Posts Tagged ‘genealogy research’

Why Research Family History?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Family history research is a fascinating study which once you start it will probably turn into a passion.

Many people have asked themselves where they come from, where are their roots, and these questions reflect a yearning that all of us have. Genealogy is the science of tracing your family tree. It is a kind of detective work or paper chase game. The results are often unpredictable but always fascinating.

family history researchFamily history research has recently gained a powerful tool in the internet. Now that it is possible to do a keyword or name search almost instantly, it has become much easier to trace a family tree. Easier at least than in days gone by, when a researcher had to spend a lot of time trudging around a dusty archive library, or waiting several weeks for a reply from one records office or another.

Even with the internet though, there are some parts of one’s family tree which will be impossible to reconstruct due to certain historical circumstances. One example that comes to mind is the fire that destroyed the Irish records office in Dublin in the nineteenth century.

So you have decided to try to trace your family tree. The question is, where do you start?

Probably the best starting point is to talk to members of your own family, particularly elders, and try to get them to remember as much as they can about the past, and about their relatives and forebears. This can be very useful in providing some jumping off points for further investigations. The facts they are able to give may well help you to refine and focus your search right from the start, thereby saving a lot of potentially wasted time and effort.

Talking to people about the past is something that should be done in a sensitive way, as it can often awaken memories which people would rather forget.

Next you should decide what aspect of your family history you are going to investigate. Are you interested in finding out about everything you can about everyone related to you? Or do you prefer a more narrow focus, such as tracing one particular branch? Or perhaps you will keep an open mind at first until you find something in your family tree that provokes your interest.

Some people even trace their spouse’s family. A friend of mine who is divorced nevertheless is tracing her husband’s ancestors on behalf of her children, since her ex-husband is descended from an old aristocratic family who were very powerful and influential in medieval England.

There are many different reasons for wanting to research family history, each one of them is interesting to the individual researcher, and all of them have been greatly facilitated by the arrival of the internet.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/genealogy-articles/why-research-family-history-524090.html

Author: Robert Paterson

About the Author:

For more ideas, see our Genealogy blog http://phe-genealogy.blogspot.com/

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Testing Your Maternal Family History Using the Most Popular Dna Test

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

For genealogy researchers, having traced ancestors on your mother’s side, you may have a solid paper trail up to a certain point. But what do you do if the paper trail has gone cold and your family history research has come to a stop. What do you do then? How can you progress your genealogy beyond that?

DNA testing is one way to keep your genealogy research progressing forward on your maternal side. DNA testing gets more popular every year, yet many still don’t understand some of the basics of how it works. The value of any DNA test is that it can show connections where there is a missing paper trail or the trail ends. If you have a good paper trail as far back as you desire you probably don’t need DNA testing, but once the trail ends it may help you make solid connections that would not have been noticed otherwise.

At first DNA testing was used as a tool mostly for male researchers. Initially only the male Y-Chromosome test proved of any value in connecting lines, but this was only on a father’s line. Eventually a popular genealogy DNA test that females could take was perfected. Females were no longer completely left out of genealogy DNA testing. In this article we will examine a DNA test, which females can take, that might by valuable for family history research.

What is the DNA Test Females Can Take?

The most popular maternity test for genealogist is the Mitochondrial DNA test, otherwise known as the mtDNA test. This test traces DNA that is passed only through the mother’s side, from female to female. It cannot be used to track the male lines on your mother’s side. The distinctiveness of this test is that either a male or female can take it. Both sexes inherit this type of DNA through their maternal lines. Yet, only females pass it down.

As in any DNA test, if a match is found between two females, or males, who take this form of genealogy test, then those two people are indeed related on the maternal side, somewhere in history. The dilemma is figuring out exactly where on your family lines you have a common ancestor. In DNA terms we call that the Most Recent Common Ancestor or MRCA. The biggest goal of DNA testing is to get as close as possible to the MRCA for a group of people, or at least the person you want to compare with.

