Getting to Know Your Ancestors Is Easier Than You Think – Here’s How

Over the years, tracking down your ancestry has been made easier through the advancements in technology. Different people have different reasons why they need to know their origin. Some of these reasons may be personal, like getting a communal inheritance, while other reasons may be quite specific, like preserving a loved one’s memory. 

Some people may be interested in stories on why your ancestors left different shores. Others want to have ties to your ancestors’ lands and learn more about them. Whatever the case, the process of getting to know your ancestors is easier than you think and can uncover so much about your family’s past. If you want to know your ancestry better, below are some of the simple steps you should take.


Talk To Your Family

In cases where you have to get to know your ancestry, many people tend to rush for the DNA tests. It is a good move, but before that, you should reach out to your relatives. Sitting down with your living relatives, having a conversation, and picking their brain might save you the trouble. 

Ask them about family stories, who their parents and grandparents are, and where they were born. It is the first line to a clear view of the path you need to follow, knowing your ancestry. Your relative might not be there tomorrow, so you must capture all the essential details while you can. Not talking to your family is one of the biggest mistakes many have made.


Create a Family Tree

Having gathered enough facts that include names and dates, now is the best time to know more about these people by focusing on research made by others a while ago. You can look through thousands of family trees on different online sites, including in more of the top 10 databases. However, professionals at say that many of these online family trees are not entirely authentic. This is the primary reason why you should validate and verify the information you collected before adding it to your family tree.


DNA Testing

DNA testing is another step to take after getting enough information from your relatives. Having a DNA test can guide you to more in-depth into your search than merely following a paper trail. Unlike the genealogy test, in this case, you can discover the migration paths of your ancestors. It is easier to know more about their ancestral roots based on the ways they followed. 

As you consider a DNA test, find one with a more extensive database for people tested, specifically for ancestry research. As much as DNA results play a vital role in your research, you should consider it seriously. Tests can help you know your family’s maternal and paternal secrets hidden by your ancestors and family members.


Gather Documents

After talking to your family or going for the DNA test, you might have a rough idea of who some of your ancestors might be. In this case, you will have to collect enough documents to help you prove their existence. Many people make a mistake in getting to know their ancestors by skipping this important step. This is the reason why it is vital to eliminate errors earlier as you establish facts to avoid much wastage of time.

You will need necessary documents such as birth records, marriage, and death records. In some cases, you will have to include electoral and passenger records. In addition to that, family chats play a vital role in the documentation process. Take a keen interest in shreds of evidence around your family home, like old bibles, certificates, letters, and old photos, often placed in boxes, that your relatives don’t know how important they might be to you. Such documents might provide you with information that has not been through the documentation process before.

Record What You Know

Ask yourself, ‘what do I know about the person or family group?’ Depending on how persistent you are, this step can take from hours to weeks. Each information comes in handy, and this makes it a vital habit to note down everything you have looked for and found. There is different software that can help you in keeping your records and progress in an organized manner. This software enables you to create sheets to help you know your progress.

Knowing more about your ancestors is a fantastic time-consuming hobby. The knowledge in it, the thrill of discovering results, sharing the outcome, and stories are part of the fun. However, some days are likely to be more successful than others. You will go through and peaks and valleys while putting all the family puzzle pieces together.


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