Family Lineage is a Treasure Hunt
Family lineage is one of the most interesting topics for anyone to discuss because it is unique to each family. Finding everything from royalty to heroes in family lineage is exciting. Having a personal record of family lineage is a great treasure. Recently, the Latter-day Saint church provided Larry King with a copy of his family history during his evening TV show. King commented that although he had received many gifts during his life, he would cherish the gift of his family lineage above all the rest.
How do you find the origin and story of a family name as unique as von Niederhausern der Hoboëken Dans or as common as Jones? There are three major sources for finding information about your family lineage without the help of one of those little kiosks in the mall.
1) Family History Libraries
The easiest way to learn more about your family lineage is to download all the information that has already been compiled. You can do this with the Ancestral File database that is indexed at the world’s largest genealogy library, The Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Downloading your family tree onto a GEDCOM file can help you do research on the ancestors you are most interested in. In order to find as much information on your lineage as possible in the database, you’ll need to gather information about your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents.
Since only a small percentage of genealogy enthusiasts will ever make it to the Salt Lake Valley, the information has been placed online at FamilySearch.org—a non-profit website that helps make vital records available to researchers.
3) Field Research
Field research is not always the most practical method for filling in the gaps of your family lineage. It’s certainly the most time consuming, but it is also often the most rewarding. After exhausting the data that’s already been compiled in indexes, the next step is to do your own research. You can hire an accredited genealogist to do this for you, or you can tackle it yourself. Field research is done by going into census records, birth/death records, marriage records, and anything else that’s available in order to find information on a family.
These are some basic sources of finding information. Certainly, volumes have been compiled on the subject of family lineage, but only recently has a new method of research been revealed—DNA testing. Through DNA, people whose research has hit a roadblock and hasn’t moved for years can conduct a DNA test to either confirm records already obtained, link themselves to someone they believe to be a relative, or determine what ethnicities make up their DNA.
Remember that building a record of your family lineage is a very time-consuming process, but it is extremely rewarding. Through either the help of a professional or your own efforts, family lineage is a treasure worth discovering.