How to build a family tree 10 genealogy resources for seniors
Today, it’s easier than ever to research your family tree. Thanks to a number of online resources, you have access to more information than ever before on who your relatives were and where they came from. A detailed family tree makes a great keepsake your relatives will cherish for generations to come.
These 10 online resources will help you easily research and create a detailed family tree:
- FamilySearch: This is the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world, including census records dating from 1790–1940. All you need to start your research are your relatives’ names and the region they lived in.
- WikiTree: This organization hopes to “grow” a single family tree that eventually connects everyone in the world. WikiTree lets you add photos to share with other family members you discover across the country in your online search. They even let you upload your DNA information to more precisely track results.
- The USGenWeb Project: This site helps you narrow down your search by directing users to individual state and county archives and genealogy research sites.
- The WorldGenWeb Project: This site makes it possible to search every country in the world. If you know your relative lived outside of the United States, look here.
- Chronicling America: This site lets you search through archives of North American newspapers.
- Google News Archive: Search millions of pages of archived newspapers from around the world.
- Automated Genealogy: If you think you might have family from Canada, you’ll want to go here. This site features indexes of the Canadian census.
- Library and Archives Canada: These are the official archives of Canada. Look here for government files, including military records or immigration information.
- Castle Garden: This site has records on immigration to the United States preceding the establishment of Ellis Island.
- Ellis Island: Discover immigration records spanning 1892–1954, detailing everything from the names of families travelling together to their ages and eye colors.
Once your get your history seeds sorted, these five tips will help you put the finishing touches on your perfect family tree:
- Start with a piece of paper and a pencil. Write out the names of relatives starting with the ones you know. Look through old albums and family keepsakes to find names and information to add to your list. Now is also a great time to decide how much information you’re going to include for each entry: Will you limit your list to family members’ names and dates of birth and death, or will you include other information such as their professions and where they lived? Whatever you decide, be sure to note where you find each piece of information so you can refer back to it later if needed.
- Contact family members to find out if they know or remember names that you don’t. Add these to your list.
- As your tree grows, move it to a bigger pot: Stretch a large sheet of butcher paper or construction paper out on the floor or pin it to a wall, then use colored markers to sketch out the roots and branches of your tree and continue adding names.
- When you’ve discovered everything you can and all the names are on the tree and connected together, use a smaller, frame-size sheet of paper or cardstock to redraw your tree. Practice drawing it out a few times until you get a design that perfectly fits your sheet.
- Now draw and label your tree one last time, then decorate it with different colored pens, stickers or photos. When you’re done, frame your tree and put it in a prominent place. Invite family and friends to stop by and show them how everyone is connected.
At Holiday Retirement, our family tree stretches across the nation. Our rich activities calendar and caring staff will make you feel good about calling Holiday Retirement home. Plan your visit today.