8 Tips To Help Find Your Family Tree

8 Tips To Help Find Your Family Tree

There is an anonymous quote – “Family: like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one”
We can always argue that family is not about blood or last names, and love and affection matter the most. However, it does matter - Surely, sometimes in life, you have wondered who your ancestors are and what are your roots? This thought comes to life especially when you are surfing through an old family album, or during family gatherings, or simply over an evening tea. This fortifies the need to trace your family tree. 

In India, the family ancestries are more important as we have numerous family values and ancestral rituals & traditions to follow, ancestral gods to worship, ancestral vocations to learn, etc. However, India is a highly populous country, and searching your family tree can become a tad bit difficult. But, don’t you worry, today there are various professional genealogists who you can hire to help you with the process. Or maybe you wish to personally go through the process – finding interesting facts, hearing interesting stories, and linking them to your ancestors. But the question is, how do you go about it? Well, we at Apni Family Tree, are here to help. As genealogy service experts, based on our experience, we have for you a few tips that you can follow for finding your family tree.

8 Tips to Help Find Your Family Tree:

  1. Expectations Vs. Reality: When you think of finding your Family tree, chances are that you have some very unrealistic expectations of tracing a family line leading some famous ancestors (You can blame Hollywood/Bollywood TV shows for creating such expectations). In reality, most of us are ordinary people with ordinary family stories. Thus, what you should expect is the happiness of finding your ancestors and their life experiences which you can relate to.

  2. Begin from home: We tend to miss the facts that are right under our nose. Don’t do that, and begin right from your home. The attic of your ancestral home is the first place to search for. This is where you’ll most probably find memorabilia such as old photo albums, letters, postcards, report cards, certifications, diaries, memoirs, etc. These can be good leads.

  3. Get to relatives’ homes: Once you are done with searching your home, move ahead with searching your relatives’ homes. Of course, you need to take their explicit permission for doing so. Search their attic for old family photos, letters, etc. Chances are that your relatives may have some memorabilia relating to your ancestors. The best option would be to involve them during the search and respect their privacy during your search.

  4. Have conversations with elders: The human brain can store memories equivalent to million gigabytes of digital memory. There are chances of your elder relatives having some relevant stories and memories that can help you fill in along with the information you have gathered till now. As an ice breaker, you can begin by mentioning some of the information you found in your home search. You can even ask about someone within an old photo you found. If they are unwilling to partake in any specific memory or information, do not force them. 

  5. Get on the Internet: The Internet today has various genealogy sites, genealogy libraries, genealogy service providers, etc. that can help you in your search for the family tree. They have collections of billions of records, tracing back to hundreds of years, and from countries all over the world. They are also able to provide databases upon immigration & emigration records, passenger lists, border crossing records, passports & citizenship records, etc. Make sure to make use of all these resources.

  6. Be organized: When you are searching for information right and left, you’ll find it in abundance. As you get more and more information, things will get messier. So, make sure that you save all the information and properly organize it. Several online databases enable the organization of data creation of perfect family trees. Some of them even come with Family Tree App for mobiles that accompany the online databases. Make use of such apps for easy access and use to be organized.

  7. Go for the DNA: Sometimes papers are not enough to get the whole picture so that you can take the help of DNA testing services. These services come with a database of tested people. Just make sure that the services you choose are well-performing and provide a large database. Also, be aware of the recuperation of such a step, or else you might end up opening a closet full of skeletons and end up offending someone.

  8. Know when to stop: It is completely up to you how far back do you wish to find your family tree. You can simply stop at your great-grandfather or go generations back than that. The deeper you go, the more obstacles you will be facing. Know when to keep going and when to stop.

So, friends, these were our tips to help you out in your process of finding your family tree. Remember that this process is time-consuming. So, be patient, and get exploring.