As COVID-19 continues to keep you indoors, looking for something constructive to do can be an excellent way to pass the time. How about tracing your ancestors and coming up with a family tree? The search to learn about your ancestors might be something that you have never tried, but it could be interesting to find who they were and what happened to them. Here are some innovative strategies that can help you to know more about your ancestors and where they came from.
- Treasure Hunt at Home
Treasure hunting could be a foreign thing to you, but this is the best time to engage in something extra for meaningful research. Some of the essential information about your ancestors could be hiding in plain sight, and as such, you need to get thorough research in your home—some of the areas where you can get some valuable clues to include basements and drawers. Make maximum use of the personal correspondence, photos, and documents that you will find in the drawer. Placards, letters, and diaries could also give you some important clues.
- Use Online Resources
With the information you have collected in the house and from your elders, you can now use online search engines such as Google to look for a more detailed analysis that can connect you with some additional details. Online sources provide very many documents and archival information that can be essential in helping you to trace your family members. The 1790 – 1940 census records are available to access online. These records contain detailed information about your ancestors, including their birthplace, place of residence, and employment. These are very rich records that can give you a different perspective about your ancestors.
- Talk to Your Elders
Several months ago, it could have been hard to access your elders and have some detailed conversation with them. However, coronavirus has brought you together, and you are spending much time in the same room. It is time to get some essential details about your family history from them. Even those who are one year older than you, they are living libraries. They have some information about your family that you don’t have. Take time to interview your elders via Skype or Zoom. Keep records of the information they share. You will be surprised to know that they know sensitive details about your family that you would have never realized.
- Get a DNA Test
A paper trail is good, but it can only help you to reach immediate family members. It cannot be the most effective and certified method of getting your ancestors. DNA ancestry testing kits are currently changing the way people trace their family members and their ancestors. This is an advanced ancestry tracing strategy that can help you to trace your roots going back centuries. However, DNA testing carries the risk of revealing surprise paternity information, as well as information about genetic predisposition to certain diseases. Many people prefer to learn these revelations, but others don’t want to know, so keep that in mind.
- Use Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites may also help you to connect with some family members who you never thought belonged to your family tree. Social platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are rich sources of information because people provide their personal information. For example, you can check people who you share ancestral surnames and other related names. Other networking areas where you can get some critical clues include local archives, public libraries, and local organizations.
Some of these search areas may be out of reach at this time, but you can always access them because they are not classified as possible areas of transmission. Make maximum use of your time indoors and get to know more about your family tree.