How To Trace Your Family Tree: Home is the starting point for any “travel home.” Finding out more about your ancestors—who they were, where they came from, what happened to them, and why—begins with family discussions, followed by rummaging through old photos and documents in the attic or basement, visiting the local library or archives to look for vital records, and finally searching genealogy websites.
The reward for all of your investigative work is nothing less than the opportunity to go back in time through your family history. You will have a more deep and profound relationship with your ancestors as a result of this experience.
One of life’s few “universally moving events,” according to genealogy researcher Megan Smolenyak, who was the investigator who discovered Barack Obama’s Irish lineage. Here are eight steps to help you get started on your own journey back to where you belong.
Generative knowledge and generation are two Greek words that come together to form the term Genealogy. The study of families, as well as the tracking of their lineages and histories, is at the heart of genealogy.
You will take a different approach to genealogy depending on your individual interests. Consider the possibility of discovering if you are related to a renowned person or learning the truth about a family legend. There are many possibilities.
For example, Mary, who has been researching her family history, has discovered that there is something special about visiting the site where your ancestors once lived and that it is worth traveling to.
‘I can envision the scene and walk across the same land that they did,’ she explained. ‘Seeing a place through the eyes of your ancestors creates a powerful sense of connection with the past.’
When it comes to Irish genealogy, what you unearth is determined by the quality of surviving documents for your area of origin, the point at which you begin your search, and the most crucial factor of all: chance.
For the descendants of Catholic tenant farmers, the commencement date of the local Catholic parish records is often considered to be the end of the lineage. It would be unusual for records of such a family to date back much further than the 1780s, and for most people, the early 1800s is the more likely time frame for tracing them back.
Genealogy was extremely important in Gaelic society, but the collapse of that culture in the 17th century, followed by its subsequent destitution and persecution in the 18th century, left a chasm that is practically impossible to bridge.