How To Trace Your Family Roots In Two Simple Steps

How To Trace Your Family Roots In Two Simple Steps

Trace your family's roots and discover your family history with these two easy steps.


"There's been an explosion of interest in genealogy in the past five to 10 years, fueled mainly by the Internet," says Allison Stacy, editor of "Family Tree Magazine." "You used to have to go on site to trace family records, but now you can do so from the comfort of your own home." Read on to find out what you need to know to get started on the adventure of a lifetime.

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Step One: Consult Family

First, you want to find out whether other members of your family have begun tracing your ancestry. If you have an aunt, second cousin or other relative who's already started the research, you may have a solid start on your project already.

Step Two: Conduct Interviews

If you're starting from scratch, you'll want to interview your older relations — they have a wealth of information to help you. Find out when and where they were born, where they grew up (town, county and state), when and where they were married and the names and birth dates of their parents and children. Use a tape recorder to capture all the information.

Remember when you're doing your interviews to ask not just about data such as names and dates — you want anecdotes, too. When and how did your grandparents meet? What were Sunday afternoons like when they were young? What were their favorite family traditions? Vacation memories? Favorite pets? All these recollections help you get a sense of who these people really are, how they've lived and their most cherished life moments. Ask them to share their memories of their parents and grandparents, too.

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