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How To Trace Your Family History

As an African American, we have always had a struggle that has come so frequently that we sometimes give up some of our most valuable ideas. Despite these shortcomings, you want to come back to learn about the people who were connected in the gene pool with you. Your ancestors were the people who strived to make what exist today. By knowing were you came from, you will gain a grasp of who you are and where you came from, and where you are going. The following information will guide you through the path to a better way to research your family history. You will learn some of the techniques that made this compilation expand to over 2100 names. You will learn some short advantages to tracing your ancestors. Let's begin.

Who are You?

You were born to two parents. One has its surname, the other had to change. Already, you have a birth certificate, a hospital record, and the names of both parents. Both parents may have been in your life but you may have had one main parent, who was mother and father. You are the result of a well-organized plan of God. You want to write everything about yourself. You begin with your name, birth date, and some of the information surrounding your birth. You also want to put together the information according to the way you were born in the family. Write and about your strengths and weaknesses and some of the things that stand out in your life. Write about you childhood, teenage years, graduation, college, work, marriage, children, and all other information about yourself. After you have written all you have about yourself, now you can write about the two people who will be part of your quest for finding the other people that map out your life.

Interviewing Family Members

The best way to acquire information is to interview the main people in your family. Sometimes, you may not get the information for one family member but you have to continue to interview people until you find the right person. The use of interviewing allows you the find out information about the people, places, and events of your past. You have to decide first who you would like to interview. Once you have decided who you want to interview, you are ready to gather information about the people in your family.
When setting up an interview, call or write the person you plan to interview. Let them know the reason why you are interviewing them. Ask them exactly when the interview can take place. Write down a list of question that may help you ask the right questions.
Make sure that you arrive to the family members on time. Get familiar with the person by talking about some things that may jog memories of the past. Take a tape recorder to make sure you don't miss some important information. Try not to have a long, drawn-out conversation that may take hours. After the interview, take time to ask the family member can you return or call if you need further information.

Genealogical Programs and Regular Genealogical Files



In the present-day advent of computer, genealogical associations and Family history center are creating programs that will allow you to file the information about your family on computer. If you do not have a computer, you can still you manila folders to file your information. We will briefly discuss how you can use these programs and files to help organize your family file much easier.

Genealogical Software Programs

Personal Ancestral File-program was created by the Church of Latter-Day Saints. The program is a MS-Dos program that allows you to type the names of your family members, their birth, marriage, death, and any notes about the family member. If you are a member of the Mormon Church, you will have a temple ordinance that can be used for programming information. After you have finished compiling the family information, you can submit the information to the Family History Library by creating A GedCom (a Genealogy Communication program) or an Ancestral File.

Family Treemaker-you can transfer your information into a new program called family Treemaker. The program is formatted in a file form. The program is filled with forms for indexes, a book, custom reports, ancestral charts, pedigree charts, family group sheets, register reports of ancestors, time line, maps, etc. If you would like to submit your family compilation you have to submit to the World Family Tree.

Regular Genealogical Files

In order to keep good records without a computer, purchase a set of manila folders. Label files according to a marriage. The file should consist of mother, father, and all children. Any information pertinent to the contents of the file should be put in the file.


Local Records


After acquiring information about your family members, begin finding records at the local depositories located in the area where the ancestor lived in a particular year. The city has Deeds offices, County or County Clerk's Office, Marriage Records, Court Dockets, and Civil and Criminal proceedings.

State Records


The State Department of a particular state holds the birth, marriage, and death information about residents (past and present) you has lived in that state. The record may be located in the local area. Check for the local of a record by calling the local or state records departments.

Federal Records

Every type of record known to man is in the National Archives and Records Administration. You can find the Census Records of the United States from 1790-2000, located in this depositories. The records from 1790-1920 are located in this depository.

Private Records


1. Hospital Records.
2. Shot Records.
3. Doctor Office Records.
4. School Records.
5. Graduation Diplomas.
6. Military Records.
7. Emancipation Records.
8. Freedmen's Paper.
9. Marriage Licenses.


Other Records


1. Rental Leases
2. Utility Bills.
3. Mortgages Notes.
4. Car Purchases.
5. Grocery Purchases.
6. Clothing Purchases.
7. Phone Transcripts.
8. Medical Records.
9. Criminal Reports.

More Records Sources


1. Libraries.
2. Family History Centers.
3. Genealogical Societies.
4. Newspaper Archives.
5. Family Research Web sites.
6. Family History Books.
7. Private Citizens.
8. Friends.
9. Associates.













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