Family Trees Tips

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What is the Easiest Way to Search Family Trees?

Searching Family Trees & Family Tree Makers

If you are searching family trees for your ancestry or genealogy information there is an easier way to go about doing it. Here is a tip that may be helpful to you in getting your research done a bit easier.

You should use active searches. Using an active search allows you to search several prominent genealogy sites by only entering your information one time. This type of active search also determines the best type of search for you to use at each site suggested. This way when you are searching each site you won't be sifting through a bunch of useless information, instead you will be recommended exactly which information to use.

What is an Ancestor Detector?

Becoming an Ancestor Detector

This is a sure way to get your kids involved in your family tree projects! Ask them to become ancestor detectors to help you find information for your family tree project. Have your kids ask relatives, as many who are willing, the following questions to start your family tree project:

-What is your full name? When were you born?

-Where were you born?

-What were/are your parents full name and where were they born, died?

-What kind of work did your parents do?

-Where did they live or do they live now?

-Do you have any brothers and sisters, if so, names? Who were they named after?

-Who are or were your grandparents? Where were they born/died? What did they do for work? Where did they live? When did they get married?

- Do you know any information about your great-grandparents such as, dates they were born, died, married or had children?

If you have your children help you out, you can truly make this family tree project a family affair.

What is a World Family Tree?

World Family Tree

A world family tree is another genealogy tool that allows you to search for family trees. It is pretty much what it sounds like- a search for family trees throughout the world.

World family trees are something that you pay for and then are able to view hundreds of thousands of actual family trees. You may view these family trees online or download them to your computer. Your price will vary, but most likely will average a little over nine dollars a month for world family tree information.

By finding only one of your ancestors with a world family tree search you can add an entire branch instantly to your own personal family tree. Try doing an Internet search for "world family tree" to see what you find.

What are Some Family Projects that Grandparents Can do?

Family Project for Grandparents and Grandkids

There are projects or fun activities that grandparents can do with grandchildren to help preserve precious memories from time gone by.

One very special activity that grandparents can do with their grandchildren is to go through old photographs with them. As the grandparent finds a photo he or she shares with their grandchild just who the person was and how you are related. The grandparents can tell stories about that person. While going through the pictures, the grandchild can help write down and information about that person that the grandparent shares. It is a really special way to help grandchildren get to know their ancestors.

What is a Family History Map?

Make a Family History Map

This is another fun family tree project a family could do together. Try making a family history map.

You will first want to write down stories from every family member available with pertinent information. You will then pick a medium sized table in your house for building this map. You can put foam core and then white poster board down on the table for the map surface. You will eventually be cutting out tabs in the poster board in which to insert your family stories that you have written. Glue the edges of the foam and the poster board together.

You can then sketch onto the poster board the countries in which every ancestor you spoke to or learned about came from. You will also want figures that you can make that represent the family member and his or her interests, career, etc.

Once you have the figures made and the countries on the poster board, you can begin your map making. Select one relative to place on the map. Under the tab in the correct country place the story of that person that you have written. Then pick a figure and something that represents that person and glue by the tab you put the story. You will do this until you have gone through all of the relatives you learned about and placed on the map.

What a fun way for kids to see and learn about ancestry!

What are Some Gifts to Give for Family Trees?

Family Tree Gift Ideas

Are you looking to give a gift with a family tree project that you have done? If so, here are some ideas for sharing the family tree project that you have completed at home.

Make your family tree into a shareable CD for people in your family. You can include pictures, items that are scanned, music and video if you want. What a fun project to give as a gift!

Sharing family records with a loved one, especially one that may be a little older, is a fun way for them to reminisce. Try finding census reports from years past and give them to your grandfather or grandmother. Chances are they will want to share all of their memories with you about familiar names.

One last fun thing to give as a gift with a family tree in mind is to make a photo calendar with pictures of loved ones or ancestors that you find. Give the calendar to the person in your family who is of direct descent to these relatives and watch their face as they open the calendar. What a fun way for them to remember their ancestors.

What is Lesson Plan For Family Trees?

Family Tree Lesson Plans

There are several great family tree projects that teachers can do with their classroom. One such example is to have the teacher explain what a family tree is to the classroom, showing examples of a template of a family tree. The teacher should then have students talk to family members to find out pertinent information from them. It is especially fun to talk to great-grandparents if they are available. Students should pick two fun family members to talk to.

