For most individuals looking to learn more about their ancestors and their past, a family tree is often where they begin looking. But, what happens if you do not have one? Well, then you might want to start building a family tree, especially since you can learn during the entire process. Nonetheless, are you now wondering – how can I do this?
If you are completely uncertain of where you should begin with your heritage history in order to create a family tree, this article may be able to help you. The text below is going to feature a how-to guide that will help you with learning more about your lineage. Let’s take a closer look at the article:
1. First Things First – Gather The Info That You Already Have
The very first thing that you should do is gather more information that you already have. What does this mean? Well, it means that you should do some digging in the boxes located in your attic, basement, closet, and determine whether or not there is more information on your lineage.
During the process, ensure that you gather and obtain any documents that you can find, old photographs, letters, journals, even newspaper cuttings if there are any. All of these things can help you set a timeline, as well as discover more about your lineage history.
2. Speak to Various Family Members And Relatives
Once you are done with gathering the items mentioned above, the next step you should take is to speak to your grandparents, parents, siblings, aunties, uncles and cousins. Keep in mind that you should not only ask about specific events, years, and experiences but, you should try and get tales about how and where they grew up and the people that they can remember.
You should try to ask questions that begin with ‘what/in what way/why’ since it’ll allow you to get information that is more accurate. Additionally, if you are not able to speak to some siblings that are living far away, you could always email them in order to learn what they know about the lineage.
3. Opt For a DNA Test
Luckily for all of us, there is now a wide range of companies such as CRI Genetics that allow us to test our ancestry. This means that you might track your relatives and ancestors based on the DNA you provide. Depending on the company you choose, you could also trace back your ancestors’ hundreds of years in the past, which can all help you with discovering more.
4. Write Everything Down
In order to discover what you do not know yet, you should choose to write everything down. This will not only allow you to figure out what you do not know yet but, it will also allow you to easily see to whom you talked to and to what people you need to reach out to.
5. Stay Focused on Your Research
Are you left with several blanks once you have written down everything that you learned? If so, keep in mind that you should not try and fill in those blanks at once. Instead, you should choose to focus on a particular person and their children in order to find the information you are missing. Once you discover everything there is about one generation, move on to the next one.
6. Utilize The Internet For Discovering More
The Internet is an endless pool of knowledge, which is why you must utilize it when creating a family tree. Of course, this does not mean that you’ll be able to discover an entire family tree waiting for you, but, you’ll be able to obtain news articles, databases, and you may want to use social media platforms to reach out to people who do not live near you as well.
7. Keep All Information Organized
During the entire research process, you should enter what you found in a software that has a family tree template or in a paper chart. Do not forget to write down the references you had since this can assist you with filling in some of the gaps that you have. Additionally, you should also photocopy all information, notes, pictures, maps, and articles to the file, hence, you’ll be able to look at it whenever you want.
8. Your Next Step Needs to Be Chosen By You
Once you have gone through all the aforementioned steps and if you exhausted all the sources and the Internet, you may opt for traveling to the locations your relatives lived in. This means that you’ll be able to tour temples, courthouses, graveyards, and churches as well as other locations where you can find old, stored records,
Besides allowing you to learn more, it will also be a prize and a way for you to see and walk in your ancestors’ steps. In fact, if you choose to do this, you’ll probably find that it is thrilling and incredibly fun, especially since it will be like a spy story, one that does not have an end.
As you learn more and more information on your lineage, you should opt for sharing it with your extended family and relatives. Why you may be wondering? Well, it can help them with remembering names, specific events, as well as other info that you might find useful or that, might lead you to your next discovery.
10. Once Done, Print Out Your Family Tree
When you are finished with all the aforementioned steps, you’ll probably have a clear picture of your family tree. And, by putting everything down in a program or paper, as well as providing photographs and other items, you’ll be able to have a complete family tree that you can share with others in your family.
As you can see, there are specific steps that you’ll need to take in order to start building your family tree. Not only will it allow you to do everything properly, but, it will also allow you to make the entire process easier, less time-consuming, as well as less stressful for you.
So, now that you know what you need to and definitely should choose to do, do not waste any more of your time. Instead, go back to the beginning of the list, write down everything that you need to do and start discovering things about your ancestors and lineage right away!