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Discovering Your Family History

Aug 18, 2007
Researching family history is something that many people dabble in because they want to know more about where they come from and perhaps even try to see where their family line might end up in the future. An interesting thought of some is that it can divulge much information about our personalities. Some are simply curious.

Many people begin genealogy research following a major event in their lives. A birth or death in the family, marriage, or other major turning point can spawn an interest in genealogical research.

Other people begin a family history simply out of curiosity or interest. Often a genealogy project begins as a way to fill time over a summer and becomes a lifelong hobby.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to research your family history, there are some standard methods that are generally used. First, you will want to interview your family members, particularly the older generations.

They can give you information about their parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. You will also want to determine whether any sort of written history already exists, perhaps in a family Bible.

Once you have gotten all of the information that you can, you will be ready to move on to records searches. The Social Security Death Index is a wonderful resource for anyone performing genealogical research. The SSDI allows you to search for records of people who have died in the United States.

Simply enter as much information as you know about the person and the Index will provide all matching records. You can use this resource to find someone's social security number and the state and zip code of his or her last residence, as well as exact dates of birth and death. This information can help you determine where to go next in researching your family history.

Land records can be helpful in determining the property holdings of your ancestors and help you trace your family history to specific locations or towns. Census records may also provide information, but these will not give data on direct households.

Census records are useful in providing information on dates or family members. Both types of documents may be available online, but this depends on the time and location of the period you are researching.

Many other types of records may also help you in your search. Depending on your specific research situation, you may discover military records, probate records and other documents. Each of these records that you uncover will add a bit more data to your family history.

Researching your family history is an exciting and rewarding hobby. Creating one can help you to understand yourself a bit better by understanding where you came from.

Your family history will never be truly completed, as there is always more to learn. You may find that genealogy becomes a lifelong pursuit.
About the Author
Discover more about the family history in genealogy from Mike Selvon portal where a free gift awaits you. We appreciate your feedback at our Genealogy blog.
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