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How To Start A Genealogy Search

By: Catherine Olivia

When you start looking for your ancestors you could start your search online. You'll be surprised by the amount of information available to you there.

A good start is to do a search of obituaries and death records. There is a National Obituary Archive you can search through. There is a lot of information in an obituary that can help you in your search, the names of spouses and children for one, along with a reliable date of death. If you didn't know your ancestors home town you can find it in the obituary.

If you live in the area where your ancestors did you may be able to take a trip to the cemetery. Tombstones are a very good source of information for birth and death dates and an easy way to fill in your blanks.

Some families keep family bibles which list important dates such as marriages, births and deaths.

Another valuable source for information for your family tree may be found in the local historical society. They will have copies of old newspapers and important town papers that may yield information for you.

There are many different sites online offering information on various types of genealogy searches. Some of these sites offer information on specific groups such as East European Family History Societies, New England Historic Genealogic Society, American-Canadian Genealogical Society, Italian Heritage and Genealogy Home Page. You can search U.S. and U.K. Census records and passenger and immigration lists.

Get all your family members involved in your search, it will add to the fun of the search and you never know what information a second cousin may have. If you have older family members you can talk to take advantage of them. They may be a wonderful source of information and family stories.

Perhaps you'll want to arrange a family reunion of sorts so that your family can get together and exchange family stories and information. Make sure that you write all these stories down. If you have any old family photos make sure those family members that can identify the people in the pictures do. Write down their names and the approximate date of the picture on the back.