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Tracing your ancestors

Finding out where you come from is a basic, human desire. But it can be a real challenge to preserve the past for the future, as older relatives slip away, information is lost, and long-held secrets create an inpenetrable wall of silence. 


Fortunately, for the genealogists of today, it's probably never been easier to find out more about your ancestors. Websites and online records mean there's no more rolling microfiche, or hours spent in the library. But you do still need to put the work in, as there's no easy fix. Here are some tips on how to get started: 


  • Talk to your relatives, and find out as many facts and stories as you can. 

  • Gather all the facts in one place. 

  • Start to make lists, recording everything, and remember that information does not always arrive chronologically. 

  • In particular, try to record births, deaths and marriages, as these help to provide definite locations for individuals through their lives. 

  • Consider tracking down and contacting more distant relatives to ask if they have any information not known to immediate family. 

  • Once you have sufficient information, use a genealogy site to add to your knowledge. 

  • Now begin to chart out your own family tree.  This can take time, so be patient! 

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