Alert
Close

Join the Drive to End Hunger! Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Poll

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

5 Genealogy Secrets

Megan Smolenyak found Obama’s Irish ancestry. Now she shares tips for shaking your family tree

Q: What are your top tips for tracing family history?
A:
  1. Be methodical and organized. There's nothing more irritating than discovering the same thing twice because you kept sloppy records.

2. Search courthouse records, old newspapers, archives, and libraries. Not everything is online. Some of the best stories take a little more digging.

3. Don't forget about cemeteries. The true test of a "genie" is how excited they get about cemeteries, which can provide important information — not to mention, a fun field trip.

4. Don't take family lore as absolute truth. Use it as a theory and prove or disprove it. While there's often an element of truth, tales tend to morph across generations.

5. Connect with others. Use social networking to find those third cousins who have photos and other pieces of the family puzzle. You'll all have more fun!


Q: Why do you think so many people are interested in genealogy?
A:
Part of it is the thrill of the hunt; you never know what you might find when you start digging. Genealogy also gives people a sense of belonging at a time we’ve become so mobile. And in hard times, when you know what your ancestors endured, you can remember that their blood flows in your veins, and draw strength from that.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

1-800flowers.com (1-800flowers.com)

Members save 20% or $20 on purchases of $79.99  from
Fruitbouquets.com.

Collette Vacations

Members save up to $200 per couple on select tours with Collette Vacations.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

Featured
Groups

Preserving Family History

Share ideas on ways to preserve family stories so that future generations will have them to enjoy. Discuss

Where You From, Anyway?

Contribute stories, images and anecdotes about the countries your family lived in before settling in the United States. Discuss

Genealogy

Working on a family tree mystery or just getting started on discovering your family roots? Chat with other genealogy enthusists.  Discuss