When doing a research trip that deals with tracing your ancestral roots, one of the delights of this quest is to gain knowledge on your personal history when you travel to your ancestral home or to the nearby library searching for pieces of information to support. But the question here is, will you be able to gather information even if you don’t make the actual trip? What are the others things needed to be done when the search is finally over? Find the answers as you embark on a journey and turn your genealogical journeys memorable and rewarding.
Plan and organize
Once you start conducting your research, make sure to choose an online genealogical database first where you can save and organize everything that you will gather. Expect your early weeks of doing research to be quite fulfilling, since gathering facts about close relatives appears to be easy.
There are software programs available today where you can build your family tree charts from scratch even on your computer. The option to do this online is considered to be the easiest and most convenient, for the reason that information and updates are easily accessed wherever you are. There are several free online genealogical databases available to gain knowledge and provide valuable outcomes whendoing your own research.
Make a treasure hunt
Genealogists by profession are known to be seasoned detectives. When uncovering family histories, they are always on the lookout for clues, patterns, and data that are to be used when searching family histories.These experts in genealogy believe that the most valuable clues in any search for your ancestors’ unique stories are just at the corners of your home.
It may be tempting to go online right away when gathering data for your family history. But for an efficient and successful search, you are advised to resist the urge and focus more on the paper trail before you proceed online.
It is okay to involve your relatives in your hunt for artifacts. Make sure to clearly explain your intentions and goals first. Tell them your reasons for doing the research and give respect when they talk about how they want the items to be handled, copied, or stored.
Consider elders as living libraries
Talk to your older relatives and consider them as living libraries. The family histories are just in their brains and this can help you gather all the information that you require.
It takes time and effort from you to listen and gather facts by interviewing the elders. Feel free to use a recorder when asking specific questions to refresh your memory and reveal new details. When you opt to treasure hunt at the beginning to be followed by an interview to support, there will be an existence of artifacts that can be discussed with them. Ask them to identify people and places in old photos. These things can serve as catalyst for stories and leads.
Don’t take family members your age or younger for granted. Conduct interviews and establish a set of facts with vivid details preserved in others’ memories. Learn about your parents, grandparents and even your great-grandparents to build foundational knowledge. Include the basic information to be asked such as full names and names of siblings, birthplaces and birthdates, locations or even addresses of family homes, nationality and ethnic background, occupations, education, military services, and where relatives are buried.
Always show courtesy and give respect to your relatives. You may feel the overwhelming urge to gather facts but when a relative becomes hesitant or refuses to give complete information about a person or a certain event, have the initiative to move on to a different topic. When you speak to multiple relatives with follow-ups, you can fill in the blanks without upsetting or alienating anyone.
Once you’ve gathered all the information that you need, you can now utilize what you’ve just collected when continuing your research online. There are numerous resources, services, and options available on genealogy research websites Browse the websites and you may find complete list of materials that include books, online materials, microfilm and publications. Check if there’s a way for you to request for a list that has the complete items.
Don’t forget to use your favorite social networking and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. When you seek help from strangers who share your surname, you’re more likely to get free assistance and help. In addition to searching and connecting with people who share your ancestral surnames, look for local organizations, public libraries and archives, tour guides, and genealogy-related services in your ancestor’s hometown.
Ayesa Lubag is a daytime writer for Worthington Clark, a genealogy research company composed of experts that trace ancestors’ unique stories and bring family histories to life. Her love for writing and the creative process stems from her passion for living. She believes that creativity is her defining quality and takes inspiration from books, films, music, photography and travel.