3 Simple Steps to Find your Family Tree

3 Simple Steps to Find your Family Tree

Sign up for blog updates and get an instant 10% off code for NCC Home Learning courses.

It is scary how many of us can only trace our family tree back a few generations.

It is scary how many of us can only trace our family tree back a few generations. Go beyond your great grandparents and you’ll often begin to struggle as: marriages, name changes, loss of documents (birth, marriage and death certificates), and simply loss of memories make it difficult to trace your roots.

Fortunately, there are now a number of ways to find your family tree, and discover where you come from, why you are the way you are and where you inherited certain traits from.

What Is Genealogy & How Is It Relevant To Family Trees

Genealogy dates back to Ancient Greece, with a name that roughly translates to ‘birth’ and ‘science’. Essentially, genealogy is the science of your birth, with the involvement of finding out more about your ancestors and where you come from. Genealogists looks at your ethnic, social and geographical history. There are a few different types of genealogy that you can explore, including:

  • Ascending genealogyThe idea of ascending genealogy is that it is designed to search for and look into the ancestors of a person.
  • Descending genealogyThis form of genealogy will look at the descendants of a person.
  • Estate genealogyThis particular form of genealogy will need to be carried out by a professional in the field and is usually at the request of someone who is a notary during a succession.
  • Agnatic genealogyThis type of genealogy will look at the male ancestry of a person.
  • Cognitive genealogyIf you carry out this particular genealogy then it will look at both ascendants and descendants even if they do not have the same name.

Genealogy can be incredibly interesting to learn about and then do. Especially if you are keen to see exactly where you have come from. And, although you can approach this in many ways, the two most popular approaches are by searching for your surname or taking DNA tests. Genealogy has risen in popularity over recent years. In fact, it is thought that more than 26 million people have taken an at home ancestry tests (such as DNA tests).

Are you interested in learning more about your family tree? Here’s how to go about it!

Step One: Independent Research

Before you can even consider any of the following steps, you will first need to conduct your own research, and the best place to start is at home with your family (parents, siblings, grandparents etc.).
In fact, you’ll be surprised by how many of your relatives have kept documents about their parents and extended family – so reach out and see if they have kept any paperwork, photographs or even news articles (war stories, obituaries etc.) on their family.

The most important ones you’ll need to begin with are birth, marriage and death certificates. From these you should be able to trace their life as well as find out about their jobs, education and children when you visit an archive.
For the most accurate results we recommend visiting the National Archives website. This is a government website that retains birth, marriage and death certificates for individuals across England and Wales. To use, you simply need to input the following information:

  • A person’s name (and the names of their parents, partner and next of kin)
  • Their approximate date of birth, marriage or death
  • The districts where they were born, got married or died in

From here, you should be able to trace the lives of your relatives and start structuring your family tree.

NOTE: The amount of detail you go into here will depend on whether you are focusing on direct family within your bloodline or whether you plan to explore your extended family as well.

Step Two: Register with a Website

Go online and you’ll find numerous websites dedicated to helping you find your family tree. Simply register and put in as much information as you can about your family, and they can help you to start tracing your roots and uncover hidden relatives.

Naturally, it is best to do some independent research first, and gather as many details as you can on: births, deaths, marriages, names, children, where they lived, jobs and extended family. Once equipped with this information you can begin entering your details and go further into your past.

Top websites include: Ancestry, My Heritage, Links Genealogy, Find My Past, Genes Reunited and Family Search.

Step Three: Register for a Course

Unless you are a keen researcher and know where to look, the first two steps can prove quite time-consuming when trying to find your family tree. Hours can be lost simply from following false leads and information.

Yet there is another way, especially if want to delve deep into your past or turn this search into a hobby – courses.

We offer a dedicated Genealogy course that can easily assist you in your search for your family tree:

Genealogy Diploma

Our Level 3 diploma can help you to successfully trace your ancestry with no prior knowledge about your family’s history. Working on basis that you know little to nothing about your past; our diploma will guide you every step of the way as you fulfil this basic need to understand your origins and ultimately understand yourself.
This course has been designed with the sole intention of enabling you to uncover the truth about your ancestors and their stories, whilst learning about how they looked, dressed, behaved and lived their lives.

In turn, this course is invaluable to anyone with a keen interest in genealogy and whom might even want to explore a career in this field. Designed to provide you with an assortment of tools, techniques and skills to advance your research; with our diploma you’ll be able to go back hundreds of years into your family tree and increase your chances of completing steps one and two.

How to find your family tree

As you can see, unlocking the truth to your past can be fun, exciting and even turn into a promising career prospect. Simply employ the top 3 steps and soon you too can become immersed in your family’s history, lives and stories.
It is just a question of how far back you want to go.

Click here to find out more about our Genealogy Diploma.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
Like this article? Spread the word

Related courses you may also like