How do I begin to trace my ancestry?

+2 votes
My name is Matthew Angus McCrae, born 03/08/1962. My father was Matthew Montgomery McCrae. I want to begin to trace my family history. Can you give me any information as guidance?
in Genealogy Help by

2 Answers

0 votes
do you know where your father grew up, his fathers name?

check the cencus records for names in the area and it all starts to fall into place.

good luck.
by Steve Gilfoyle G2G2 (2.4k points)
+1 vote
There are many sites on the internet that offer free forms for printing. Following is one of them:

These forms will guide you to collect the information you need. You can take copies with you to family gatherings and have family members fill out the forms, as well.

Locate the oldest surviving members in your extended family. They generally love company and enjoy talking about old times. You can fill out the form as they speak. In this way you can date the form for the sake of documentation. Use the back to jot down any interesting family stories they tell you.  I've even taken pictures of their photos with my camera.

Because of this, I have interviews recorded from relatives who died decades ago, as well as hundreds of photos. You may not want to get that elaborate.  I was young and energetic when I did all of this. :o)
by Debby Black G2G6 Mach 8 (80.6k points)
I didn't think to add the obvious. If you have a lap top and can type fast, you don't need to use pen and physical forms, but typing on a laptop seems more awkward when interviewing relatives.

Also, family tree software makes recording and organizing so much easier. It's good to have all your information stored on software rather than depend on internet sites only. That way, no matter what happens, you have a backup copy. offers free genealogy software if you're not already using something else.

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