You know that a professional genealogist can cost quite a bit of money, so why don’t you first attempt to find your ancestors free of charge? It will take some work, some dedication and possibly even some traveling. In the end it’s all worth it because you will be able to find your ancestors free, and discover what your family tree really looks like if you do it correctly.
One of the best ways to begin is by simply interviewing members of your family. Ask the eldest members first. Try to get birth dates, countries or towns of origin, maiden names of married women and, of course, how they are related to you. This is one of your greatest free sources of information when trying to find your ancestors free, without hiring an professional. Not only will you get the facts you need, but you very well might hear stories of a personal nature about your ancestors. Ask for photographs or show photographs, asking the identity of those you don’t recognize. It would be a good idea to record or videotape the person(s) talking about your relatives, because some written information might be lost, misunderstood or simply forgotten. Do a thorough family interview and have a set of questions written down so you don’t forget to ask anything. From there, you can go on to more investigative work.
After you have as much known information about your family as you could gather, it’s time to hit the internet. A very good resource is www.ancestry.com. Here, although it’s a for-profit site, you can find your ancestors free by joining for a trial period. This may be a very short period of time (days), so be prepared with all of your information before you join. At that point, you can look up surnames, input towns or countries, dates and make connections that apply to you and your family. You can turn up some interesting facts and discover a lot on this site.
The World Connect Project is another free internet site you can utilize. It lets users upload ancestry information they already have onto their free database for other researchers to connect to. Let’s say someone else in your large extended family is or has done ancestry research and turned up valuable information. If they enter what they’ve found onto this site, you can access it. This is a huge genealogy database containing millions of family trees and information for you to search through. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Also take a look at www.internment.net. This will let you access burial records worldwide. Someone would have had to input the information you are looking for, though. Another way to search for the dearly departed is through old newspaper obituary clippings. Try the library of the town where the person lived.