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Simple Steps You Can Take To Know Your Family History Better

Many would argue that the following list of names is important: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington, and I think most would agree. Finding out if we are related to any of them could be fun! 

They are collectively known as the Founding Fathers of America and these progenitors delineate perhaps some of the earliest pedigree the United States has to offer! It is interesting to note that despite being fathers of the nation Thomas Jefferson was representing France and John Adams was representing Great Britain when they signed the constitution. A genealogist is paid to research details like this when they search for our ancestry.

Who knows a genealogist?

Knowing a person who searches ancestry for a living can lead to many interesting conversations? At least for us, I expect for them it is rather like being a doctor and being asked to diagnose health conditions after a dinner party! Perhaps some of us will know the cost of hiring a professional genealogist but for most, it is likely an unknown. However, a genealogist is not just about researching family trees; it could also be to save a life when a medical issue occurs, is there a family history for?.

Are We Related to Anyone Important!?

Importance in this context would be influencers, game-changers, the people who shaped our world through their success or perhaps infamy. In the UK it is often about Royals being descended from Hannah Lightfoot who is purportedly the first wife of George the 3rd could be a great claim to fame. However even on the above site much is still not known about Hannah including if she was in fact married to Prince George.

Indeed articles in papers or across social media are fond of chasing ancestors of merit, the article here links George W. Bush and several other Presidents with connections with Royals. There have been many more Americans since the founding fathers including abolitionist leaders such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Martin Luther King which we would be proud to connect with. 

Australians appear less interested in their founding own father, Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister as the colony states were dissolved into a feral republic. Yet Mr. Bartons accurately claimed ”We have for the first time in history a nation for a continent and a continent for a nation” in 1901 which should make him a proud ancestor to someone. 

Genealogy or History

Our interest may not be in finding famous people we are related to, it might be trying to look up family members estranged for one reason or another. What happened to great uncle Robert after they emigrated, didn’t he register as Bob. This is a genealogist work but we can see people doing this themselves on Reddit or FeedSpot and it is interesting to review the posts of people looking for an obituary for a Grandparent they assume dead but have lost touch with or someone still living.

A Genealogist Needs Access

For my money, if we have a need or desire to find out about someone in our family or ancestry a company that makes certain guarantees in the countries concerned is best. Many of us have family that moved abroad and for one reason or another lost touch and a reunion of connection can be a magical thing.

They should have access to public records such as city directories, newspapers, and other vital records such as birth, marriage, divorce, and of course death records. Searching through probate and records might also turn up clues, maybe an interest in finding out what happened to Great Aunt Mabel’s collections which we admired as a child!

Local Libraries, Criminal Records and Military Service records are all places to research for help with a family tree and finding someone lost to our personal record.

Wait, What, Why Pedigree!

The fact is if we want to check our lineage in a sense we are checking our pedigree. Until perhaps the late half of the last century our lineage was used by many to determine a great deal about us and Who we came from was important. For others What our family gave us outlines the prospects for our lives!

However, the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, discussed pedigree as a far more useful tool for us to research genetic traits including diseases we inherit from our fore-persons, a great tool if tracking the origin of a disease can help find a cure.

Needing help with ancestry or finding someone lost is a myriad of choices so it’s suggested to start with a company that has access to the right records. Perhaps a company where we can start the leg works ourselves searching the records, remotely. However, if it gets too convoluted or takes up too much of our time being able to hand over the search to a professional who has the skills, training, and time could find all the answers.

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Written by nikola

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