I’ve been researching my family history since 1998. I was 25 years old and my dad had died only months before. He and I never really talked about his side of the family and looking back now, I don’t know why. His father died five years before I was born and my grandmother died when I was five or six. She had left me her bible and that had some information in it on her side. But, as she was from Tennessee, and I was still learning how to use the internet, I couldn’t figure how to go about finding where in TN her part of my family was. My assumption? I was the last of the line on his side of the family.
It took me almost two years after my dad died, but, I finally got on ancestry.com. I put what information I had in the system and did my best on dial up internet to find out where I came from. Shortly after my daughter was born in 2000, I received an email and I almost deleted it because at that point I hadn’t found anything and had given up looking on his side. I was still searching my moms family. Thankfully I opened it! It was from a cousin out west in California. Apparently that’s where my dads father was from. Who knew??? I sure as heck didn’t! That opened up the door for me and I was able to find out where my ancestors came from. I found cousins on both coasts and couldn’t have been more thrilled!
I love finding that needle in the haystack and yes, I will cheer when I find that elusive ancestor! I am kind of stuck on finding information on my ancestors in Chile, but, I WILL prevail! I was able to go back to 1847 on that branch of my tree. For my family in Denmark, I was able to go back to the early 1600’s! I have continued researching my daughters father side, so she will have information on that side of her family as well. It can get a bit pricey though. Getting copies of records just to have for your binder.
Here are some tips if you are researching your family tree:
1 – Get yourself a three inch binder. Trust me. Your ancestors most likely had a TON of kids. You want to have room to put important documents that you may have obtained.
2 – Tab Dividers. You will want these to separate your families. Your parents, their parents, so on and so forth.
3 – Sheet protectors. This goes without saying. You don’t want to punch holes in the documents that you paid for, only to take the chance of them ripping.
4 – Charts. You can go to Ancestry.com and they have a great page for charts to keep your information organized.
You will need to be organized and ready for anything. I’ve come across things that I’ve ended up hitting a brick way. It’s now about digging the cement away from those bricks to peek into your past. One example? My great grandmother was adopted. But, that was before 1900. Back then, did they really have the same adoption process? No. Most likely her parents died and an aunt took her in and called it adopted. Wish me luck!
Have you started researching your family tree? Come across anything interesting? I’d love to hear your stories! If you haven’t and you’d like to start, I offer services for genealogy research. Make sure to stop over and see. I’ve helped others find family branches they thought were missing forever :).