What is the step by step process you go through when you are searching for a relative?

+3 votes
As I am fairly new to doing genealogy I was wondering what is the step by step process those do in researching a family member especially those that are distant that you have little or no information on.
in The Tree House by Sarah Black G2G6 Mach 1 (11.5k points)

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

I see you have already made progress in adding several branches to your part of the tree, so I am guessing you are looking for advice on how to find sources to provide better evidence for those profiles. You might find the following sites useful for the English part of your tree:




by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (633k points)
selected by Shaun Doust
Shaun, Thanks for the best answer star.
+7 votes
I always start with what I know first. I then use that information in Family search or Heritage Quest to find census, birth, marriage or death records. From those records I can branch out to other people. I've done some African-American research and I find city directories are better sources than censuses or birth or marriage records. I generally do a google search, with the hopes of getting more information. Sometimes, I can find a living cousin and can ask them questions.

I mostly use the free online sources first. I would love to do more research in libraries, but I don't have the resources to travel. So I'm stuck with online sources.
by Elizabeth x G2G6 Mach 3 (33.5k points)
+1 vote
One of my main sources for distant ancestors (pre-civil registration and census) are

1) wills if the family was wealthy enough - they often provide names of cousins, married daughter and their husbands.

2) settlement certificates and removal orders for those who are not wealthy.

3) marriage licence allegations and bonds - especial pre-1752 in the UK when people often married in churches many miles from where they lived. Marriage licence allegations and bonds often provided ages and sometimes parents were recorded.
by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
Just looking at your tree - we could be related as you have Selmes ancestors from Sussex (so do I!) and as Selmes isn't a particularly common name there is a good chance we could connect!

Another good source especially for your Australian ancestors is the Trove newspaper archive...

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