Genealogy is something I have often considered but have not been able to commit myself to.
Whilst I do have a great curiosity about my extremely varied and diverse family history, its intricate complicatedness caused between a lack of knowledge, limited information and the extreme geographical complexity means that it is, for me, a task that is seemingly impossible to undertake.
Also, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But before even beginning, there are these three points before deciding whether or not continue:
Be prepared for anything
Making the decision to trace your family tree back as far as you are able to is usually undertaken with a mixture of curiosity and excitement. After all, who knows what you might discover, right? But do be aware that there may be some potential skeletons in the family closet that might be uncovered. Am I ready for this?
Where to begin
As the wise words sang, ‘Let’s start at the very beginning…’ – and that’s with the relatives you already know of. Ask them who or what they remember, noting any dates, places and names as they mention them. Once you have this information as your foundation you can then begin to work slowly backwards. Birth certificates for the UK can then be purchased from the General Register Office (GRO), which will then contain further details of parents’ names, allowing you to continue your search back through the generations. Unfortunately, most of my family were not born in the UK. I don’t know where to start with this.
What are the next steps?
There are many genealogy sites online that could help in my quest to discover my ancestors but they often cost money on an ongoing basis.
Alternatively, I could seek my unique ancestry results through DNA testing. Results may vary depending on the company I use and the markers they test by. Testing is easy and can be done from the comfort of my own home via a swab test of my cheek. This is then securely posted to the company’s labs and a report is sent back.
Have any of you tried these at all? What did you think?
Out of curiosity, I’ve decided to try out a test or two and see what results they come up with.
I’ll let you know the update on the first test soon!