Family History Research Made Easy
Our family history can play a large role in what makes us who we are. Everything from our looks to talents and even temperament can be traits passed down by our ancestors. As we get older and wiser, we tend to develop more of a reverence for those who came before us. If you would like to research your family history but think it will be too difficult, here are some tips for making it easy.
You don’t need to know the names and stories of your great-great-grandparents yet. Start small by talking to your immediate relatives. Parents, aunts, and uncles can tell you all about their parents, though some may become hazy when it comes to their grandparents. Generally, all it takes to move on to the next step is a birth year, death year, and marriage year so that you can then access a number of publicly available registers. Talk with family and family friends and you will be surprised what surprising nuggets of information can come up.
There are perhaps hundreds of family tree websites and programs, with some performing better than the others. One of the more popular websites is Ancestry.com. Founded over 35 years ago, as of 2016 it boasted a member bank of over two million, with 16 billion historical records added by professionals and individuals. Hints help you expand your family tree and make connections you may not have previously been aware of. In most cases, this website is pay-to-play, though discounts are sometimes available.
WikiTree.com is another great family history research website. Free to use, additions are made by everyday people. The format is easy to navigate and there are sections for document attachments as well as personal
Once you have gathered some names and dates, official Government websites for Births, Deaths and Marriages allow you to apply for documents for a nominal fee and once you have proven a relational link to the individual – the latter due to privacy standards. From there you can get information on parents, which leads to the prior generation, and so on.
Where to go for Help
While it may be your family history, you don’t have to do it alone. Some libraries feature free seminars that guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.
If researching your family history is something you are interested in, now is a great time to start. Official documents are constantly being scanned and added to registries, so all you have to do is look.
Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide