Genealogy Hacks: How to Finally Root Your Family Tree

Genealogy Hacks
Genealogy Hacks

Our lineage is one of our unique identifiers. Genealogists have the benefit of leading their families through an understanding of the people in that lineage. Building a research plan and publishing a family tree provides a perspective on one’s origination. Sharing this knowledge with relatives is advantageous for building medical histories and as a healing tool in grief therapy. Listed below are a few technology hacks to organize and present the records you will discover in your family history.

Share Your Memories

The first step in your journey will be transcribing your family’s oral history to create a rough timeline of the events you all agree on. These recollections are the facts that will serve as keywords for our genealogical research. You may glean from a great-aunt that your matriarch was born in South Carolina and not North Carolina like the rest of the family. Someone may recall that you had a cousin who was institutionalized. Websites like FamilySearch.org allow you to build a family tree with whatever information you have and you can build on it as you learn more. Invest in multiple scanners de bureau for duplicating and storing birth certificates, marriage licenses, or photographs which can be uploaded to the virtual tree by anyone with an account.

Share Your DNA

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, the hidden clues behind our unique DNA are providing us with more opportunities than ever. Not only can we use DNA to determine pre-markers for diseases like breast cancer or leukemia, but also for determining the regions of our ancestry. It is suggested that to find the most accurate location, one should submit DNA from the eldest surviving male of the family. However, anyone who is available and willing can provide a legitimate sample. Ancestry.com can even connect you with relatives you didn’t know existed based on your shared DNA. You can then add them to your family tree and leverage their research to learn even more about yourself.

Share Your Sources

Recorded local and national histories abound with information about the time periods in which our ancestors lived. Digital libraries like newspapers.com or hybrid ones like the National Archives of the Library of Congress are open and available for public access. These treasures can help us in comprehending the circumstances around which our families lived. For instance, ancestors living in West Virginia coal-mining country would have experienced several themes relevant to today’s experience including working-class life, healing from medical conditions, and mental health coping skills. Use the dates you’ve compiled and coordinated to discover the headlines in the local paper that coincide with familial birth dates and other life events.

Share Your Services

Once you’ve started the deep dive into your family’s past, you will become a detective of sorts, aware of the limitations and benefits of hunting down certain facts. You’re aware of the storied past of your surname and the archival locations where they can be found. As a result, you have the unique opportunity of being a help for others in their search. You may volunteer to become a docent at a research facility. Better still, you may be able to create a business producing family trees for others. Not everyone has the time or skill to be able to complete such a task. Furthermore, if you find this to be a fun gig, you may not feel like you’re working at all. Combine this with the knowledge that you are your ancestor’s wildest dreams and the entire experience becomes a labor of self-love and development.

Chronicling family history is an endeavor that we, in modern times, should recognize as a simple and worthwhile feat. With the unquantifiable amount of information on the web, the function of genealogy is made even easier to understand and accomplish. Identifying your roots can help you to navigate your and your family’s futures.

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