Family history research: Get lost in records!

29 November 2019

Records can be overwhelming when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Oftentimes, you may have no idea where to start looking, which can be confusing. It can make your family history research overwhelming and you may be tempted to abandon the task altogether. Luckily, we have just what you need.

Here are some top tips on where you can begin your research and how you can get lost in records (in a good way!).

Records Research

The worldwide web can be your oyster

Quite literally, you can find nearly everything online. The internet gives you access to a whole host of online resources. Ordering marriage, birth and death certificates is just a couple of clicks away, and even fun, informative documents such as newspaper clippings are available to you. Websites such as Ancestry, Genes Reunited, and Family Search, can provide you with ready-made trees, dates and records that can equip you with the necessary information for your research.

Emphasis on the ‘can’ however. The documents and resources you find online are only digitised files of physical documents. As useful and as easily accessible it is, it could be refreshing to get out and about and expand your knowledge and research that way.

family history archives

Non-fiction allows no restrictions

Why not start your research at a library? Libraries are great for finding what you need for your research and in some larger libraries, you can get access to original documents and transcripts. For example, libraries that have archives, such as The National Archives Reference Library. You can spend HOURS researching in libraries and they make for an enjoyable day out. On the one hand, you may find that you have limited access to certain resources, along with possible time restraints. It may take you a while to reach a library (depending on your location) where such resources are available. If you’re okay with that, however, then this is the place for you!

genealogy research

Take a trip to get inspired

Have you ever thought of visiting a museum or perhaps a heritage site to aid your research? This could be especially helpful if you’re not sure what or who you’re looking for as they can help spark inspiration.

Steve Berry from UNESCO once said, “A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies – all of the things that quite literally make us who we are.”

Who knows? A day out focusing on understanding or getting to know a time period that fascinates you could give you the motivation you need to continue on your genealogical journey.

gravestones with flowers in a cemetery

Where the living meets the dead

A hot spot for genealogists, graveyards and cemeteries prove to be very useful for genies and family historians.  Cemeteries are helpful when it comes to identifying someone that you are unable to find, even if you had tried and tested the methods above.

Why not give it a go if you’ve not visited before for research purposes. You never know, it just might become one of your top favourite places to visit!

Searching for the perfect gift this Christmas? Come and visit us at 19 High Street. We can produce a binder of family documents as an ideal present this year. Call us on 01249 476777 to make an appointment.

 The People Finders

Family Wise specialise in finding people. We work effortlessly in order to attend to all your research needs. This includes reuniting estranged family members, locating missing people and all aspects of family history research. Not sure what or who you are looking for? We can attend to all your research qualms and queries, including help, advice and training!

Get in touch with a member of our dedicated, conscientious, ethical team on 01249 476777, and get the assistance you need today.

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