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Family Tree

A family tree is nothing but a genealogical diagram. And don’t rush to look up the meaning of ‘genealogy’. The dictionary defines it as the “study of family pedigrees”. Drawing up a family tree makes it easy for you and future generations to trace your ancestry through the decades and even centuries. Patience, research and organization are the three essential criteria; often in that order. The most important requirement for setting up a family tree is information. You can go about this in a variety of ways. Perhaps you have an elderly person in your family who has recollections of the past. Talk to that person and glean as many names and dates as possible. Record your conversations or at least write down the information so you can organize it all later.

Another rich source of information could be journals kept by ancestors or other family members. The internet is a very good place to look for information when drawing up your family tree. Just putting in the last name on one of the search engines might help you unearth a treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts and history. The local library is another good source particularly if your family has lived in one place for a long time. Once you have all the data you need it is time to get it all organized chronologically. Make sure to give credit to your sources whenever possible.

As you are putting it all together it is very probable that you will find some unaccounted for time gaps or missing names and dates. Don’t panic – this is one major obstacle that faces every one who takes up the challenging task of compiling a family tree. As you sort through your research make a list of all that is missing or any discrepancies you spot. Often facts such as birth or marriage dates, marital status or addresses can be located at the local government or religious centers such as places of worship or Social security office. Once a single thread is unraveled you will be astonished at the speed in which the rest of your search progresses!

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