Cultural/Race Geneaology Tips

Read these 13 Cultural/Race Geneaology Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Genealogy tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Where Can I Begin to Search My Irish Roots?

Irish Genealogy

Have you been wondering about your Irish family roots? Are you curious as to why your Irish family left Ireland, of if any of your Irish relatives may have been someone very important in the Irish culture?

If these are questions you are wishing to find answers to, there are several places to start your Irish family genealogy. One place to start your search may be to visit an Irish Family History Foundation for information. A simple Internet search with the name of the foundation should tell you just how to get in contact with a center near you.

These centers will have records made available to you, records such as: church records, civil records, census records, Griffiths Valuation, and grave yard inscriptions.

These centers have been taking on the large task of computerizing as many Irish family history records as possible and to date have put more than 15 million records into their computer database. It may be a great starting point for the genealogist in you!

How To Search My Japanese Relatives?

Japanese Genealogy

Finding information on your Japanese roots may also be a bit harder. While Japanese public offices collect pertinent information for all people currently living in Japan, they may not have records from those past.

Depending on the location of your ancestors, you might be able to still find information. There is only one type of family registry in Japan, but the information can be stored or found in two different ways.

If you are looking for information for your Japanese genealogy research, try contacting the municipal office in the town, city or village in which your ancestor resided. They may or may not have this genealogical information, but in any case, it is worth looking.

Koseki Touhon: This means the information is stored as a copy, a transcript or a document. This would include the names of the relative's entire family registry including beyond the names of parents.

Koseki Shouhon: This more of a piece of the family registry, like an excerpt of the entire registry. It will give the names of one's parents and the birth dates of the immediate family but not the entire family registry.

If you are looking for information for your Japanese genealogy research, try contacting the municipal office in the town, city or village in which your ancestor resided. They may or may not have this genealogical information, but in any case, it is worth looking.

You may also want to search your ancestor's Buddhist temple for death records because many Japanese funerals use Buddhist rituals. If searching for a wedding record, try contacting a Shinto shrine as many Japanese weddings utilized the Shinto ritual for weddings.

How Can I Research My Italian Relatives who Traveled on a Ship?

Italian Genealogy

Did your Italian relative set sail on a passenger ship between the years 1609 to 1960? If so, you may be able to locate them by searching passenger ship arrivals. After all, your family history begins when your very first relative lands in that country. If you do an Internet search for Italian Genealogy, you should have several helpful sites to aid you in your search. You should even be able to research passenger arrivals by using your relative's surname.

One thing to know is that if the information you are viewing does not come directly from the source sited, you may want to try going directly to the main source rather than trusting information that has been taken off of other sites and transferred to another.

Besides doing a surname search, you may also be able to search the ship or vessel your loved one used for his passage, should you know the name of it. The search should show a list of all known passengers on that specific vessel.

How Can I Search My Polish Ancestors?

Polish Genealogy

A great place to research your Polish ancestors is to look through census polls. What is so great about these census findings in Poland is that the files from 1790 to 1920 have a ton of information. Anything after 1850 will or should have the head of the Polish household listed, and all people who lived in that house at that time. They may even have the relationship each person had to the head of household. If you are looking for census data from 1890, please know that was lost in a fire.

If you know what faith your Polish relatives were, you may also want to look through the information the church they were involved with has. Churches of most religions kept fairly accurate and detailed information for each member.

If you know the town or city from your ancestor's past and are having trouble locating it on a modern map, ask the assistance of a Polish gazetteer in locating the city you are looking for.

Where do I Look For Greek Genealogy?

Greek Genealogy

If you are looking for your Greek roots, here are some places to start your genealogy search:

The word Lixiarheion means vital records in Greek. If you are looking on a site that is in Greek, look for that word to find vital records.

If you need more assistance try looking up the number to your local Greek Embassy located in your country, especially if you are living abroad. You should be able to find your Greek Embassy number by looking on the Internet.

You may also have trouble looking up your Greek ancestors perhaps because you are spelling the name incorrectly. Try doing a search for Greek First Name Translator on the Internet to assist you in getting the translation correct.

You may also want to try joining an online Greek Genealogy club for more assistance. These types of groups are excellent for locating missing family members and posting questions for people to help you answer.

Remember, the Greek history is quite dated, you may have many more years of research to gather than compared to those of other cultures. You have your work cut out for you!

How Can I Search My Czech Relatives?

Czech Genealogy

Researching your Czech roots? The first thing to keep in mind is to know if you are Czech or Slovak. This can make a big difference. If you think you are Czech and are researching your Czech roots only to find nothing, you may actually be Slovak. If Czech research shows nothing, try doing a Slovak search.

