Tracing Your Genealogy


Tis NZS.nz articles contains a few tips on how to make your genealogy search fruitful and fascinating.

Are you looking to trace your genealogy? Here are a range of tips for helping you in your genealogy researches.

How far back can you trace your relatives? To your grandparents? To your great-grandparents? Chances are for most people their knowledge of their family line is only a couple of generations. This is why genealogy is such a fascinating field to get into. To trace our ancestry is to learn how we came to be the person we are today, why we’re living where we are, and often explains much more about us and our immediate family. It can be tricky tracing the line back, but here are some helpful hints to help you out.

Start With What You Know

The best place to begin when tracing genealogy is by gathering together all the possible information you have. Photos, travel documents, marriage and birth records and other important documents will help you strengthen the links between family members, and give you important solid leads to begin searching. Get the whole family involved and ask them to help you out with anything they might possess that could be of interest- chances are, they’ll want to know their ancestry as well!

Use The Internet

The internet is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to gathering and sharing information, and genealogy is no exception. There are chat rooms that connect people from all over the world who are interested in the subject, and they all come armed with an array of information that you might not be able to find for yourself, as well as tips on where to start looking.

Similarly, there are genealogy search websites for you to subscribe to. Some of these cost money, but others are free. It’s recommended you use a variety of sites, as they all carry different information. To maximise your searching ability, try to use sites that are based particularly around the country or ethnicity you’re searching for.

Get Everyone Involved

Researching genealogy can be a great way to reunite family members from across the globe. In New Zealand, for instance, many people will have cousins, grandparents, great aunts and uncles and other slightly distant relatives living in the UK. Looking up genealogy is a great reason to get in touch with them and renew a family bond. In terms of immediate family, it can also be a great project to collaborate on and work together to produce something interesting and enlightening.

Keep Hard Copies

We live in a digital world, but making a hard copy is a very useful tip when it comes to genealogy. First of all, it solidifies the information you’ve found, allowing you to keep track of the leads you’ve made. Secondly, it’s a much nicer way to present your information to others. By making a scrapbook or other hard copy document of your findings, you can share it with your family and keep it as a reminder of all your hard work.

Enjoy The Search

When searching, it’s a good idea to focus in on the aspects of your family history that interest you. If you’ve always wanted to find out more about a specific member, start by basing your search around them. Alternatively, if you have a proficiency for music or art or science and want to know where it came from, try using that as the focus of your research. However you go about it, make sure you’re doing it because you want to learn more, not just as a fact-checking exercise.

Genealogy can be a difficult search, but the results are well worth it. By looking at our ancestors, we are able to understand more about who we are and where we come from, and can therefore better understand our place in the world.