Human beings are tribal by nature, so it’s no surprise that
our roots fascinate us. If you are interested in learning more about where you
come from, genealogy will shed light on your ancestry.
By taking a commercial DNA test, you will be able to learn more
about your heritage, and track down long-lost family members. Who knows, you
may even be descended from royalty, or find that you are a distant cousin of a
If you are interested in joining the millions of hobbyist
genealogists across the country, you will need the correct resources. This
resource guide will provide insights into everything that you’ll need to learn
more about yourself, and your past.
If you want to take up genealogy, the first thing that
you’ll need is a DNA test. Kits for this can be purchased over the internet.
When you invest in an online DNA test, you will be asked to
return a saliva sample or a cheek swab in a return envelope. The results will
then be mailed to you, and you can begin investigating your family lineage.
Popular commercially available DNA testing kits include:
arguably the most popular and famous home testing kit throughout the world.
With the aid of Ancestry, you can learn all about the melting pot of your
genetic heritage in an easy-to-understand summary.
offers a multitude of packages, meaning that you can trace your paternal
lineage, that of your mother, or both. This is arguably the finest choice for
anybody primarily interested in filling in any missing branches on their family
is a great
choice for the health-conscious. In addition to the standard tracing of ancestry,
23 and Me offers a health screening service that informs you of any hereditary
conditions of diseases found in the 23 pairs of chromosomes unique to your DNA.
may not be the best-known genetic
testing company in the States, but they are among the most reliable. The
business is headed by an active genealogist, who is recognized by professors at
Harvard at being at the top of the field. CRI also offers a full money-back
guarantee of you are not satisfied with the results of your test for any
provides an extremely detailed ancestry report. Arguably the
most meticulous findings of any company. However, they are based in the United
Kingdom. This means that, unless your heritage includes Britain and Ireland,
you find your results limited.
Do some investigation, and discover which testing service
you feel will suit your needs best. Each has their owns sets of pros and cons.
Once you know where
you come from, you will want to know who
you come from. With the aid of genealogy, you can trace your heritage back
countless generations from all over the world.
is as good a place to start as any. Here you will find available data from the .
Be aware, however, that this data is only made public 72 years after the
census. This means that you’ll have to look elsewhere for more recent
hugely comprehensive resource, which will help you track down relatives based
searching within countless sub-categories.
sound a little ghoulish, but you can learn a lot from visiting the resting
places of your ancestors.
maintains records of the countless people that
arrived in New York by ship. Could your ancestors be among them? If you want to
look back even further, trying .
maintains old newspaper records. These may contain vital information for any
genealogist, including obituaries.
lists every solider that fought in the
American Civil War. If you can date your lineage to the 18th
Century, you will likely need this resource!
is a useful resource for ethnic minorities with a long history in America, who
may find that records prior to the aforementioned Civil War are tricky to
Finally, never neglect your local library or hall of
records. Records of births, deaths and marriages are the building blocks of any
Building a Family Tree
We all have memories of drawing up a family tree on paper in
Elementary School, but there is a plethora of resources online to make this
easier now. These include:
extremely basic and user-friendly piece of software that creates a simple,
printable family tree based on the data you enter.
will help you track down relatives and plot their place in your family tree.
sells DNA tests, but they also have a range of free services that anybody can
access. This includes a comprehensive family tree builder.
is a free, cross-platform piece of software that helps you keep track of all
your family tree discoveries.
is the ideal choice for anybody that
likes to plot his or her family tree on the move. This is a free app that is
available for all iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
Genealogists are a friendly bunch, and you may find your
searching much easier if you buddy up with some like-minded individuals.
is the biggest online genealogy
community. You will find a great many fellow hobbyists keen to exchange tips
and information here.
is a free online forum filled with
helpful users from all over the world.
is essentially Facebook for genealogy enthusiasts.
will point you in the direction of any local communities and resources that
would benefit you.
We have just scratched the surface of the information
available to aspiring genealogists with this guide. Some other resources that
may provide invaluable include:
essential bookmark, no matter how advanced you may be in your study of your
heritage. , whose sprawling novel Roots is often credited as kickstarting America’s love affair with
genealogy, is particularly fascinating.
is UK-based, so not all their content will be relevant. Regardless, it does
boast a very useful that will save you a great deal of time sifting
through irrelevant Google search results.
should be investigated, and supported. Volunteers, who
are dedicated to maintaining free genealogy resources online, staff this
resource on its entirety. You can branch out into the if necessary.
Summary of Useful Links
We have linked to a wide variety of different sources in
this article. You’ll find a summary of all the external sites that we recommend
23 and Me
Tree DNA –
of Genealogical Societies –
in Time –
Liberty Ellis Foundation –
RootsChat – www.rootschat.com
US GenWeb Project –
World GenWeb Project –