Tips on Researching Ancestry

Additional tings you can do to find relatives


A Google search is a great way to uncover relatives.

  • Find alternate spellings for last names and use them in Google searches
  • Find alternate spellings for first names and use the various possible last names in Google searches
  • Along with first and last names, use places where ancestors have lived in Google searches
  • Talk to family members about the family history, name spellings, marriages and other interesting non-obvious details and use those details in Google searches

Additional Web Resources

There is a lot of information on the web and more information is being dug up and posted online every day.

  • Make use of information in family trees already on the web. Please give appropriate credit to the original person providing the information
  • Some local governments will publish information on the web. You can find images of birth, death, and marriages
  • has a large online collection of documents and records, and many of them are available to free users.


Sometimes the Internet isn't enough.

  • Head out to the family graveyard and look for headstones of relatives. You may find alternate name spellings and marriages.
  • Go to your local government or community center where important records or births, deaths, marriages, and other life information is stored to find additional data
  • Make a pilgrimage to the homeland of your ancestors with an interpreter to help you dig into historical records

Hire an Expert

When researching your family history starts to move off the public web, it may start to take more time and effort; then may be a good time to hire a genealogist to help you with the footwork.

  • Search Google for “genealogists” and “hire genealogist” to find online services and directories where you can find a service in your target locality. You can also include place names in your Google searches to find experts that way.
  • offers an online service that let’s you locate, hire, and work with freelance genealogists through their online interface.
  • offers the AncestryProGenealogists service: an online research firm specializing in family history that provides a wide range of ancestry-related research.

Digitalize Old Documents and Photos

Much of your family history may be told by the photos pasted in albums, the documents stashed in a forgotten shoebox, or the records kept by a local historian. After scanning these photos onto your computer, you can upload them to FullFamilyTree where they’ll be preserved along with the rest of your family’s history.

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