How to Search Your Family Tree

How to Search Your Family Tree

Most of us desire to know where we came from and what our family history is, especially in Pictou County where most of us have descended from families that emigrated here from Europe, but how do you search your Family Tree?

Most people tend to believe that it is too hard to do all the research needed to put their family history together, but in reality it is not very hard at all. Below are some hints and tips on researching your family history.

First, you can start by getting anything you already have together such as pictures, heirlooms, documents, diaries, or family Bibles, anything that may have bits of information to get your research started. Ask all your relatives if they have any of these or other items like old letters, postcards, or anything that identifies your relatives for your family tree. Check with the eldest of your relatives as they will have been around the longest and tend to know more history.

It’s also a good idea to actually interview all of the relatives that you can get together to help you in your quest. Just get them started talking and telling you stories about their lives and you are sure to find out many facts that you didn’t have previously. You can even record the interviews if they will allow it and save it for future generations to hear.

Other sources of genealogy information

You can also go online to find information on your family history. There are several websites that specialize in this sort of information, plus you can look up things like cemetery records, death and birth certificates, wills, immigration records, deeds, census reports, etc. for valuable information on your relatives.

Once you know where some of your ancestors lived, you can go there to do things like check out the local cemetery and take pictures of their graves, go to the courthouse to get information on their birth or death certificates, or go to local churches and see if they keep records on marriages or baptisms that may include your relatives’ names. All of this adds some sparkle to your search for your family history.

The Pictou-Antigonish library is great location to help you to find information related to local genealogy. You can look in their old records, newspapers, books, and obituaries to find many interesting pieces of information.

If your family holds a family reunion, then try putting out ahead of the date a request for everyone to bring in old pictures, stories, diaries or anything that could help in tracing your family tree.

Filling out the family tree charts

Next, you will take all the names and other information and start filling out a family tree chart. Usually these start with your name and go backwards to show your parents, grandparents, etc., along with their spouse and kids. If you have any missing spaces, then go back and re-interview relatives and try to fill in the names if possible.

There are also several well-known family history computer software programs that will help you to document and build your family history charts.

All in all it is very exciting to find out where you came from and who your ancestors were. Plus, it is a valuable thing to pass on to your children because you can not only show them who they came from, but you can add in documentation on things like genetic problems, illnesses, allergies, etc.