Learn Your Family History

How to Learn Your Family History

When you decide you want to learn your family history, you have to be ready to commit time and energy. It is important that you take it one step at a time for the greatest chance of success.

Start Offline

Before you start using family search sites and other online resources, you need a foundation so you have a clear map to follow

Start by ask any living family members to tell you stories or share their phtoographs with you. Once you have them talking, ask for any additional information they have, including any memorabilia, jewelry, heirlooms, and so on. They might not want to just hand the item over, but they will probably at least let you take some pictures. Even things that seem insignificant can turn out to be of great importance when you start digging.

Search for scrapbooks, diaries, and old records, such as birth certificates, in your home, and other family members’ homes. Grandparents’ garages, attics, and closets are usually pretty good places to start.

After you have gatehred this information, you can begin filling out a family tree chart as best as you can. Your parents and grandparents can probably help you a great deal, and there is always a chance that they started a family tree at some point, too.


After you have explore what is available offline, you can start using genealogy websites, such as FamilySearch, Ancetry, Myheritage, and FindMypast. You can build your family tree online and their record hinting systems will help to fill in blanks along the way.

Don’t try to follow your entire family at once as this can get completely overwhelming and confusing. Start with one portion, such as your maternal side- then break that side down into smaller sections. Later, you can start searching on the other side as well.

As much as you may want to dive in and find out all you can, you need to search your family one branch search at a time. If questions pop into your head in the middle of a search, write it down and come back to it later. Otherwise, you will find yourself going around in circles, making zero progress.


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