Researching your family history is gaining in popularity as more people become interested in their past families, and using the Internet makes it much easier to trace our ancestors.
Before you get started write down all the details you can about your family. This will include yourself and your immediate family such as your parents, children, grandchildren, siblings and their families.
You never know what information will come in useful in your research so get into the habit of taking notes. It is also important to make sure these notes are organised, so try to keep them separate for each family member.
It is easier to work methodically from a fact such as the date of birth or a marriage of a relative rather than a person you do not know much about. Begin with the youngest members of your family, including any children and grandchildren you may have and then move on to your parents and grandparents.
There are many good books, websites and magazines devoted to the subject. Your local library will have a selection of titles and dedicated magazines have tips as well as accounts of records and sources.
Below are some websites that will also help you.
Family History Websites
- You can start your family tree at the free family tree resource provided by Ancestry.co.uk. All it takes is one name to start.
- The Ancestry.co.uk website has the world’s largest online library of family history information and constantly adding more. Just type in a name and start your search.
- The Genes Reunited website contains records of births, marriages and deaths since July 1837. These records form a vital part of family history research as they document the key events in someone's life. The information these records contain can be invaluable and you can use it to verify your research. All you need to do is enter a name to get started.
- Findmypast.co.uk was the first website to make the complete birth, marriage and death records for England and Wales available online, back in 2003. They are, in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies, publishing local parish records online, helping genealogists to delve further back in time.
- The Romney Marsh Baptisms Index website is the work of local historians and genealogists Gary Samson, Bob Chown and the late David Hills. David painstakingly transcribed the baptism records of the following 15 parishes in the Romney Marsh registration district between August 2003 and December 2004: Brenzett, Brookland, Burmarsh, Dymchurch, Fairfield, Hope All Saints, Ivychurch, Lydd, Lydd Independent, New Romney, Newchurch, Old Romney, Snargate, Snave and St Mary in the Marsh. This searchable, web-based version of these transcriptions was produced by Gary Samson of the Woodchurch Ancestry Group.
- The Mid-Kent Marriages Index 1754-1911 website is the work of local historians and genealogists David Hills and Gary Samson. David painstakingly transcribed the marriage records of seven registration districts in the mid Kent area: East Ashford, West Ashford, Cranbrook, Elham, Hollingbourne, Romney Marsh and Tenterden. Also included are marriages celebrated at Maidstone (All Saints) for this period. This searchable, web-based version of these transcriptions was produced by Gary Samson of the Woodchurch Ancestry Group.
- The Forces War Records website is where you can search military records of over 4 million British Armed Forces personnel, cross matched with over 4000 units of the British Armed Forces, going back to before 1630.