Tracing My Roots: A Journey to Discover My Ancestors

If you are new to genealogy, or the study of family history and ancestry, it can seem overwhelming at first. However, with some basic steps, you can begin to piece together your family’s history and learn about your ancestors. In this blog post, we’ll cover the main things you need to do to get started with genealogy.

1. Start with what you know

The first step in genealogy is to start with what you know. Write down your own information, such as your full name, birth date and place, as well as your parents’ names, birth dates, and birthplaces. Then, move on to your grandparents, and so on. Try to gather as much information as possible, including full names, dates of birth and death, marriage dates, and places of residence.

2. Interview family members

Next, reach out to your living relatives and interview them about their own family history. Ask about their parents, grandparents, and other family members they remember. Find out where they lived, what they did for a living, and any interesting stories or family traditions they might have. This can provide you with valuable information and help you to fill in some of the gaps in your family tree.

3. Gather documents

Documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, as well as census records, immigration records, and military records can all provide valuable information about your ancestors. Begin by collecting any documents you or your family members already have, and then explore online resources, such as, to find additional records.

4. Organize your information

As you gather information and documents, it’s important to keep everything organized. There are several ways to do this, such as creating a family tree using software like or using a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your research. Consider creating a filing system for physical documents, and be sure to label everything clearly.

5. Join genealogy groups

Joining a genealogy group can be a great way to connect with other people who share your interest in family history. These groups can provide support, guidance, and access to resources that can help you with your research.

6. Keep learning

Finally, it’s important to keep learning as you explore your family history. Attend genealogy conferences, read books on the subject, and explore online resources to gain a deeper understanding of the field. As you learn more, you may discover new avenues for research or new resources to explore.

Genealogy is a fascinating field that can provide insight into your family’s history and help you to connect with your ancestors. By starting with what you know, interviewing family members, gathering documents, organizing your information, joining genealogy groups, and continuing to learn, you can begin to piece together your family’s story and gain a deeper understanding of your own roots.

A Story About Abraham Who Starts His Family Tree

Abraham had always been curious about his family history, but he had never really known where to begin. He had heard stories from his parents and grandparents about their ancestors, but they were often vague and incomplete.

Finally, one day, Abraham decided to take the plunge and start working on his family tree. He knew that it was going to be a lot of work, but he was determined to uncover the secrets of his family’s past.

The first thing Abraham did was to gather all of the information he had about his ancestors. He talked to his parents and grandparents, and went through old family photos and documents. He made a list of all the names, dates, and places he could find.

Abraham knew that his family had roots in several different countries, including England, Ireland, Germany, and Canada. He realized that he was going to have to do some research in order to find out more about his ancestors from these places.

Abraham started with England, since that was where his family had lived for several generations. He searched online for birth records and other genealogy resources, and found several websites that were helpful. He discovered that his great-grandfather had been born in London in 1875, and that his great-great-grandfather had been a blacksmith in the city.

Next, Abraham turned his attention to Ireland. He had always been fascinated by the stories his grandmother had told him about her family’s Irish heritage. He found several online databases that contained Irish birth records and other genealogical information, and spent hours poring over them. He was thrilled to discover that his great-great-grandmother had been born in County Cork in 1840, and that her family had emigrated to Canada in the mid-19th century.

Abraham also did research on his ancestors from Germany, which was a bit more challenging since he didn’t speak the language. He found a few online resources that were in English, however, and was able to trace his family back to the early 19th century. He learned that his great-great-grandfather had been a farmer in the Rhineland region.

Finally, Abraham turned his attention to his ancestors from Canada. He knew that his family had settled in the country in the mid-1800s, but he didn’t know much more than that. He found several Canadian genealogy websites that were extremely helpful, and was able to trace his family’s movements from Nova Scotia to Ontario to Alberta.

As Abraham worked on his family tree, he became more and more engrossed in the project. He spent hours poring over records and documents, and felt a thrill of excitement every time he uncovered a new piece of information. He was amazed by the resilience and perseverance of his ancestors, who had overcome so many obstacles to create a new life for themselves and their families.

In the end, Abraham was able to trace his family tree back several generations in each of the countries he had researched. He was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about his family history, and felt a deep sense of connection to his ancestors. He knew that his work was far from done, but he was excited to continue exploring his family’s past and uncovering even more fascinating stories.

What is the most important thing to do for your genealogy research?

One of the most important things to have for your genealogy research is a clear and organized plan of action. This means identifying your research goals, establishing a research question, and determining the types of sources and records that may be relevant to your research. It’s also important to have a system for organizing your research findings and tracking your progress, such as a research log or software program.

Another crucial aspect of successful genealogy research is a commitment to accuracy and thoroughness. This means carefully evaluating sources and information for reliability, verifying findings through multiple sources, and documenting your sources and methodology.

Finally, a strong curiosity and willingness to learn and adapt is essential for genealogy research. New sources and information are constantly becoming available, and approaches to research are always evolving. Being open to new ideas and strategies can help you make breakthroughs in your research and deepen your understanding of your family history.

The Importance of Birth Records For Your Research

Birth records are an essential resource for genealogy research. They provide valuable information about the birth date and place of an ancestor, as well as the names of their parents. This information can help to verify relationships, establish family connections, and provide clues for further research.

In addition to providing basic genealogical information, birth records can also contain valuable additional details such as the occupation, address, and religion of the parents, as well as the name of the attending physician or midwife. This information can provide valuable insights into the lives and circumstances of your ancestors.

Obtaining birth records can also be important for legal purposes, such as establishing citizenship, claiming inheritance, or proving eligibility for certain benefits or programs.

