Genealogy/Family History

by doinmypart 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • doinmypart

    I'd like to do a genealogy/family history. After talking to older family members where is a good place to start? Any suggestions?

    The WTS nonsense would have a person not think about their genealogy, from the w78 4/1:

    "...there is really little practicality in tracing one’s family tree...while a person’s genealogy might be of occasional usefulness in legal matters, to argue over or take special pride in our ancestry is a waste of time and a detriment to faith."

    I think I'm reaching a point in my life where I'm becoming more sentimental about such things. I'd like to know my past and I want my kids & future grandkids to know.

    Any help is appreciated!

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    Oooh genealogy fun! I have been researching mine for a few years now. Here is a bit that I've learned:

    Obtain copies of birth/death certificates of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. You might have to contact local gvt offices to do so and pay a small fee, but it can be worth it.

    Using maiden names and dates start googling. Message boards are helpful as well. Church records. For me: I figured out pretty quick that my great grandparents were Catholic so I contacted the Church that would most likely have been the one they attended and got copies of baptismal certificates.

    I finally located one part of my family that goes back to the 16th century in France.

    good luck and have fun (it can take a while to get anywhere solid, but it's worth it!)


  • kid-A

    Go here:

    I was able to trace my family line back into the 1650s. Covers USA, CANADA and all of europe.

  • Buster

    Tons-o-fun, makes for some interesting vacation trips.

    Start with the basics. Interview family membetrs to get a sense of direction. Record specifics, they are likley to come in handy.

    You will likely be surprised at the amount of information available in the old country, whichever old country that may be. You may be able to locate some historical and/or geneological societies in the areas you are researching.

    You'll also get some pratical help from books. I have a couple. I think they are titled something like, 'Tracing Your Irish Roots,' and the like. Such books will specifically point you to societies whose sole purpose is to help you with your research.

    The trick is to connect to a family line that such a society has already established. Curiously enough, the toughest ancestor to establish for me was my grandfather. I had no difficulty with guys born 300 yearsw ago. But a guy I knew personally had no record of his birth. He was born at home and before he went to school, and before the next census, his father moved the family and there was no record.


    - Cliff

    (400 years of history in New England and descended from 3 Mayflower passengers.)

  • Qcmbr

    So Kid-A we are useful for something...

  • kid-A

    So Kid-A we are useful for something... Huh? Sorry, you completely lost me.

  • Qcmbr

    Its an LDS website

  • moshe

    If you have a less than common name it won't take long- but if it is Jones, Brown , Smith, etc. it will be difficult to go back before the US census reports- say about 1850. Even harder , is trying to locate living cousins from some family you discovered from 200 years ago- unless it's an uncommon name. I fall into the common name trap and geneology research has been of little help beyond what I already have in the family records.

    good luck,


  • still angry
    still angry

    It's great fun, but do be prepared for some dead ends and frustration. And, as in my case, don't be disappointed when your ancestors all turn out to be thugs!!! :-) So much for being the next Princess of some far away land, hahaha!

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