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How to trace your family tree: Where to start and what to expect

They don’t call the internet the “information superhighway” for nothing: as a bottomless pit of images, videos and content, it’s possible to track down virtually anything. So why not dedicate a little of your net-surfing time to looking up your family ancestry? SheKnows shares cool tips to get your started and on the right path to finding your family tree online. You never know what you might find

geneology resourcesGetting started

With the vast amount of resources available online these days — from census data, immigration documents and birth certificates to obituaries, yearbooks and archived newspaper articles — there’s a plethora of information for you to sort through.

But with several centuries worth of documents at your fingertips, it begs the question: where should you start?

Real world research

Before you head online to begin tracing your family tree, ask your parents and grandparents if you can have a good rummage through their old boxes and cupboards.

You may stumble across documents like passports and immigration documents, or old photographs: these can provide plenty of clues about family history, particularly photos, as people used to routinely write names, dates and locations on the back.

Talking to older relatives can also help you to trace your ancestry. There aren’t too many things that older folks enjoy more than reminiscing about days gone past, so grab a pen and notebook and sit down for a cuppa with your grandparents or great aunties and uncles.

They usually have plenty of interesting stories to tell, and the details that they give you will help give you a starting point when you begin your online search. Be sure to keep notes on all of the information you gather, especially dates, places and people.

Next: using the internet to research family history

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