Your family tree is a wonderful way for you and your loved ones to learn about both your family’s history and yourself. Researching your family history is easier than ever with modern technologies and genealogy websites that make it possible for you to search records from the comfort of your couch. These new technologies make ancestry research simple enough that people of all ages (seniors included!) can enjoy this fun activity.
There are many reasons why you should research your family tree:
So, how do you start? First, we recommend going through your family’s memorabilia. Break out the old photo albums, letters, family records, and diaries. Organize everything you find by date and location to provide clues to your past. Ask older family members to provide as much information as they can and use the information you find as prompts for diving deeper.
Next, organize the information you found into a family tree building website. Some of our favorite websites are Ancestry.com, Archives.com, and FamilySearch.org. You may also find that other members of your family have already started building your family tree once you dive into the platform. This can be very exciting as you make connections and discover more about your family!
Once you have made as many connections as possible, you may consider taking a DNA test. This can aid tremendously in your research because it will reveal your genetic makeup and tell you where to look for more connections. There are several options for companies that perform these tests, but our favorites are 23andMe and AncestryDNA. These two companies provide tools to collect your family’s artifacts all in one place and trace ancestral migration patterns as well.
Now that you have your genetic makeup, head to your local library for the census, military, and immigration records that could lead to more connections. Some libraries even offer free genealogical research services. There are also online options for discovering newspaper clippings and naturalization records. You can even search for family members by name on Chronicling America, a website sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress.
Congratulations! You have learned as much as you can about your family history. Once you have all of that information, compile it within a common database or showcase to share it with other members of your family and future generations. Here are some ideas for how you can honor your ancestors:
Tracking your family tree is an important part of remembering (or discovering!) your family legacy. The expert team at Juniper Glen cares about honoring family and are excited to see how much of your ancestry you can find!
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Juniper Glen, contact our friendly team today.