You may be wondering how you start your family history and what you should do first. Below you will find our suggestions on how to start.
Step 1: Ask your family and relatives what they know about your family history. Key things to try and find out are:
- Names of ancestors and relatives
- Relationships (names of children, parents etc)
- Dates of birth, marriage and death
- Where they lived
- What jobs they did
Step 2: Write down the information you discover from your family and if possible, draw up a family tree. Don’t worry if you are unable to do this.
TOP TIP: work backwards from what you know i.e. start with you, and work backwards one generation at a time.
Step 3: Start exploring genealogical sources online and/or at your local archives/record office. There are various sources that you can use. These include:
- Ancestry and Find My Past [free to access at Suffolk Archives]
- Birth, marriage and death certificates
- Census returns
- Parish registers (baptisms, marriage and burials)
- Non-conformist records
- Poor law
- Cemetery registers
TOP TIP: always make a note of your source and include what it is, where you found it, its title, its date, and its reference number.