The guide to researching your family history.

Catherine Meades BSc DipGen QG
Visit: Cameo Family History

Most people are curious about their family’s story and TV programmes make researching family history look easy – type in a name and the answer is there, go to an archive and the archivist brings you the key documents with the page featuring your family marked. In practice, it’s not that simple. Ancestors go missing all the time, creating “brick walls” on the road back in time.

The aim of this series is to lead you through the process of discovering your family’s story in simple steps, with some tips and tricks to help you through, round or over those brick walls.

Part 1 – Getting Started

  • Write down everything you know – or think you know – about your relatives.
    a. Dates – even approximate dates can help
    b. Relationships
    c. Locations
    d. Occupations

  • Identify known facts about your family and also record hearsay which may or may not be true. Make it clear which is which!

  • Collect together any birth, marriage and death certificates and other family documents.

  • Draw a simple family tree using the information you have gathered.
    a. See the Cameo Family History Facebook page for guidance on drawing family trees.
  • Talk to your relatives and family friends about what you have gathered – they may be able to add to the information or correct some of the details.

Next month: vital records: birth, marriage and death certificates.

Tel: 07855 556 384

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