How to Research About Your Ancestry

When I started my ancestry investigation back in 2003 I had no idea that I was going to be able to find so much information about my family. From siblings that died months after birth and no one knew about, to marriage statuses and other events.Places like ancestry.com give you great information.

If you enjoy playing detective this is a good way to keep yourself entertained. Be ready to embark on a fascinating journey that will have your family amazed!

It is important that pay close attention to details and you consider hypothesis like in any research project but also follow your instincts as they will lead you to find your ancestors. Small clues can lead you to find specific information.

Interview relatives and ask them for old pictures, scan them or take pictures of them and make sure that you gather as much as you can from relatives. Be sure to ask very specific questions such as: Where do we come from? What did your parents tell you about their parents? Do you know about any other relatives? Compile as many surnames as you can and then search the origins of each one. Be sure to write down everything you find and record the links, copy pictures, etc. For example, in my case I learned that eight of my surnames could possibly have Sephardic Jewish roots but none of the ancestral pictures showed any signs of them having Jewish traditions or objects. However, it was not until I visited a holocaust museum that I learned that the Jews made a bread called buhuelos, in my family, that bread is known as bunuelos. Look for clues in pictures, objects, jewelry, etc. I was able to trace my gypsy roots due to a gold coin necklace that my aunt was wearing in a picture dated back in the 1940’s. The coin necklace got my attention and it was then when I searched the name specifically with gypsy key words. That explains my long eye lashes and long black curly hair. Do not forget to be consistent with your work and record facts and also hypothesis, you may be able to prove them later on, but the important part is that you do not give up, continue to search for different options.
Look for alternative spellings of all the surnames you are investigating. When I was searching for my French line, I was about to give up thinking that their records must have been burned in the revolution of 1910 when the local church was set on fire, but then I decided to use alternative spellings and found them but I knew that their first names were Antonio and Rosario and found out that both their last names were spelled wrong. Search for pictures of other people with the same surnames; you’ll be surprise to see how much they resemble your own family. I remember a couple of years ago finding an album of three sisters from the 1910’s and thinking they looked just like my great grandmother, except for the fact that they were from Spain, the area where her father came from. Try to contact people who live in the towns where your family came from and ask them questions. Some good questions would be: where to look for local history, surname information, historical events etc. Test your blood type if you don’t know it and check with your relative, those can be helpful as well. One of my surnames is listed as a Basque surname and I also happen to be O negative which put me right back to that country. the Basque people have almost twice the number of RH negatives compared to the rest of the world. I also remember my great grandmother telling me that her family on her father side was French first.

As you can see there are very important things to consider when researching genealogy, but mainly pay close attention to everything is said, pictures owned and alternative spellings. Do not give up, you will get a sense of accomplishment with every clue you unlock.


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