Have you ever wondered what your ancestors were like? I feel really blessed that I have had the opportunity to know my grandparents and a few of my great grandparents in my lifetime. But many relatives, including both of my mom’s parents, my children didn’t get a chance to know. One way we can better come to know ourselves is by learning about and understanding our roots – those who came before us.
There are simple tasks everyone can do to help genealogy move forward to help everyone find their ancestors and deepen those connections between our past, current days, and future.
I received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
5 Easy Ways to Help Family History Research
Keep a Journal – In today’s fast-paced world of social media, our children and the generations that follow will be flooded with so much information. We need to keep a personal record or preserve our social media shares in a meaningful way that they will be able to access no matter how technology changes, such as in a printed book or digital slideshow. This will preserve our personal stories and that first link in the chain.
Preserve Alive Ancestors Life Story – Take the time to record and preserve the life stories of your still alive ancestors. That could be your grandparents, aunts and uncles, even your parents. While you have them available, ask them what they can remember about their parents, siblings, and family growing up.
Take Photos of Headstones – You can be a volunteer by visiting a local cemetery and heading down the rows taking pictures of each of the headstones. There is a lot of information found on headstones that is very helpful in connecting families, such as birth and death date, spouse or children can often be found near by or in the same plot, and even phrases like “mother, daughter, sister” can help in completing family trees. There are several collaborative projects that you can assist with, like FindAGrave and BillionGraves websites. It’s an easy project that is fun to do as a family.
Share Your Family Tree – Working on your own family tree can help move along family history research for others and help you find people you are related to that are alive today. You can share your family tree with your personal relatives, or share through an online resource. Make sure you cite your sources and be as accurate as possible to keep mistakes from being shared.
Indexing Records – There are a lot of data that still need to be transcribed and made available digitally, this is called indexing. It’s something you can easily do from home and will help the community have access to new records that might just contain that missing link they’ve been waiting for.
Worldwide Indexing Event
FamilySearch.org is hosting its third-annual Worldwide Indexing Event with a goal to blitz the records available during a 72-hour window and help release additional, searchable records to the public. FamilySearch.org is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The records gathered and preserved are available to the public for free to search and access to further genealogy research.
You can join in the Worldwide Indexing Event, coming up on July 15th – July 17th. FamilySearch has a goal of reaching 72,000 volunteers to participate in the event – and index as few or as many batches as they have time to work on during the 3-day event! What a great way to get started with family history research and help by volunteering some time to help preserve these very important records.
If you can’t help during the Worldwide Indexing Event, you can still join in on the efforts! It’s easy to get started, just download the indexing software (for desktops only) and contribute to the indexing efforts on your own schedule. All you need to help is a computer and internet – or visit one of the nearly 5,000 family history centers across the world to join in on indexing and genealogy!
Click the banner below to head over to FamilySearch.org/WorldsRecords to register and get started!