Genealogy Tips

Uncovering Your Ancestry: Genealogy and Family History

If you are trying to uncover your ancestry, these genealogy tips may get you started.

Learning about your ancestry may change your life. You might be inspired to become a better person, understand some of your skills and abilities, or simply end up with more questions, but more than likely you’ll realize how important your place is in the history of the world.

Our first genealogy tips help you understand the difference between Genealogy and Family History.

It’s a two-step process.

First, is Genealogy, which is gathering names and dates to build the branches of your family tree. Start with yourself, then your parents, their parents and so on, noting all offspring of each generation. Use both documentation (eg. birth, death records) and word of mouth (asking grandma) to help you to develop your family tree.

Next, is Family History where you fill in the details of each person*s life. Collect personal stories (eg. where they went to school, got married, what work they did). It’ll take some research but that’s the fun part.

You can find help online to develop this new hobby or look for people or groups in your own community who can offer help.

2 More Genealogy Tips to help you discover your family history

1. Travel The World: Visiting Your Homeland

For some, honoring their family roots and history means singing one more round of Danny Boy on St. Patrick’s Day and cooking special recipes for the family. But there’s another way to get in touch with your ancestral lands and that’s through travel. More tourists are making family heritage an important part of their travels.

Many travel companies specialize in family-heritage tours to specific countries or continents, but most good travel agents can help arrange a trip to the ancestral homeland. Once you’ve done a lot of research on your family tree, you may experience a real sense of pull to see some of the places where your family roots began.

2. Travel The Web: Research by surfing the internet The Internet abounds with information about family history, heritage and genealogy.

• Perhaps the best place for a would be genealogist to start is, the Web site maintained by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The site receives more than 14 million hits a day. The nonprofit library is sponsored by the LDS (Mormon) Church. It's free and open to the public.

The library’s collection includes more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed records and 310,000 books. More than 200 computer terminals are available, and many research assistants are on hand to help.

The library is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Salt Lake City. Almost 1 million individuals and more than 300 genealogical organizations and groups visit the library each year to do research.

For more information on the library, call 801-240-2584.

Some smaller cities have Family History Research libraries that may be available to the public also with volunteers that can help you understand the resources that are available to you.

• Another good resource is Family Tree magazine. If traveling is on your mind, look for articles on varied topics, such as, planning a trip to the ancestral homeland and becoming a savvy genealogical traveler.

They offer Research Toolkits and even one for The Weekend Genealogist.


Best Pennywise Yips: Don’t get too distracted or spend too much money until you have a firm basic knowledge of how to do genealogy research. Then you'll know and understand if there is anything you need (or want) to spend money on and just what it is you need.

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