Have You Found Your Past?

wiseGEEK Writing Contest

A civil war hero, a pirate, an African tribesman, or an Indian princess - all of these people from the past could be in your family tree. For those who know all about where their family comes from or has a written history, you are very lucky. The truth is that most people only have an idea of where their ancestors came from and don't know much about any of them. Knowing where your ancestors came from and who they were is a great way to help you learn more about your family tree and some of the hereditary conditions that you might face later in life. No matter if you are interested in genealogy or not, then the time has never been better for you to search out your long-lost ancestors. Due to the popularity of genealogy sites on the Internet, you can find all your ancestors and family without leaving your home.

Before the Internet, people who wanted to research genealogy had to go down to the library and spend hours upon hours of sifting through old microfiche forms and old newspapers to find traces of their ancestors and family tree. They would listen to the stories that their parents and grandparents told and then see if they could find any trace of those people in death records, birth records, and land records. It was a long and tedious process that most gave up on pretty fast.

But, now, you can search out your family tree from generations past by sitting at home in your spare time. There are thousands of great websites out there who can help you search through millions of databases that will help you find your relatives, no matter where they are or where they came from. You can search through: the death records, birth records, land records, marriage records, ship logs, immigration logs, and even through personal records that have been kept by millions of people. These great searches can turn those long hours of work into a few short minutes to find every branch in your family tree.

Some sites are free, and some are pay sites, so you should look at each one carefully before agreeing to any type of fee. You need to know if they are free, and if not, do they charge per search or as a monthly membership fee. So, it doesn't matter how much you do or don't spend on these sites if you are finding the information that you need. If you find that you cannot get any information, you can always email their support department for help or tips on what you might be doing wrong. Most of these web sites offer great email support to help you find your whole family tree.

So, if you want to know about your past, the best way to do it is to get into genealogy and seek out your ancestors. Search around several different Internet sites to see what you can find. No matter what you do find, it will always find something interesting that you didn't know before. Who knows, you might even find a long-lost member of royalty or a great hero in your family tree!

submitted by Lori R. Stone