Overall, birth records are a critical resource for genealogy research, and should be among the first sources consulted when beginning a search for your ancestors.

The Importance of Citing Your Birth Records Research

As genealogists, we spend a lot of time and effort researching our ancestors’ birth records to learn more about our family history. Birth records are essential documents that can help us trace our family tree and uncover new branches that we didn’t know existed. However, it’s not enough to find birth records; we must also properly cite our findings in our research.

Citing our sources is crucial for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows us to keep track of where we found the information, making it easier to go back and verify it if necessary. Secondly, it helps us avoid duplicating research efforts and wasting time by re-finding information that we’ve already discovered. Finally, it allows others to access and review our research and potentially build on it, leading to more collaborative and accurate family trees.

There are several elements that should be included when citing birth records research. The first element is the name of the person whose birth record is being cited, along with their date and place of birth. The second element is the location and name of the repository where the record was found, such as a national archive or a local library. The third element is the specific reference or call number of the record, which enables us to locate it quickly and easily. Finally, we should include the date we accessed the record, in case any changes or updates have been made since then.

Properly citing our birth records research can be done in various ways, depending on the preferred citation style, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. There are also numerous online tools and software available that can help with creating citations and managing our research logs.

Citing our birth records research is an essential part of the genealogy process that helps us keep track of our findings, avoid duplicating efforts, and enable others to build on our research. By taking the time to properly cite our sources, we can create a more accurate and reliable family tree that reflects the rich history of our ancestors.

Genealogy research can be an incredibly rewarding and fascinating journey, as you uncover the stories and histories of your ancestors. One important tool in this journey is the birth certificate, which provides crucial information about your ancestor’s birth and early life. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why it’s important to obtain birth certificates for your genealogy research, and how to properly cite your findings on a research log.

Why Obtain Birth Certificates?

1. Confirmation of identity and lineage – A birth certificate provides important information such as the full name of your ancestor, their parents’ names, and their place and date of birth. This information can confirm your ancestor’s identity and lineage, and help you establish relationships with other ancestors.

2. Accurate dates and locations – A birth certificate can provide accurate dates and locations of your ancestor’s birth, which can help you trace their movements and find additional records about them. This can be especially helpful when researching ancestors who may have moved frequently or immigrated to another country.

3. Access to additional information – Some birth certificates may include additional information such as the occupation of the parents, the address where the family was living at the time of the birth, and the attending physician or midwife. This information can help you gain a better understanding of your ancestor’s life and circumstances.

How to Properly Cite Your Findings on a Research Log?

When conducting genealogy research, it’s important to keep track of your sources and properly cite your findings on a research log. Here are some tips for citing birth certificates on your research log:

1. Record the full name of the individual whose birth certificate you’re citing, along with their date and place of birth.

2. Record the name of the issuing authority or agency, such as the county clerk’s office or state vital records office.

3. Include the date the certificate was issued or filed, as well as the certificate number if available.

4. Note the location of the birth certificate in your personal records, such as a physical file or a digital folder.

Here’s an example of how to cite a birth certificate on a research log:

John Smith

Date of Birth: 5/10/1880

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois

Issuing Authority: Cook County Clerk’s Office

Date Issued/Filed: 6/1/1880

Certificate Number: 123456

Location: Physical file, Birth Certificates – Smith, John

By properly citing your sources on a research log, you’ll be able to keep track of where you found information about your ancestors and easily locate it again in the future. This can save time and prevent you from having to retrace your research steps.

In conclusion, obtaining birth certificates is an important part of genealogy research. They can provide valuable information about your ancestors’ identities, dates and locations of birth, and more. By properly citing your findings on a research log, you can keep track of your sources and easily access the information you need to continue your genealogy journey.

Where to Get Research Logs?

There are several research log templates available online that you can download and use for your genealogy research. Here are some resources where you can find them:

1. Family Tree Magazine: This website offers a free downloadable research log template in Excel format. You can customize the template to suit your needs, and use it to keep track of your research progress, sources, and findings.


2. Ancestry: Ancestry provides a free, printable research log template in PDF format. This template includes sections for recording information about your research goals, sources, and findings, as well as a checklist for keeping track of your progress.


3. FamilySearch: FamilySearch offers a free downloadable research log template in Excel format. This template includes sections for recording information about your research goals, sources, and findings, as well as a summary page to help you keep track of your progress.


4. MyHeritage: MyHeritage provides a free, printable research log template in PDF format. This template includes sections for recording information about your research goals, sources, and findings, as well as a checklist for keeping track of your progress.


By using a research log, you can organize your genealogy research, keep track of your sources, and easily access the information you need to continue your research. These downloadable templates can help you get started and make the most of your genealogy journey.

In conclusion, birth records are an essential resource for genealogy research, as they provide valuable information about our ancestors and help us to piece together our family history. Knowing where to find these records and how to properly cite our findings on a research log can make the difference between a successful and a frustrating research experience. Whether you are researching your ancestors from England, Ireland, Germany, Canada, or any other country, taking the time to document your research and properly cite your sources will ensure that your findings are accurate and reliable. So, start your genealogy journey with confidence, armed with the knowledge of where to find birth records and the importance of citing your research. Happy researching!

Download the Guide ‘Where to Look For Your Ancestor’s Birth Certificate or Record’ – Tracing My Roots – A Journey to Discover My Ancestors (Countries) below


Published by Darrell Gibbs

A father of three children and five grandchildren who retired in 2015 and began a career as a non-fiction writer in genealogy resource ebooks for new family historians. Aspiring towards the future as a Historical Fiction Author of his premier book "Wessex Reign".

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