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Family Genealogy Search

By: Catherine Lee

Today I was out with my mother, and her brother, my 82 year old uncle. I had a wonderful time listening to them tell stories from their childhood about my grandfather. We had such fun. There were lots of laughs between us.

This was a magic moment for many reasons. The first was a brother and sister sharing memories and the second was the sharing of a story of my grandfather. It's something that I'll definitely write down and add to the family album I'm keeping.

When I started researching my family I had lots of information awaiting me. My father's side of the family never threw anything away and we even have my great-great grandfather's birth certificate from England from the 1880's. I have my great-grandmother's family bible and pictures of her second husband in his civil war uniform.

Like a lot of families my family always had boxes of papers and pictures. My grandmother on my father's side always liked sharing family pictures and luckily she had the foresight to put all the names on the backs of the family pictures. I have a picture of my grandfather taken when he was just a month or so old being held by his mother, and this is literally priceless.

When you start your genealogy search don't forget to talk to your family members, they are a wealth of information. Here are a few other tips for you to follow when you talk to family members. If you want to speak with a specific relative the best thing to do is schedule time with them beforehand. I did this with my great-aunt and we had a wonderful time together. It also gave her a chance to go through her home and father information for me which she had waiting for me when I got there.

I also took a small dictaphone machine with me, which she knew about beforehand. She didn't have a problem with it, I just set it off to the side.

I took some pictures with me that my mother had given to me. My mother wasn't sure about who was in the pictures and though that my great-aunt might know who they were. She was able to identify several of the people in the pictures for me.

I downloaded a genealogy tree off of the internet for free and started filling it out. I was amazed how much information I was able to fill out just talking to my family members.