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The Case for Climbing Your Family Tree

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Sometimes it’s just a good idea to write things down. Like where your Grandmother was born, or when. For generations people have been making notes of birth and deaths of family members. Most of them, save a bona fide hobby of genealogy, are in the family Bible, in the front, or on slips of paper stuck in there and traditionally in the hands of an older family member, like Gramma. Perhaps she is already gone, but her bible can be found in that box in the attic. There is a treasure of family information available without looking too far.

Most people who begin to trace their family tree find a good starting point with the family Bible. Maybe you have been thinking about looking up your family tree, or maybe a child asked a question about family not readily answered. You can make a simple project of looking up the basics without committing to a whole new hobby, learning a bunch of terms, spending a bunch of money online, or paying a professional to do it for you. It can be fun and rewarding and free.

Many, if not most, people know very little about their family history. Putting together your own history tree can be an easy task. You don’t need any expensive computer programs or subscription services. All you need to start is basic family history and you can get the in two places: The family Bible and one free website on the internet.

To get started, put a blank page in your word processor.

Start your research with you. Your information is the First Generation. Your parents are the second generation grandparents the third and so on.

Type your full name, when and where you were born, your spouse’s full name (use maiden names for female spouse) and the names and birthdate of any children.

That page will be YOUR Family. Researchers call that page a Family Group Sheet. It is all about YOUR family.

Now do a Family Group Sheet for your parents. All bout their family. Their full and maiden names and their parents, and you and your siblings. Put the title PARENTS in the upper right corner.

Now, a new Family Group Sheet for your grandparents. You will need two family group sheets for grandparents, so do just one side of your family at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.

Label the new page GRANDPARENTS and get to work. In no time you should have be able to find your 4th Great Grandparents, or 5th Great or more.

If Great Gramma had 12 kids, just look for info about the kid that is in your direct line. No Aunts or Uncles or cousins to start. You can always go back and get everyone you can find.

Learning about your family heritage can be eye-opening and a lot of fun.

You may have said “I wish Grampa was still alive, there is so much I would like to ask him”. Fix it so you grandkids won’t have to say that.

The one free website you need is Take a look.


Source by Mike McDaniel


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