When students have accumulated all of their information they will come to school and draw their family tree on butcher paper that is displayed throughout the classroom and then give a brief summary to the class about what they found out.

You could even have children do this at home!

How do I start to organize?

What's the first step?

Your first step toward organizing your genealogy research/items should be to gather everything you have already collected into one place. As you go through your house, place any documents, certificates, letters, photographs into a large container or box. Getting everything together will give you an idea of how much material you already have, as well as what types of items you will need to organize.

Don't set up an organizational system until you take stock of what you have!

How can I stay organized?

File, Don't Pile!

When researching genealogy, get organized by setting up a filing system; then don't let yourself get behind in your filing!

Once you've created a filing system, file each page of notes, document, copy, etc. as you find it.

How Can I Share my Family Tree Project?

How to Share Your Family Tree Project

When you have completed your family tree project, you most often want to share your findings. There are several fun ways to share what you have found with those you love.

You can share your findings in a small book that you have bound and collected photos, maps, and other important documents. You can make copies of all important information you have found and give it to anyone interested.

You can also write a family newsletter to mail out to everyone in the family just what you have found. It is a neat way to share current events but also events that happened that month or week in the past. A fun way to share what you have gathered in your family tree project.

What is a DNA Project?

Family Tree DNA Project

Many people are tracing their genealogy by using DNA. Just how does this work? Basically when your research runs cold and you can find nothing on paper anymore, a DNA test can be done to determine if someone is a relative or not, by simply doing a brush of the inside of the cheek. These DNA tests can also be used at times to see if a person is part of a larger group of people and for people who are performing surname family tree reconstruction projects.

Many people are choosing DNA projects as a way to find out if an ancestor is truly that, an ancestor. Most of these DNA tests were developed for the amateur genealogists who are serious about their research and for professional genealogists who are researching family lines. The cost varies, but typically it costs between $120 and 3$00 for one DNA test.

What Can I Learn About My Family Tree From a Cemetary?

Cemetery Studies

Okay, so visiting a cemetery can be kind of creepy, but it can also be a fun project to do when researching your family tree. Make it a family affair and bring Grandma and Grandpa and the kids!

Paying a visit to a cemetery where relatives are buried from long ago can give families insight in just how the relatives lived. Studying the tombstones and the mausoleums can help people get to know what architecture was like at the time of the ancestor's death. Reading relatives epitaphs can help you feel more connected to the ancestor and give you a general idea just how many relatives are buried there.

Cemeteries are full of history, maybe even your family!


Searching Family Trees & Family Tree Makers

What is a family tree maker and how can it make your family ancestry search easier?

A family tree maker is just what it sounds like. It allows you generate your family tree, often times you are able to view three generations of the same family using a special family tree software. A family tree maker also allows you to see different views of your screen, thus you may be able to see up to seven generations of your family on the computer screen.

This type of computerized family tree maker also searches a major ancestry/genealogy website while you are working on your computer inputting information. A special indicator will let you know when your results have been found. You will then be able to compare your search results with information you already have generated in a side-by-side format for easy viewing!

You can also merge information from the website the computer searches with your information you have stored on your computer.

You can download a family tree maker onto your computer by first finding one you like. Try doing a family tree maker search on a search engine. Many you will have to pay to download and others may be free. The download may take up to 45 minutes.


How to Share Your Family Tree Project

One last way to share your family tree project is to have a family reunion. Yes, it takes some planning, but once you have your entire family present, you can have a large poster board with all of the information you found on your ancestors to share. This may also give you an opportunity to expand on your family tree chart. Ask each family member to bring current pictures of their family, as well as old ancestor photos that they might have tucked away. Don't forget to take a big family portrait for future generations to enjoy.

How Can I Make My Own Family Tree?

Make a Homemade Family Tree

If you are making a family tree and want to make it a bit different, why not make just that.. a tree? It is a fun and different way to display your family tree information instead of using a plain old family tree template for your information.

Print out a family tree template that is in black and white. Collect tree twigs, as many as will cover your tree trunk and branches. Glue the twigs onto the template so that the tree trunk is covered in twigs, making it look like the actual bark from the tree. Then glue the twigs on the branches of the tree template. After that, fill in your family tree information and viola you have an actual family tree, twigs and all!

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Guru Spotlight
Sherril Steele-Carlin