A relatively new hobby is becoming even more popular. Although people have always been interested in their roots, ancestry search using the internet can be very enjoyable.
In these days of disposable everything, finding out who your ancestors are and where they came from can bring some newfound stability to your life. In know that might seem like a big statement but it is true. I know from my own experience with an ancestry search.
I did a quick ancestry search once and found out that a distant relative once ran for president against one of the founding fathers. He came in third and does not even warrant a footnote in history. However, it was exciting and fun doing my own ancestry search.
There are literally thousands of internet databases for ancestry search. You can always start with the government databases like social security and the like. But there are more, very sophisticated ancestry search services. These go back to records from the first settlers that came to these shores hundreds of years ago. Moreover, for most people, an ancestry search can turn up some surprises. The earliest record for me that I could find in America turned out to be a single mother whose husband died crossing the Atlantic.
However, ancestry search does not start or end there. Almost all of us are immigrants, and the records go back farther and can show the passenger lists of the ships that came to the New World generations ago. When you do your own ancestry search, you might discover that an ancestor was part of a royal family or a public official that you never knew about. Or then again might have been a scoundrel escaping the clutches of the law. Who knows?
Before starting an ancestry search, you need a starting point or a starting family member./ it might be best to go back as far as you can with a relative whom you a know a little about, say a great grandfather or grand mother. Check out the town or area records where they were born. The one thing I discovered doing an ancestry search is that one thing or one person leads to another. Families are always connected to many other people in a variety of ways. Perhaps that neighbor across the street with the annoying barking dog is really a long lost tenth cousin.
Although many of the companies that specialize in ancestry search charge a fee, many records are free. These only require your time and effort. Another good source of free information for your ancestry search is the public files of old newspapers and magazines. Look not only for stories but writers and other staff on these old periodicals. Remember, before radio and television, there were literally thousands of newspaper and magazines around. Many colleges as well as public libraries, all connected to the Net can be a source of good information to help your personal ancestry search.