Have you ever wondered about your family roots? Sure, you may be well aware of where one to two generations before you came from, and the various family members, but outside of that, people are often left with a giant blank space on their family tree.
Tracing your roots and digging into who your family was and their own unique history can be an incredibly emotional and rewarding journey to take. But here’s the question, how do you go about filling in those branches and truly creating that cohesive family tree?
Here we’ll take a look at tips you can use that will help you piece together your family tree at last, and uncover a number of wonderful facts about your family and its history.
Speak to as Many Family Members as Possible
A great place to start is almost from an investigative journalist’s point of view. You want to interview, or rather speak to as many family members as possible asking about their own memories. You’ve probably heard your parents talk about their family history many times, so now it’s time to widen the net and talk to those outside your immediate family.
It probably goes without saying, but typically it is the elders that you’ll want to focus on as they tend to have the greatest source of information.
Start an Online Group for Family Members
Sometimes it can be hard to actually reach all the family members you want to, which is why it can also be a good idea to create an online group specifically for family members. You can start by inviting those you know, and it can grow from there with those members inviting other family members they know about.
This online group can be a great place to share stories, names, locations of family members, and even photos.
Go Through the Family Photo Albums
If your family has kept photo albums over the years, and even passed them down throughout the generations, then these are another fabulous source of information. It can help to fill in blanks and also give you a visual of who these people were.
Look through Items in Other Family Members’ Homes
Other family members may also invite you into their homes to go through their own supply of records, information, photos, and certificates. You never want to turn down an opportunity such as this. Just be sure to take photos of everything you find so you can easily refer to it later on.
Make Use of Public Records
One of the biggest sources of information will, of course, be public records. You can seek out such information as birth notices, marriage licenses, and death records. All of this can prove to be vital as you fill in the various branches of your family tree.
The good news is that there’s no need to even venture out to the public library or public record archives anymore. You can find much, if not the majority of what you’ll need, online. Take for example the death records you can access through PublicRecordsReviews, which is perfect when searching for records of your family history. Simply plug in a first and last name, as well as any last known locations (state), and hit the search button.
This tool can also be used to find birth records, address history, name change records, and more that can aid in your search for family.
Expect to Run into Roadblocks
It’s also important you go into this project with an open mind. While it would be great if you could find all the information smoothly and quickly, chances are you’ll encounter a fair share of roadblocks along the way. This will result in blank spots or question marks on your family tree.
A good tip is to focus on one area of your search at a time. Don’t try to take on too much at once. Baby steps can prove to be much more effective and give you thorough information.
Make Sure You Keep Track of Everything
Also, it’s important to keep careful and meticulous track of all the research you’ve done. This includes roads that led to fabulous sources of information, as well as those paths that led to a dead end. You may want to keep a document on your computer/laptop which you can save on the cloud. This will allow you to access the information anytime you want.
Finally Fill in Those Blanks
Each of these tips is designed to help you finally fill in those blanks where your family history is concerned. It’s a fabulous project to take on, and the results are something the entire family can benefit from and pass along to their own kids. Just remember, tracing your roots isn’t going to be quick and simple, rather it can take years’ worth of searching, asking questions, and gathering information.