Have you ever wondered where your great-grandparents came from? Or exactly how Aunt Muriel fits into the picture? Maybe it’s time to put together a family tree...
The best platform
Once a family tree has been put together, it can consist of a few pages or even up to hundreds, depending on how much of your family members’ names you can track down. It is therefore a better idea to make use of a computer programme to compile your family tree. In this way you will be sure to have all your information together and have it organised.
Start at home
Firstly, find out if someone else in your family has put together a family tree. It will be much better to start your search from there. The next thing to do is to get together all the information you have about your family.
This includes photographs, papers, heirlooms, documentation and the family Bible. Write down what you know about these photos and documentation so that you will not forget it when compiling your family tree.
Move further afield
It is possible that your family members have information and documentation about the family that you do not have. This is why it’s important to get started on your family tree, if possible, while your parents and grandparents are still alive to tell you their stories.
Ask all family members whether they have information that will assist you in the project. If they do have photographs or documents they wish to keep, offer to make copies of it. Gather as much information as possible.
Do some interviews
The people who will be able to assist you the most in your search for information, are the oldest family members. It is important to speak to them as soon as possible. If they have information that is not documented anywhere, the information might never make it to your tree if they pass on. Speak to your grandparents to find out as much as they know about the family.
But don’t just write down the names they remember. Take the whole day to listen to the stories they have. It might make for some entertaining pieces of information that you can add to the family tree. Conduct interviews with as many of the family as you can.
Search on the internet for some information regarding your family history. You can start on sites such as Facebook to search for those whose names you know. It is possible that you are not in contact with them but the great technology of Facebook makes it possible to start talking to them again.
The next place to search is obituary search engines and death indexes. As grim as it might sound, it is the best place to find information regarding deceased family members.
Start out simple
The easiest way to start putting together your family tree, is to work backwards. Start with writing down the names of your close relatives and work your way up from there. For now, write only the basic information down, such as their full names, date and place of birth, date and place of marriage and date and place of death. You can later add interesting facts and stories about them, as well as photos, to liven up the tree.
The really important thing about putting together your family tree, is to start gathering information as soon as possible. Remember that it should be a fun and interesting experience. Conducting interviews can also make for some quality family time!