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Family Tree Tips

Updated on June 6, 2011

Who,s who in your tree

Where to begin


I have been researching my family tree for about five years now and have some branches back to late 1600,s.  Not bad for some one who has done all of it on the internet.  I haven’t spent a fortune.  Patience is a virtue they say- well in genealogy it’s vital. I also recognize how difficult it is to start, so I put together these tips to help anyone who is interested.


1 Talk to relatives. Take notes or record your conversation any little piece of information will give you a starting point.  Not just names ask about addresses, schools any groups that relatives belonged to, and of course the war.  Some relatives love to talk about this so take a large note book.


2. Buy computer software to record what you found.  Beware not an expensive one most are to complicated.  Mine is called family history and gives you plenty of reports to play with and is straight forward to use.


3 Census returns- once you have names and addresses this is the next step.  In England and Wales they were taken every ten years.  For a small fee you can search the 1911 1901 and 1891 on line. However the 1881 census can be searched for free at Family  I know the dates for American censuses are different but they were also taken every ten years and the 1880 one is also free on this site.

How to go further back

Once you start inevitably you will hit a brick wall, especially if you are blessed with a common surname. This when patience come in .Join a family history site and see if someone else have researched a branch of your tree family. Genes reunited, Lost cousins and Tribal pages are good for this. I discovered recently that Yahoo groups have some very interesting groups in their genealogy section, linked mainly to the places your relatives would have lived.

Now hopefully you will have relatives on your tree born early 1800’s, but now your research must take a different road, as the earliest census in England was 1841. So now its time to look at Parish records. A parish is simply an area around the local church where your family lived. They record births deaths and marriages. Local record offices could be visited or you could buy data C D’s, which can be bought on-line. Just a quick reminder, don’t forget E Bay they have a section for these, and they can be cheaper.

Even after all this some relatives refuse to give up their details, so here are some more tips.

Visit their local church and look at the headstones.

Google the elusive relative’s name

Visit the National archives online-brilliant for military records.

Magazines-there are several that give away free discs

Trial subscriptions I’ve had 3 ten days free trial with one on-line site-BRILLIANT


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    • Dancilla profile image

      Priscilla 6 years ago from El Paso

      This is a good article, I really enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      cool84884 6 years ago

      lov it it is 2 cool

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks very much for the comment

    • technorican profile image

      technorican 7 years ago from Houston

      Superb! Your information and Hub layout are really great.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks for the comment. I wrote this hub for people just like you. When I began genealogy I took a long time to see results and could have given up. So this hub was writen to help, so people wouldn't give up but enjoy the hobby. Roots magic is a brilliant programme to use I'm sure you will enjoy. Good luck

    • profile image

      Family Tree 8 years ago

      These are awesome tips here. I am also working on my family tree and i am using RootsMagic software to manage my genealogy data. This program is of great help.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      Thank you very much for your comment, I know very little about Canadian geneology. All I can say is don't give up.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I once attempted to trace my family tree but ran into a dead end in Canada. Very informative Hub.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      Thanks MRwerd, I hope people find this hub useful

    • mrwerd profile image

      mrwerd 8 years ago from South West, United Kingdom

      Nice - I like this a lot. Gives the budding researcher some valuable starting tips.

      Can't wait for more hubs!