Q:

How do you discover where you came from?

A:

Quick Answer

To find your ancestral origins, gather as much information as you can find about your family and heritage, such as birth and death documents and old photos. Being prepared is the key element to making the search successful.

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Full Answer

  1. Gather as much information as possible

    Collect and organize as much information as you can about your family. Old photos, letters, official documents such as birth certificates, death records and immigration papers can all contain valuable information that will help you on your quest to find your origins.

  2. Organize your information

    Getting the information organized is the next step toward finding your roots. Old photos may be labeled with surnames that may prove useful in connecting the dots that make up your family tree, so place any documents with useful information together.

  3. Write down pertinent details

    Write down any information you come across during your information organization. Names of family members, dates of birth and death, dates of immigration, and dates of marriage are all important pieces of information that can help you connect to your family's past.

  4. Search online using the information you have

    Conduct an online search at a free genealogy websites. Try searching for each of the names you have written down, narrowing your search with dates of birth, death, marriage or immigration. Many genealogy-centered websites also offer forums where people who share common ancestors can meet distant cousins and other relatives.

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