We are here today because of our parents. They came together and created us. Our parents were on this earth because of the union of their parents. It goes back and back for thousands of years. People have been for a very long time. We know who are parents are, and usually we know our grandparents. What about the great grandparents, and their parents before them? All of them have brothers and sisters who are our great aunts and uncles, or our great-great aunts and uncles. They all have children that are our distant cousins.
The family tree of anyone has many branches. It also is as old as the human race. If every person that ever lived was recorded somehow we would be able to trace our descendents to the beginning of mankind. However, documentation was not kept on all families. Some records have been destroyed or lost. Other types of records have only been kept for the last four or so hundred years.
Genealogy is the art of searching out your ancestors by name and location and recording them creating a family tree. A family tree begins with you and goes back as far as you can make it go back. List your self on the tree, along with your spouse and children. Next add your parents. Then add each of your four grandparents. You’ll want to add all of the children of each. This means your parents brothers and sisters will be listed, as well as your own, and your grandparents. Genealogy can get complicated. Only try to do one branch at a time. Say you want to research your maternal side. Don’t try to do your paternal side at the same time. Many people create family trees for their children and grandchildren. They are special and cherished reminders of where and who we come from. Although many of the people in the tree have been deceased for many years you can get to know them by learning about them.
How to learn about your ancestors is to inquire about them. Ask older family relatives what they remember about your great grandparents and go from there. What you need is names, locations, birth and death dates. The location of where they were born and are buried is helpful when doing searches. Once you have this information you can go to a genealogy site and search for them according to that information. Search one person at a time. Again, if you are doing the maternal side stick to it. Grandma will have a totally different tree than grandpa does. Only one at a time, and then go back to do the others. A maternal tree means looking for the parents of your mothers. Your mother, her mother, her mother, her mother, and her mother. You’ll find their husbands and children along the way. Record them but stick to searching for mothers. It’s the same when doing a paternal family tree. Look for your fathers father, his father, his father, his father, and his father. Go back as far as you can. Record all of the grandmas in there too but keep to the fathers and you’ll trace your surname.
Online genealogy websites contain databases. You can search cemeteries, birth and death records, immigration records, marriage records, and even tax rolls. Things have been recorded pretty well back to the sixteen hundreds. Search these records for each name. The results will vary by person. Sometimes you’ll find information about others by searching for one, for example, if you find an obituary for your great grandparent it will likely contain their family members names and locations.
Genealogy is rewarding and special in many ways. Your ancestors may have been legendary! They may have been outstanding in their communities. Do you ever wonder if you’re like an ancestor that lived long ago? The way to find out is not only by asking, but also by searching. Record all of the information you uncover along the way and you’ll be creating a family tree. Thanks for reading and take care!