Searching Your Family History



genealogy

Image by Paul Townsend

As many will know it has become much easier to peace together your family history through accessing records made available by numerous genealogy websites.

It's unlikely you will find all the answers that easily but with some persistence and means you should be able to gather enough information to build a good family tree and learn about the origins and lives of your relatives.

With the internet you can use a number of tools and databases to help find key facts and dates. Most people make the internet their first stop in mining for information about their ancestors.

As yet, there is no single database that will have all the information to hand so you'll need to conduct some extra searches to get a fuller picture. There is a wide range of resources available for free and for a fee. You can access the many tools and resources available from your local library and town hall. It's difficult to know where your search will take you but there are many records held within the UK nations and Republic of Ireland that can help you in your search.

It's usually a good idea to catch up with relatives were possible and reconnect with those you haven't met in some time. Families drift apart for all sorts or reasons and there may be relatives you are even unaware of.

Relatives are usually only too happy to share information about parents and grandparents, aunties and uncles and the memories they recall can be invaluable.

The full UK Census began in 1801 and has taken place every ten years since with the exception of 1941 and 1921 in Ireland. The census records for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man were also taken in parallel and recorded with those in England. The early census was simply a headcount with little personal information and it wasn’t until 1841 that the names of the household were collected.

From 1841 you can expect to find the full name, age, relationship to head of household, employment status, medical disabilities and parish and county of birth. The census records are closed to the public until after 100 years. You can find more information for free regarding the 1911 census from The National Archives.

You will also want to find records of births, marriages and deaths from the General Register Office. Visit the www.gov.uk to find out which office you should contact.

Based on what you’ve gathered, you can then hone in on other specific resources based on your ancestors’ activities and occupations such as, schools, church and military service records. You might discover a surprise cache of information.

Working back through the years, you can start tracing your family roots and add a few generations to your family history records. Researching your family history should be an enjoyable journey that can reconnect you to past relatives and reveal many things about you and your families origins.


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