Many Internet sites are available for your Czech heritage research. You might even be able to put in your name and both of your parents names to do a more in-depth surname search on several sites.

How Can I Search My Hispanic Relatives

Hispanic Genealogy

You can count yourself lucky if you are Hispanic and trying to research your Hispanic roots! Why? Because out of the many different cultures, the Hispanic culture kept tedious and in-depth written records of Hispanic activities.

You should be smiling if you are researching Hispanic heritage just knowing that your search may be a lot easier than if you had roots in another heritage. You should be able to trace your family history as far back as the 1500's or even further.

Just remember when doing your search that you have plenty of space for recording your information, because you will find a lot of it!

Also remember if you are researching your family history in Cuba that you know a few things about Cuba before beginning your search. By knowing a few things about the culture or area you are researching your family history from, you will know what not to look for when searching.

Start by doing an Internet search for Hispanic Genealogy, it should be able to direct you in the right direction and give you an idea of what you have to work with. Remember though, you should have a lot of information at your disposal, and you have your Hispanic ancestors to thank for that!

How can I find more information on my former slave ancestors?

Slave Narratives

This site from the Library of Congress contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. You may find narratives or pictures of your own slave ancestors here, or you can read the narratives to get a feeling and an understanding of the lives and times of these former slaves.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938

How do I find African American family history information?

Join A Group!

African-American family research can be very difficult, especially when searching for records and information prior to 1870 - or "The Wall."

To help you around, over, or under "The Wall", join a group of like-minded researchers who may already have the information you seek or know of resources to assist you.

For African-American researches, the Afrigenas group is a great place to start.

AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. It is also an African Ancestry research community featuring the AfriGeneas mail list, the AfriGeneas message boards and daily and weekly genealogy chats.

How do I research my Jewish ancestors?

The Shoah Foundation

If you are of Jewish descent, you may find the Shoah Foundation site to be of assistance and interest.

This site features video demonstrations of how its digital library was collected and is being cataloged for the future. You'll also find information about plans for worldwide access to the archive, a link to the foundation's newsletter, a catalog of its educational products and portions of actual testimonies. To view the video portions of the site, you will need high-speed Internet access and Quicktime media player, which you can download for free.

The Shoah Foundation

How do I find records about my African-American ancestors?

African-American Records Quick Guide

At a loss about where to start finding records about your African-American ancestors? Here's a great place to start - at the 'African-American Records Quick Guide' webpage on FamilySearch.Org.

This site will take you by the hand and show you how to find records you didn't even know existed!

African-American Records Quick Guide

How Can I Start my Scottish Genealogy Search?

Scottish Genealogy

Are you Scottish and wishing to find some of your Scottish ancestors? Have you always wanted to know what kind of life your ancestors lived? Doing genealogy research can lead you to these answers. You just need to know what types of things to look at during your search.

If you are looking on the Internet you can look for your Scottish roots by looking through the several different types of information.

-If offline, try reading some books about Scottish history and heritage.

-If online, do a surname search on a Scottish genealogy website for your family surname.

-Look through online Scottish county resources. Many Scottish genealogy sites should give you links to this type of information.

-Join an online Scottish society or club to get to know others who are doing genealogy research. You may even find a relative you didn't know about!

-Look through libraries and their archives for Scottish roots. This can be done online or offline at public libraries.

-Another place many don't think to look is to begin a search of a Scottish cemetery. Online Scottish genealogy sites should provide you with links to cemeteries to contact to see if relatives are buried there.

These are just a few ideas on how to start your Scottish research. Will you find your family member's history?

What May Make it Difficult to Research My Cherokee Roots?

Native American Genealogy

Native American genealogy can be a bit more difficult to research if you are trying to find your Native American heritage. Many American Indians didn't have surnames until around the 1700's.

In the 1700's the Cherokee tribe saw many of their tribesman choose surnames. Many of them opted to choose a European surname for a last name. Names such as Adair, Ward, Smith, Guess and Grant became popular within the Cherokee nation.

A problem arose when United States census takers came to the Cherokee tribes for census purposes. Many of these surnames chosen were translated into writing for the first time when census takers took names. This occurred not just with the Cherokee tribe, but with all Indian tribes at that time.

Census takers were not always able to spell the surnames correctly due to the communication barrier with language, this often led to the written surname being spelled different or translated incorrectly into English.

Therefore, if you are searching your Native American genealogy you may want to make sure that you know the spellings of all surnames including ones as early as the 1700's. You can try checking census records from around that time for different spellings of relatives last names, just to ensure you have found all of the relatives you may have.

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