How to do genealogy and ancestry research for your kids
A growing number of parents are finding their kids’ ancestry is not always straightforward.
Here’s how to navigate through the confusing world of genealogy.
| John Shinkle/POLITICO How to learn your child’s past.
|John Shinkle, POLITICO How to figure out who your family is.
|Sarah L. Voisin/POLIESTAR/Getty Images Here are some quick tips on how to research and get your kids’ past.1.
Find out who you are.
Most parents start with a few basic questions.
Are you a U.S. citizen?
What is your last name?
Are you married?
Are your parents married?
Is your father an American?
Do you know your family history?
How many generations ago?
If your answer is “no,” the only thing you can do is ask your child if they know of a history book that explains your family’s history.2.
Do you want to know more?
If you’re not sure, ask your kid’s parents.
It might not be that clear.3.
Find an online ancestry resource.
Some people are willing to help, and others are not.
But many of these resources are geared toward children with limited or no access to information about their families’ history.4.
Read a book.
You can learn more about your family and find out who their ancestors were by reading a history-focused novel.5.
Check with the local genealogical society.
Most of these societies have websites or mobile apps where you can look up your family members’ ancestry.6.
Read more books.
There are plenty of books to learn about family history, including Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.com and The American Genealogist.
You’ll want to take advantage of these websites to find out more about family ancestry.7.
If they know more about ancestry, ask friends to help.
They can do this if they have relatives that can help you.8.
Look up other people’s family histories.
The online genealogies available at genealogy sites can be confusing.
Some of them will even have your child or grandparent’s first names and/or middle names.
If your child has a middle name, ask them to use the middle name to find relatives.
Find other people who know your ancestor.