Mitochondrial DNA changes very slowly over time, if at all, so if you don’t exactly match another mtDNA donor it most likely means your common maternal ancestor is very far in the past. This is different than the male only Y-Chromosome test where changes can occur much more recently or quicker, in relation to time itself.

DNA Testing Benefits for Genealogy Research on the Maternal Side

dna testingThe benefit of the mtDNA test is it will tell you how far in the past, within a range, you share a common ancestor with someone else. The results may give you some idea how your family members migrated and what groups you are related to. From there you will need to find paper trails connecting each other, but you will at least have some idea where to start or where a commonality exists.

The more sets of mtDNA results you have from many participants the easier it will be to understand what the matches mean and how you may connect genealogically on your maternal side. This makes it important to get a large group of people to test mtDNA, so that you have more results to compare. Gradually matches will be found and surprises uncovered, all which will give you more clues as to your maternal ancestry. That is why this test remains popular for female and male genealogist alike.

Dr Geoff Swinfield will be lecturing on DNA and family history as part of the "Ask the Experts"  workshops run by the Society of Genealogists at the forthcoming Family History Conference in Nottingham. He has a Ph.D. in genetics and has used this training to apply genealogical research to the study of families at risk from genetic diseases. Why  not come along and have a great four day conference

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/genealogy-articles/testing-your-maternal-family-history-using-the-most-popular-dna-test-740947.html

Author: Mark Jordan

About the Author:

Mark D. Jordan is a writer and genealogy researcher from Pennsylvania. A recommended genealogy website is Researching Your Family History. More family research information can be read at Family History Blog

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Genealogy Research: Unveiling the Past

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

The term genealogy is rooted from the Greek word "genealogia" which refers to the tracing of family. The term genealogia is likewise rooted from genea, referring to a generation or descent.

Genealogy research basically refers to the identification of the lineage, significant information regarding the history of the family. 

What is then the importance of tracing the history of your family? Why is it significant to search for your ancestors who are long dead and buried?

The very reason includes a very basic logic. If your ancestors never existed, you will not exist either. Hence, you and your ancestors are interlinked.

Meaning, you still behold a lot of similarity to your ancestors. Those people who have long been forgotten. Those people who have led a very different life before.
 
Tracing you family’s ancestors is a way of giving honor to them. Not that alone, the process of genealogy research is very fascinating too.

Aside from that, you will be able to learn lots of things. For instance, you would realize why you as well as the rest of your relatives dwell in a place when your race in fact belongs to some other country.

There are many circumstances relating to this occasion. An example of this is the early Hessian soldiers. Historically, British used them to battle the American colonization.

After these Hessian soldiers fought the Americans, many of them deserted Britain. Their descendants are believed to have transferred to Ohio later.

Another thing you can learn about the genealogy of your family is the medical conditions. What are these medical conditions that are running in your family’s blood? You need to be aware of them for they may be transmitted genetically. 

It is important to know whether your ancestor died of diabetes or other diseases. Did they suffer from a heart disease or asthma? This knowledge will give you the idea regarding the habits or types of food you need to avoid. 

Now, you might be wondering how to trace the medical conditions of your ancestors when in fact all of them are gone already.

finding your family history 

You might learn this from the stories of your parents told by you grandparents, which were shared before by your grand grandparents and so on.

But if ever there is no existing stories about your family’s medical conditions. You can easily refer to the old papers of death notices. Most often, the reason of death is detailed here.

  images from family history

Upon knowing the reason of the death of our ancestors you will be more careful on your health, and to your family too definitely.

So, how are you going to begin your research on your family’s genealogy? Fortunately, there are several ways to do it nowadays.

You can conduct your research on a genealogy library in your community or maybe in others. You may also opt to join a genealogy association. These associations usually have numbers of research tool to help you in your research. 

open the door and here are the people

Of course, you can also get your needed information by simply accessing the information through the Internet. Here, you can join genealogy forums, which could help you connect with your distant relatives.

Attending a family history conference will be of great benefit to you, so why not think about attending the International Family History Conference in Nottingham, England in 2009

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