Care to discover your roots? These are the ten ways you can trace your family tree.There are many fun ways for you to Trace Your Family Tree, but there are a few that make the process easier and more interesting.
Family is such a fundamental part of existence. Yet, often do we overlook those who came long before us.
If you’re keen to dig a little deeper into your ancestry and find out your clan’s roots, read on. These are the ten ways you can trace your family tree.
How to Trace Your Family Tree
10. Manage your expectations – sage advice to start
Before embarking on an ancestral quest, it is always important to take a hearty dose of pragmatism. Even though your wish may be to trace your lineage back to the 15th-century, that just may not be possible.
You may not ever reach your desired ‘finish point’, but be open to what you find and seek solace in the little discoveries along the way.
9. Prepare for quite the journey – this won’t happen overnight
Tracing your family tree can be likened to the job of a researcher. Sometimes facts fall into place, and in other instances, it can seem like a lifetime before finally finding what you were looking for. Be prepared for the journey, whatever way the door swings.
8. Begin by gathering what you have – it may be more than you think
The best place to start is right at home. Sit down and map out what you know, who you know and what you have.
Put on your treasure hunter hat and explore any old photos, albums or keepsakes of the past and try put the pieces of the puzzle together. It may be more than you think.
7. Organize your findings – file, file, file
Organization is the key. For those who are planning a particularly detailed discovery mission, we suggest you organize all your findings methodically as you go.
Invest in a specific folder and label everything accordingly. The last thing you want is to end up overwhelmed with records and files and no idea how to navigate them.
6. Get a DNA test – the key to Pandora’s box
Getting a DNA test is one of the most effective measures to take when exploring your genealogy.
Once your results are in, you will find potential matches of people sharing your DNA strand. Here, things can get very interesting. DNA tests are essentially the ‘Pandora’s box’ of heritage tracing.
5. Talk to your family and extended family – they may have some of the answers
Some of your burning questions may be answered at home. Make the most of your family and extended family, particularly your elders.
One of the great lost skills of the new generation is the art of letter writing. You never know, love letters sent from war may be just sitting in your attic.
4. Address the social community – put social media to good use
53% of the world is now on social media. That is 4.20 billion people, some who could share in your lineage. Addressing the social community is one of our top ways you can trace your family tree for free and from home.
It may take some searching, messaging and hoping for responses, but it could perhaps be a goldmine of ancestral answers.
3. Search church records, visit town hall and graveyards – utilize the community
Each town and city will boast a place of worship, a town hall or community center. Here you are likely to find records of past members of the community.
If this doesn’t play out, visit the town graveyard, where you may just find your family name.
2. Visit the genealogical center – for an in-person experience
One of the most sure-fire ways you can trace your family tree is by visiting your local genealogical center.
Irish surnames are common all around the world and this results in a lot of people tracing their roots back to Emerald Isle. With genealogical centers in Leitrim, Dublin, Clare, Tipperary, Roscommon and Sligo, Ireland is an island where Irish descendants can trace their family tree.
1. Search online – the treasure trove of knowledge
The internet is the most valuable tool you will have in your journey to discovering your ancestral roots. With endless genealogy websites, free databases and records of past residents, there’s much to dig through.
When weighing up the ways you can trace your family tree, we suggest you start with the free National Archives of Ireland census website. Irish Genealogy’s website is also free, as is FamilySearch. It’s advisable to have the name and details (date of birth, address) of a grand or great grandparent to help kickstart the process.
Aside from the options above, the online channels and services available are endless. From paid sites to personised experiences, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for by searching online.