family treeVery few people in the world actually bother or dare to take up the task of tracing the family tree. There are obvious benefits to tracing a family tree, and the process can be fun. In the old days, this process used to be truly tedious as well as time demanding, often leading to incompleteness over time.

However, with all the modern technological advancements going on and the internet being filled every day with new public records in digital formats, the job has become one of the easiest to perform. You may not be too excited about tracing your family tree at the moment, but if you take some time to think about it, you will find that the intrigue only increases, and the curiosity becomes almost unstoppable. These days, in order to find out your true family history, there is no need to go through heaps of boring papers. You do not need to hire a genealogist either. Finding out all the family illnesses, causes of deaths, gene patterns etc. are very doable and straightforward in this era.

Use your relatives as sources

The best and the first thing you can do regarding family history tracing is gathering information from the people you know. Contact all your relatives, and ask them what they know about your family history. More often than not, you may end up finding old pictures and records that you did not even know existed. The practice not only refreshes old memories and strengthens family ties, but also makes sure that certain things which were in the verge of getting lost are found and treasured.

Filling the initial gaps can be very simple if you perform this process with care. Remember to collect death, birth, marriage and other documents or certifications related to your family members. There may not seem any need for proving your relation with all the people you know at this moment, but when you are tracing your family history to many decades in the past, documents become a vital need within no time.

Track major events and databases

Certain major events and portals can help you a lot when it comes to collecting historical information. For instance, individuals who took part in the World War II tend to have good records in place. Most importantly, you can find quite detailed biographical information too. In case you are certain that your family emigrated more or less during the early part of the 20th century, you may find Ellis Island immigration portal to be of immense value. The portal can help you understand many underlying aspects of your family tree. As names of families were changed often at Ellis Island, you must collect as many documents loaded with rewarding information as you can with the help of Ellis documents if you expect to find any data associated with the years before emigration took place.

Utilize any historical knowledge you may possess

Whatever knowledge you have within your power, make use of every bit to the highest extent. For example, if you are sure that your family lived in Ireland, and then moved to New York during the great depression, it may suggest something very crucial like treatment associated with scorn. Jews before the inception of World War II often had similar happenings to witness from the natives as well. This part of the equation lets you understand whether there was any mistreatment that caused your ancestors to move to a different country, changing everything to come in future – marriages, deaths, lifestyle – for good!

When you are deeply engaged in this particular task, make sure to document every little thing. You can draw a beautiful family tree using branches to show different members in case you have enough evidence. You may also want to preserve old photos, documents, and certifications using a lovely album. Conversion of paper documents to electronic documents is a good strategy as well, since it assures easier future reference points. Moreover, whenever you are in a conversation with a relative you know, either document or record the things he or she says. Understand that the dates and years you come across are just parts of the whole process, because the true soul of a family tree lies in the stories that accompany the journey!

In this journey that is larger than you, it is likely that you will encounter several discouraging obstacles, such as name changes, remarriages after partner deaths, misspellings on documents etc. However, do not let anything discourage you, because if you dare to keep moving regardless, the treasures you will find finally will be priceless. It will all be worth the shot in the end! Besides, with the exceptional power of the internet by your side, there is nothing truly to stop you in your tracks as long as you consciously keep moving firmly in the direction of your purpose!

Here are some great resources for getting started on your own family tree:

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