How to trace my family tree for free

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. Explore the Internet for information and leads on your ancestors. Good places to start include pedigree databases, message boards, and resources specific to your ancestor's location.

Not sure where to start first? Then follow the research plan in 10 steps for finding your family tree online.

How does it all work?

Just don't expect to find your entire family tree in one place! The Family History Library Catalog , the FamilySearch Wiki , and other online finding aids can be helpful in determining what records might be available for a particular locality. If you can't get to one in person, the library has digitized millions of its records and made them available online for free through its free FamilySearch website.


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As you learn new information about your relatives, write it down! Take notes, make photocopies, and take photographs, and then create a system either paper or digital for saving and documenting everything you find.

Ancestry online search help

Keep a research log of what you've searched and what you have found or not found as you go. You can conduct a great deal of research remotely, but at some point, you will want to visit the place where your ancestors lived. Take a trip to the cemetery where your ancestor is buried, the church he attended, and the local courthouse to explore records left behind during his time in the community.

Consider a visit to the state archives as well, as they are likely to also hold historical records from the community.

When you have researched that particular ancestor as far as you can go, or find yourself getting frustrated, step back and take a break. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

Genealogy and Family History

Once you're ready for more adventure, go back to Step 4 and choose a new ancestor to start searching for! Share Flipboard Email. Updated August 06, Continue Reading. We'll get to know your story, assess how much time the project will take, and explain what results you can expect. We're in this together. We know that the best way to help our clients reach their goals is to work as partners. We'll get started by reviewing the research you've done.

Then, we'll share our findings along the way so you can ask questions, evaluate your goals, and see the progress we've made. I want to applaud your AncestryGenealogy team and the services you provide.


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    It was really important to have all that information collected, organized, and presented to me so beautifully. Thank you so much!

    This has truly been an amazing journey for me. I've been on the phone almost every day with my sister and both of my cousins. Carol and I are traveling to Tennessee to see my cousins and their families and friends.

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    I can't thank you all enough! Gabriele himself was a pleasure to spend time with and I was impressed by the work he did preparing for our tour. We will now always know who our ancestors are and where they lived. I very much appreciate all of your outstanding research and communication. It is such a feeling of satisfaction and peace to know who my ancestors are and their places of origin.

    Thank you from the bottom of my family tree! Your entire team made the process very enjoyable. Your patience, cheerfulness, and professionalism helped create a beautiful legacy for me and my family. The extent of their research shows why professionals are needed when lay persons reach the end of readily available resources or miss what is or should be obvious.

    We have reviewed the summary, journal and supporting documentation and I wanted to write to you to express how very happy we are with the end product that the team has produced for us.