Every family has an oral tradition. The stories might include adventures, places of residence, family tragedies, work experience, migration stories, military service, and interesting tales about family members. These tales are usually passed on from generation to generation; there is often one family member who has all of the stories remembered and they are a good place to start.. By interviewing family members about their lives, you can learn about your loved ones, the times in which they lived and also learn a little about yourself. Another good place to start the conversation is to ask what your elder relatives think about today’s modern conveniences that did not exist when they were your age. If they didn’t exist, what did people do for fun? The conversations with your elder family members are excellent opportunities to fill in branches of your family tree. Suggestions for preparing to interview family members. Sample Interview questions
Photographs, documents and artifacts often provide clues to family history. One option is to research the history of one or two significant items in their homes or owned by relatives that have a prominent place in a their genealogy. It could be your grandfather's passport, a wedding photograph or even a piece of furniture. Finding and documenting clues from these artifacts is a great way to start conversations with other family members. The oral traditions surrounding artifacts can add data to a family history.
Be cautious when providing personal data online. Be sure to get parent permission if you are under the age of 13.
Ellis Island Immigration Records - While most of the information that you will find useful will be found through conversations and interviews with family members and investigation into local historical artifacts, there are a few Internet resources that might be helpful. If family members immigrated to the United States between 1892 and 1924, check out the Ellis Island Immigration Records to find people — the website will show you the age of the individuals when they arrived to the United States and it will tell you where they emigrated from. More information, such as their ship or their port of departure, is made available if you register.
Wikitree - Add yourself to your family tree and connect yourself to thousands of others in your extended family.