6 tips on documenting your ancestry during lockdown
Many of us have spare time on our hands during lockdown – so why not spend some time researching your ancestry.
Finding out more about your heritage and ancestry can be a rewarding and fascinating experience and open many doors you did not know existed. It could even reconnect you with family you didn’t know you had and could start a process that can be nurtured for many years to come.
Here are 6 tips on where to start, where to look and how to document your own ancestry – all from home!
Start the process by getting organised and setting out some structure for the process to prevent you getting overwhelmed with information. There are many free resources online to help you map out your ancestry to ensure the information gathered is laid out properly. Using this resource straight away can help to make the process easier in the long run.
Document what you already know
Start the process by writing down what you already know – document everything you know about your ancestry and your family tree as you understand it now. You can then add information as you move through the process. As part of this process, look around your own home – including the attic, cellar and any mysterious cupboards that have not been opened for a long time. You may uncover photos and documents you forgot you had. You might also find things like birth certificates, letters, photographs and other information on your ancestors.
Talk to family members
Once you have your own set of information detailed and organised, start talking to your immediate and wider family members. Ask them what they know about your ancestors. Ask if they have any photos or documents you could use to help document your ancestry. This is also a great way to keep in contact with family members during lockdown – it can give people a purpose and start the process of potentially rewarding and fascinating discoveries about your past.
Use the internet
Once you’ve finished documenting what you and your relatives know, the next step would be to start looking online. There are lots of free websites available, so the process doesn’t need to be expensive. Online resources can help you find census and death records which will help to find even more ancestors and even their stories. But take your time and do your research on what different sites offer; some will cost money so carefully consider what you are hoping to discover and what you can afford.
Social media can be used in a number of ways to facilitate the process. There are also lots of social media pages and groups that contain historical information which could be useful when documenting your ancestry. It can also be a great way of tracking down long-lost relatives or family members you want to reconnect with.
Get a DNA test
Finally, getting a DNA test can provide an invaluable and incredible way to look even further back into your ancestry. If you want to invest money into this project, getting a DNA test, while also subscribing to online resources able to help you understand the results can be helpful. This could also help you find ancestors you may not have found through the previous tips.