People start researching their family tree for a wide variety of reasons. Once they have started on their family history, they usually find that it is a very addictive hobby, sometimes frustrating, but always enjoyable.
We are often asked the best way to begin to build a family tree, and our immediate reply is always to "start with what you know." For instance, you probably know where and when you were born and who your parents and grandparents are/were. From that time until pre 1837, it is a comparatively short step, usually by means of certificates obtainable from the General Register Office in London, to locate your great grandparents, great, great grandparents, and so on.
"Pre 1837" means that you have to turn your attention to parish registers. If you are lucky, these will have been professionally transcribed. If not, then you either hotfoot it to the appropriate Record Office, or pay a researcher to do the work for you.
It is usually very advantageous to join the family history society in the area you are interested in as you will probably find other people researching the same surname; and if you are very lucky, may even stumble across a hitherto unknown cousin or two.
Census Returns and Wills are great sources of information and help to put some 'flesh on the bones' of your research. A family history chart will help you record details of your 'finds.' These are available from Parish Chest, the Genealogy Suppliers.
As we mentioned previously, family history research is an all absorbing, time consuming, satisfying and occasionally, very frustrating hobby. It is also one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world. Building a family tree is NOT a five minute job. It takes patience and a great deal of detective work, but when you have another twig to add to your family tree, the sense of satisfaction is overwhelming.
Most everyone wants to know their heritage and learn what life was like for their ancestors in the dim and distant past. How did they live? Where did they live and is the house still there today? Were they rich or poor? What did they do to earn money? How did they feed their families? If they were in the workhouse, what was life like for them? The questions just go on and on.
Here at the Parish Chest, we believe we have the genealogy products that will help you answer some if not all of those questions, so sit back, relax and just browse through the vast array of items that may help you add more twigs and branches to your family tree. If you need any help, we are just a telephone call away.
Some of the following acronyms may be of help.