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How do I search my ancestry, when I do not know where to begin.?

I am 50 years old, and I have no clue how to locate any other family members. My Mon was from Rocky Mt. NC, and she has been dead 20 years. My aunt die about 10 years ago. I want my children to know who we are, but I do not know how to begin this task. Where do I start?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    With you. Pull out your own birth certificate, and confirm who you are. Sounds silly, right? No.. what it does, from day one, is alert you to USE DOCUMENTS. You should have (among other things) mom's maiden name. Next.. document mom. You know she has passed away, so you work with her death records. You know your aunt is a child of your grandparents, so you need her correct information as well. If you have forgotten the dates, does have the social security death index. Don't forget dad's side.. although many people don't have valid info on dads.

    The turning point is 1930. This is because that is the cut off date for research the US census records (they go back to 1790). If you are Afr. Amer, it will be a different process prior to 1865.

    There are THOUSANDS of genealogy sites online, and it frustrates me that many people think, one site is the answer to all research. That isn't true at all. All genealogy isn't on the internet, either.. you learn (as you go), what you can get online and what takes offline letters, etc.

    Do you remember any of your grandparents? Since your birth is 1957/1958.. IF you remember them, then you can estimate when they died and where. The social security index starts ABOUT 1960, so they are possibly in there. Death certs do exist before that.. the index is specifically social security.. not death certs. If you don't remember them, your exact goal is their names and dates. Once you have that..then you work FROM THEIR INFO to define where you find their parents.

    this is one guide to "how to", but not the only one. You also have people here to ask questions.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sure, and there are many sources available. I suggest that a good place to start would be your local library, for they always have information on genealogy and often have special sections with newspapers, travel documents and logs, and much more. The librarians will be glad to help and may even tell you about the local genealogical group that might even meet at the library, as does the one in my home town.

    I could list many sites and companies that would do well for you, but lately the "spam-guard censors" at Yahoo! have been working overtime and might block the answer, so why don't you just put in search words for "genealogy" or "ancestry" or "family history" or various other words and phrases. You will find more than you could ever use. Some information is free and some requires payment.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) have great respect for family history and provide a wonderful source of help, information, and inspiration. Look them up. Check with court houses, churches, and other institutions in towns and counties where you know your ancestors have lived. Do Web searches for the names, but be aware that there might be many people of the same names, so do narrow down your searches when you get to a good place.

    Write letters to relatives, most of whom will be glad to help. There may be boxes of pictures and letters and newspaper clippings just waiting to be visited. You will be pleased at how much you learn and how you might even become closer to known relatives and learn about relatives you didn't even know you had. There are many, many, many routes to follow, but you won't regret it.

    There are some scams and near-scams operating to take your money on paid services, so check out any paid services you might decide to use. Oh, by the say, there is a great Social Security Death Index available, too. They seem to be linked with a legitimate paid service to get full reports, but you can get good leads there without getting the full reports.

    Hey, you are to be commended for pursuing this for and with your children and their children and..... Good luck.

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  • Jen M
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Okay, first get a genealogy chart and start with your name. Then fill in your Mom and Dad's Names and then fill in your Grandparents names. go to:

    Because your mother is deceased you can look up information on her. If not you might have to go to your grandparents names to see. At any rate this site will give you lots of information of where to start and what to do.

    It is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and they operate the largest genealogy library in the US. Best of all, it is free.

    The idea with Genealogy is start with what you know, and work back to what you don't know. So, looking at things like journals, wills, birth and death certificates can sometimes shed light onto our ancestors.

    Oh, remember you will always look your mom up by her maiden name.

    If you need help, feel free to e-mail me and I can try to help the best I can.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Here's a link from my web page that has more links to family reserach:


    Learn how to get started:

    Free Charts and Information:

    Online Searching

    Share and Preserve

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  • fipps
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    first of all i will say if you're in this search for for the money ignore it. you prefer to do the analyze to discover what ancestor is on the dawes roll. upon getting each and each of the documentation that the tribe calls for then you fairly positioned up all of it to the tribe for his or her interest. there is not any make particular that you will be accepted so do not get your hopes up. in case you could't discover your ancestor on the dawes and grant each and each of the documentation then do not even attempt filing to the tribal places of paintings.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you can start with online genealogy sites

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you could go to

    i think it costs to get your results but it could be worth it if you could find your long lost family.

    hope this helped!

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  • 1 decade ago

    go to and within an hour or so you SHOULD be able to find your family tree.

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