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Your Lineage is Out There: A Few Helpful Methods to Find Your Family Members
Millions of Americans embark on a family search with the hopes of connecting or reconnection with long-lost family members or of finding out more about their heritages. If you are one of these people, you should know that there is a multitude of methods that you can employ in order to perform a comprehensive family search. Here is a brief overview of some of these methods:
Check with your state or local government to obtain family records. Most governments keep detailed family records in their archives. If you think that your family has been in a certain region for any given amount of time, then it might be a good idea to begin your search with a look into these records. Try to obtain names for both the maternal and paternal sides of your family as far back as you can. The more information that you have going into the search, the better.
Use the Internet
The Internet is one of the most popular means of performing a family search. Using your family names and general regions, chances are good that you will be able to find out a multitude of information using the Internet. Be sure that you double check the names that come back though; not all families have very original names (such as Smith or Jones.)
Ask for Stories from Older Family Members
Often, the best resource for information about your family will come from stories and records held by older family members. Years ago, family heritage was passed down through stories, letters, photos and journals. These records can be vital to helping you determine your family's history. A family search should always involve spending time with other older family members.
Consult an Expert
Believe it or not, there are experts that can help you with your family search. These experts have made a career out of helping people find lost relatives and family lineage. They use a variety of technologies and record books to trace family lines as meticulously as possible. If you are finding your family search particularly difficult, you may want to hire en expert to help with the mapping.
If you are getting ready to embark on a family search, be sure to diversify your methods by using a variety of these helpful strategies. In general, the more you look around, the more results will come back with family members that are directly linked to you. Performing a family search can take time and patience, so be sure that you have plenty of energy before getting started. Most of all - have fun!