The urge to find our roots can be compelling and with the right resources, especially if it is a free ancestry search site, you might just be able to trace your family tree into the deep past. In this information era, nothing is impossible. There are so many different ways of going about this, and there are even reference books that have been published to aid you in the quest.
The most important aspect is to stay open-minded and acknowledge the fact that our forefathers could be from anywhere, and one could never know where the search might take us. You might currently live in the US, but your ancestors could be from any distant country that dot the surface of the Earth, who crossed the seas and settled in America. Join forums and social networks to work your way through contacts. Turn to the numerous free ancestry websites available and look for information.
Popular online resources
A number of online resources are effective in helping you find your ancestral roots.
- FindMyPast.com In this website, all you need to do is to provide the personal information that you have on any of your ancestors to obtain further details to proceed with building the family tree.
- olivetreegenealogy.com This website conducts a free search for Ships’ Passenger lists, Orphan Records, Naturalization Records or Palatine, Canadian, American Genealogy, Native American Genealogy, or information on Huguenots, Mennonites and more.
FamilySearch, RootsWeb, and WikiTree are similar websites which are a repository of genealogical information. Wiki tree can help arrive at right data using DNA as well as traditional genealogical methods. Once you gather required details from one site, you can work on it using multiple sources. Some of these websites offer more services for a fee, so if required, you may avail the option.
There are various sources that you will have to look into to progress in the right direction. This includes digging into the government databases that maintain birth, death, marriage, burial and other such relevant records. Sift through archived newspapers for pointers. The websites Google News Archives and Fulton History can be helpful in this regard. Most of the information of this sort would be available in public domain, so you would not have to face any problem in this aspect.
If you need any information pertaining to a particular niche, try to find if there is a website for that. For instance, JewishGen, African Heritage Project, Daughters of the American Revolution, British Library India Office, etc. provides information on the relevant areas as the name implies.
Once you start the search, it might just grow on you, as it gets interesting with every new discovery. Carry on with the journey by adding a leaf, then a branch and then the trunk to your family tree till you find the roots! The possibilities are endless, so keep digging!