What makes us so inquisitive to know who we really are - could it be those family legends of
royal connections, a secret linked to a notorious forebear, or watching a favourite celebrity
trace their genealogy on TV?

As a family history researcher I've been asked to prove connections to several famous
people in history including monarchs and pioneers of the American Wild West.

Whatever your own reason, your family tree will be unique and there'll be no shortage of
ancestors to track down. With two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, and
so on, by the time you hit the 16th century, you could be looking for over 1,000 people!

Trace your Roots
~ An informative and fun guide
~ Contains hundreds of tips
~ Includes less well-known sources
~ Suitable for new and more experienced family historians
~ Dozens of useful addresses and websites

Family baptisms
You might not always find a baptism where you'd
expect to find it. If you have difficulty locating one,
search further into the register before throwing in
the towel as some families had their entire brood
baptised as a job lot!

Sample tips
Personal possessions
A will usually mentions personal possessions only if these
were left to someone specifically, but a probate inventory
is often more revealing about your ancestor. An inventory
will list their belongings, often room by room, and include
stuff like furniture, tools, clothing and so on.

Another way to discover a father's identity
The overseer kept a careful tally of incomings and
outgoings in his accounts book. This included
payments made to mothers of illegitimate children
and money collected from reputed fathers.

Useful resources
General Register Office (GRO)
For birth, marriage and death certificates from July 1837

International Genealogical Index (IGI)
A vast index of baptisms and marriages covering the years from 1838 to around 1875
compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints
The National Archives
The largest collection of info concerning individuals and households during the 19th century
Access to Archives
An online catalogue listing the whereabouts of millions of records that are kept in local
archive centres
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
A searchable database that lists the names of 1.7 million men and woman who lost their lives in the
two world wars
Federation of Family History Societies
Details of regional societies in England, Wales and Ireland

Guild of One-Name Studies
Info on thousands of surnames