10:00 AM – June 28, 2015 by Paul Murphy
If you think family trees are just kids stuff or junior high assignments, then better think again. Family trees are hard to make. In fact, many individuals find it very hard to start tracing their family trees especially if they have very little knowledge about genealogy. But you don’t have to be an expert to make your own family tree. Because of today’s modern technology, many people are able to make their family tree by researching online and by seeking the help of helpful organizations.
By just sitting around in your house, it would be impossible to trace your family tree. What you need to do is to find an internet connection, and another thing is to get your family involved in such a worthwhile activity.
What is exactly a family tree? This is typically a history of humans. The tree is used to record a certain person’s ancestors of more than one generation. It is up to you if you want a record of only your immediate ancestors; or if you want to make it more elaborate that includes siblings, intermarriages, and many others. Family trees are also called genealogical trees.
Beginning your genealogy history is such an awe-inspiring task. Start with your personal information. Always write full names and for married women, include their maiden name. These things are called vital statistics. It also includes birth date, birthplace, and if married, try to include the date/location of such marriage. If you want, you can also add the date and/or location of every individual’s christening or baptism.
The next step is quite simple. Write all the important information about your parents. They will comprise the next branches of the trees. Make sure that you fill up all their vital statistics and that of close relatives. Work upwards by including your grandparents, as well as your great grandparents. Don’t forget to include the date of death and their burial places. Talk to all your family members about what they know about their respective parents or grandparents. Treat the gathered information as leads so that when you verify afterwards, it would a lot easier.
It is very important that you verify all your gathered information. Family memories often fade with time, and the facts contained in certain databases like the national census can easily get confounded. Don’t rely entirely on birth, death, and marriage certificates for accurate verification of your information. There are many subscription services online and genealogical societies willing to help individuals like you who are trying to trace their roots. With a little expense, you can get all your verified information at the soonest possible time; and it’s such a worthy expense.
If you want to leave your child or children with a legacy that will never be forgotten as time goes by, then better start making your own family tree or genealogy tree. Help them to know their ancestors. Make them understand its importance.
Although tracing your family tree involves note taking, record finding, verifying, and using archives and the census, in the end you will find contentment in finding your roots. This can give your life more meaning. For now, try to live your life to the fullest and when it’s finally the right time, pass the family tree to your children.