Family Tree Making Guide
Step #2. Research Your Family History
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How to Make A Family Tree Guide

family tree researchA variety of helpful resources exist for you to research your family tree information for free in person at places like libraries or online with free web searches. Sometimes you are given 14 day free trial offers on paid research websites, so planning out what you are looking for first will help save you time and money. For example, start searching online for genealogy clues, such as as names and birth dates. Visit graveyards and libraries and build your personal family tree database. Use your research time wisely to get the most out of the time and money your spend.
Home      Plan      Research      Organize      Publish     

How To Begin Family Tree Research
Some basic steps to begin researching your family history:
1.Keep it simple - Don't jump in and get complicated. Simply, jot down your parents, siblings, aunt, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Then add the genealogical information you know about them. This will give you a base to fill in the pieces. You always want to trace backward.
2.Create an index card for each family member - Fill out a card for each family member with the vital information you have for them. You can read more about this process in the Organization step.
3.Make a plan for how you will fill in the blanks - This body of work would offer narratives, photographs, recipes, etc related to each person in the family tree. We suggest forming a timeline of when different notable family events occurred.

Offline Family Tree Research Resources
Plenty of offline searching resources exist when doing family tree research. Here are some types of genealogical sources we suggest :
1.Graveyards and Churches - Make use of cemetery genealogy research because you can find actual dates on tombstones and other family members that you may not have known about because families usually burry each other together in family designated plot areas or tombs. Churches keep records of baptisms and marriages usually in off-line filing systems. Most of your searching will probably be done on people who have pasted on before computer archives were even started.
2.Local libraries - Once you discover cities and companies that your ancestors have been connected with you can visit the local libraries to read stories in local papers about these people. Papers are great for storing obituary notices that uncover more limbs to your trees.
3.Visit and talk to your relatives - You cannot match the long-time family tree practice of researching through word fo mouth. Putting stories to faces will help give your family tree more depth. Your elders even will have old albums to help remember their relatives and stories.
4.Family reunions - These events help you put a lot of memories together in one space. Be sure to take photos of groups of siblings together to add to your family tree findings.
5.Public records - Local governments store many documents that will answer your questions, such as tax records, marriage certificates and birth certificates.
6.Census records - The government holds a census each decade as a grass roots style way of determine its constituants for a given area. These records hold vital information that meets your research needs.
7.Geographical Maps - Researching old genealogy maps to find the towns your ancestors lived in helps to understand how their lives were. You may want to incorporate maps in your published findings to show others how things have changed from places that were once populated with small family farms, but are now thriving towns for commerce and modern entertainment centers.
7.Old Family Photos - Look through grandmas box of old family photos and use photo genealogy tips and tools to analyze the photos for tips on birth dates names and how they interacted and lived. It is true that a picture says a 1000 words of family tree research.

How To Search For People Online For Free
Searching online saves time. As time passes, more and more information will be available online. For now this will get you started finding facts that will help you when using online genealogy researching resources. Beware when a site offers free people searches because they may require you to subscribe to services on other websites as payment for your completing a search. Many completely free resources exist that you can find on our Free Family Tree Resources Page.

Free People Search: Google and Yahoo are the most extensive people search engines available for free to everyone. Normally, people only think to use search engines for locating websites, but search engines also find specific names and addresses available as content on websites. Locating persons through their names, addresses or any other small amount of information may lead you directly to them.
Here are some search examples :
  • George Jones
  • 125 Sunset Blvd
  • "Marilyn Munroe" 125 Sunset Blvd California

  • Google

    The above examples are very basic, but will give you search results. Try different variations of names, addresses and phone numbers to find websites and other online sources that contain the information you desire.




    Use this free genealogy research tool to tap into largest database of genealogy records found on the internet. This initial search may uncover census data, marriage records, and birth or death dates for free. You will have to pay for their trial service to check out more information. However, these searches will help you find names and dates to expand your research files on your family members. is a great free resource for searching for school records of millions of people who register with them all across the United States. As with most online research services, allows you to find some information for free, but require a membership fee to view everything they offer. Just sign up and create your own profile for free to connect with other classmates who may be looking to find you.

    Paying For Online Genealogy Research
    After exploring the many free online genealogy resources available, you may want to try a paid service to expand your family tree research. Most subscription sites offer a free trial or a very low priced trial period for you to try them out. If you can plan ahead and devote your attention to research during a designated block of time, you can save your self a lot of money and in turn gather a lot of valuable information.

    The following family tree research sites offer a paid subscription services :
    1.Intelius - Access to a huge database at a low, one-time access time price.
    2.Discover New Ancestors on OneGreatFamily - This site has a great researching database and other valuable genealogy resources you will enjoy.
    3.Origins Network - Trace Ancestors from Ireland, Britain and Scotland.
    4.Use genetic genealogy to find your DNA ancestry.

    Where to Find Special Dates In People's Lives
    Dates are a very important piece to the genealogical puzzle. Here are some tips for finding special dates :
    1.Birth Date - Birth dates are usually reported in tax records, voting records, school or college records, marriage certificates, and birth certificates of children.
    2.Death Date - Death dates are usually recorded on tombstones, cementary records, in a family bibles, and obituaries. To determine a date range, search for the last appearance of this person on county tax rolls, the last evidence of business conducted and the last appearance in telephone directories.
    3.Marriage Date - Marriage dates are recorded in official county or town marriage records, a family bible, newspaper notices, and notices in obituaries. In order to determine a date range, find when the first born child was born to the couple.

    More Family Tree Research Tips
    Here are some extra family tree research tips :
    1.Finding dates - Usually two dates are noted for each event - date the actual event occurred and the date the event was recorded. Sometimes there will be a few years difference between the postings because the record keeper may not be quick to enter the event.
    2.Tax records - Tax records can be used to determine relationships, birth order of sons, the year of death or moving, occupations as determined by a licensing fee, and the changes in a persons networth. Tax rolls indicate when a female marries because of the apparant name changes.
    3.Family Clusters - Families evolve in clusters. When you find one family member, you may find others. Some families my interrelate because of the common practice of marrying second and third cousins due to close proximities of families.

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