Family History, not just for ‘old/mature’ people. Discovering ones family today is at our finger tips. This is the age of technology and its never been simpler to find information on deceased loved ones.
- Begin with YOU and start small. Write down your full name, birth date and where you were born.
- Gather a few photos and have them printed. Keep all the photos and previous information gathered in a safe and accessible place.
- Writing in a journal is also a wonderful way to keep stories for yourself and family. Yourself and others will enjoy learning more about you.
- Sign up for an Ancestor web provider. Family Search is free and simple to use | Family Search
- Family Search offers a free pedigree fan chart as well as family tree templates:
- If you’re able, contact family members. Start with parent(s), Aunts/Uncles and Grandparents. Use a pen and note pad to take note of the information given. Questions to ask:
- Ask to see photos and family heirlooms and ask if you could photo copy the photographs. They may also know of someone else in the family who may have photos and information.
- Information can be found written on an old photo or book. The second photograph above are pages from a pharmacy book that belonged to my 2nd Great Grandpa. My Great Aunt discovered a Chronology at the back of the book.
- You may have a photo of an ancestor you know little about. Posting the photo on a social media platform such as Pinterest or Instagram may help others to identify the person(s).
- Google any information you may have. Often times someone else a long-lost cousin perhaps may also be working on the same ancestor.
- Find A Grave is a terrific place to locate information and its free! According to the website, 50,000 people a day are searching the Find A Grave database | Find A Grave
Start simple and work with what you have. When I start a new family binder, I place the oldest ancestor’s information toward the front of the binder and the present toward the back. I also create a cover with the name of the family, ‘HART FAMILY,’ using Microsoft Word and a blank sheet of paper.
- Family Search offers free pedigree charts. Here’s an example of a pedigree chart going back four generations.
- Seeking after ones ancestors is like taking care of a tree. A tree (ancestor) need nourishment to grow and flourish, if one neglects the tree the tree will wither away and be lost. Each small watering (story) or (trimming) photo keeps the tree alive. The branches will grow bigger and fuller. The ancestor’s stories and legacies will be preserved and shared for generations.