GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
The internet is a great source of information about your ancestors, but the major sites, Ancestry, Find my Past etc, are subscription services. At present both Ancestry and Find my Past are offering a two week free trial, but be sure to have some idea of what you are looking for before you sign up. Family Search, run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, is free. Ancestry is available for free in most libraries, providing you have a library card, but since libraries are closed during the present Covid-19 restrictions that isn’t much help. You can, however, do a lot of work in preparation to getting online.
- Talk to relations, the older the better, but even younger family members may remember key moments or dates.
- Seek out old family photos, and, if possible, write identities and dates on the backs. Weddings photos, for example, can contain lots of faces.
- Write down what you already know – your grandmother’s birthday, where your grandfather was born, a family skeleton (every family has at least one).
- Note down family stories – the great uncle who may have been involved in the Boer War, the family of professional musicians, the great-great-grandfather who may have known Dickens -they may be true.
- Look for birth, marriage and death certificates, medals, membership cards, family bibles etc. etc.
- Google can be a very effective way of finding more information – the more unusual the name the better.
- Make a simple family tree – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. There will be a lot of gaps, but most will be filled.
- Dates and places are very important – find as many as you can.
- WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN
HELP AVAILABLE TO BECCLES U3A MEMBERS
During the covid-19 crisis some of our more experienced members have offered to give online help to U3A members who have a problem with their research. Initial requests for help should be made using the Bird in the top corner of this page. Your request would then be passed to someone who might be able to help. There is a list of Useful Pamphlets etc given in the LINKS section to the right of this main page.