Trace your family history on the

Begin your family tree by gathering together everything you have — papers, photos, documents and family heirlooms. Rummage through your attic or basement, the filing cabinet, the back of the closet Then check with your relatives to see if they have any family documents they are willing to share. Clues to your family history might be found on the backs of old photographs , in the family bible, or even on a postcard.

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If your relative is uneasy with lending an original, offer to have copies made, or take pictures or scans of the photos or documents. While you're collecting family records, set aside some time to interview your relatives. Start with Mom and Dad and then move on from there.

Try to collect stories, not just names and dates, and be sure to ask open-ended questions. Try these questions to get you started. Interviews may make you nervous, but this is probably the most important step in researching your family history. It may sound cliche, but don't put it off until it's too late!

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Ask your family members if there is a genealogy book or other published records within the family. This could give you a wonderful head start! Write down everything you have learned from your family and begin to enter the information in a pedigree or family tree chart.

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If you're unfamiliar with these traditional family tree forms, you can find step by step instructions in filling out genealogical forms. These charts provide an at-a-glance overview of your family, making it easy to track your research progress. You can't research your entire family tree at once, so where do you want to begin? Your mom's side or your dad's?

Select a single surname , individual, or family with which to begin and create a simple research plan. Focusing your family history search helps keep your research on track, and reduces the chance of missing important details due to sensory overload.

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Explore the Internet for information and leads on your ancestors. Documents, photos, recordings and other materials grouped by ethnicity. State archives contain materials including:.

The Nationwide Gravesite Locator can help you find burial locations of veterans. Search it to find family members who entered the United States through the famous port.

Tracing your family tree | State Library Of Queensland

They can help you refine your research skills and find new sources. Every 10 years, it conducts the Population and Housing Census, in which every resident in the United States is counted. The agency also gathers data through more than other surveys of households and businesses every one to five years. You can explore the results of the surveys or find popular quick facts. Ask us any question about the U. We'll get you the answer or tell you where to find it.