Discovering your family’s history and finding interesting stories that your ancestors were a part of can make family research incredibly fun and fulfilling. It’s also an excellent way to find and build connections with your past.
For many people, family research is a hobby – or even a journey – that they’d like to undertake on their own. And given the wide range of readily available internet resources, this approach may not be a bad idea. However, it’s essential to understand that genealogy research can be overwhelming at times, and as you dig deeper, brick walls become more common and sturdier.
When that happens, you might want to turn to a professional genealogist. Here are some questions a pro can help with.
Where Exactly Did Your Ancestors Come From
This is a question almost every family researcher wants detailed answers to. At some point in time, most of our ancestors were immigrants, and our initial research will probably help us figure out when and where they arrived in the US. It’s usually easier to trace their steps and figure out where your ancestors lived or what they did after they arrived here. It’s easier than it is to discover information about their lives before they crossed the ocean.
You’ll either find the information you need in immigration records, or you could look at the census records. In either case, having a professional genealogist by your side will make things easier for you.
Ask Questions About Your Ancestors’ Siblings
Many beginner family researchers make one mistake: they focus solely on their direct ancestors. While this may help you keep your research streamlined and simple, it can keep you away from new and exciting discoveries.
It’s important to understand that many families were very large. So, by branching out and finding your ancestors’ siblings, you can discover more resources and records for your family research. Your third, fourth, and fifth cousins may have amazing photographs of your common ancestors and perhaps even stories about them!
Of course, tracking down long-lost relatives isn’t that simple. It takes a wide range of resources – often well beyond Ancestry and FamilySearch – and years of expertise—basic items that should be in every professional genealogist’s toolbox.
If you have questions and need answers, reach out to us at DavisDNA And Family Research. We offer traditional genealogy services and forensic genetic genealogy and can help you discover more about your ancestors.