it’s essential to save and keep things organized, which is why one needs to get access to an online genealogical database to help store your research. Next, take a cue from professional genealogists who are no less than detectives looking for patterns and clues in a case. Similarly, one has to start looking through family memorabilia and other types of records like personal diaries, letters, report cards, and other documents. If your search process involves running through any artifacts in your relative’s places, it would probably be a good idea to engage them as well. Just make sure you explain to them, why and what you are doing and that you appreciate their involvement in the process and thank them for the effort they put in.
Word of mouth
It might seem a bit obtrusive, but any elder in your family is nothing less than a living library. As such, the history of the family stored in their brains serves to be an excellent source of information for whatever research you are bent on exploring the genealogy. Just in case you have grown up around legends since childhood, it will be worthwhile to put these things into an interview with the elders. It will help you record and store their words digitally, and any questions you encounter during your research will help refresh the memory and unravel newer details. If you have completed your treasure hunt finding old stuff and artifacts, do show them the same and ask them to identify any object if they can or if they are related to it at all. Next, you can question them about the history of your family – Names of your parents, grandfathers, great-great-grandfather and so on. Such foundational knowledge will put you on the right track of your findings. Other essential information that you can choose to ask them to include names of siblings, birthdates, place of birth, ethnicity, education, service, burial place of relatives, and related information.
There might be a possibility that one or more relatives might feel hesitant or uncomfortable answering any question. In such a scenario, never overburden them with questions. Remember, it’s an interview, not an interrogation. Speaking to multiple relatives of various grounds and them tallying their info to fill in the blanks can also help to track down your ancestry, the way you want it.
Ah! Finally, the moment you have been waiting. The web serves as an integral source of genealogy finder databases and ancestry tracking sites where one can put to use all the information collected during the research. While multiple sites are offering similar services like ancestry.com and others, it is recommended that you begin with a non-profit family search like the one offered by Mormon Church. which is looked at one as one of the world’s largest free genealogical organization. They are known to collect and store records for over 100 years now from several parts of the world and adding to their collection at the rate of 10 million records in one week.
Typically, you start by going through the family catalog containing books, documents, microfilm, etc. If need be, you might as well approach the local library that is typically the custodian of such items, to offer you a chance to view the items personally. There are quite a few libraries that grant free access to immigration information from yesteryear across multiple databases like passport details, border crossing, citizenship, and passenger lists as well.
Getting a DNA test done
While paper trail seems to form the bedrock of your ancestral research, a DNA test has the capability to take your places. These days, one can undergo a DNA test to help discover the pattern of migration of their ancestors and effectively locate their position in the family tree. These days, you are privileged with home DNA testing kits to help save time and effort from finding a test center that offers reliable results. Now, although DNA test results can up your game of genealogical research, the decision to undergo the examination should be reconsidered. This is because such tests are capable enough to reveal any secret (either from the paternal or maternal side) kept hidden for ages by one’s ancestors and other family members as well.
Well, that brings us to an exciting culmination of tracing one’s family members. Often, one asks himself how long the process is going to take. The answer to the question is how ancient you want to dig. The further you dig, the more time it’s going to take. So, one might as well stop tracking ancestry line to your great-great-great-grandfather, but it’s up to you to decide where you want to draw the line on your research. Time and again, it’s worthwhile to ask yourself, “Do I really end it here? My search? Do I want to end the book and close the chapter? After all, it’s my family history, and there will always be some level of ancestry that is waiting to be found unless one decides to step away.