Today we know almost nothing about our ancestors. Many do not even know anything about their great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, not to mention the more distant ties. But such information is very important and interesting. But not everyone knows how to find out who my ancestors were and where to find such information. This article will tell you where to start your search.
How to find a family tree by last name
The surname will help determine the estate, profession, distinguishing features or place of residence of the ancestors. Surnames were not given just before, but were assigned in connection with certain signs.
For example, the names of birds or animals could form the basis of a surname:
- Kozlovs, etc.
Also, the surname could be given in accordance with the occupation:
Often the surname was given by the name of the father:
The surname could be determined by territorial signs:
Appearance features could also influence the choice of last name:
Nationality also played a role:
Priests and clergymen were often given surnames by the name of the Orthodox holiday:
Surnames could and did change when the scope of activity changed.
Thus, the surname can give a lot of clues, but only this knowledge will not be enough. How to find out who my ancestors were, the family archive (documents, photos) will help, you can also talk with the older generation (grandparents).
It is important to systematize all the information received. For starters, it can be personal cards for everyone with all the information and attached photos. But as the study progresses, the number of people will all arrive, and written records will become more and more difficult. In this case, you can use electronic databases, such as Access, Excel or specialized programs - Genbox Family History, Genopro, Ages, "Tree of Life".
Various sources for studying your pedigree
Where can I find out about my ancestors if there is not enough information in the family archive? In this situation, special useful online services will come to the rescue. Of course, on the Internet it is very easy to stumble upon scammers who, for a fee, offer to compose a family tree. But there are specialized resources that look for matches with other users and help create this very tree.
There are several such services:
- Israeli site MyHeritage. It structures information, distinguishes between faces in the photo and has more than 60 million users. Of the minuses of this site, not entirely qualitative Russification can be noted.
- FamilySpace. This resource helps arrange the family tree with the help of city directories, address books, various lists, according to census results, etc.
- www.obd-memorial.ru. This site contains a lot of information about WWII soldiers killed in the war and missing. By last name you can find out the date and place of birth, place of residence, awards and some other information.
- www.vgd.ru. This site contains interesting information on genealogy, gives practical advice on working with archives. There is also a huge well-developed base based on federal, departmental and regional archives.
- www.shpl.ru This is the site of the State Public Historical Library. There is a lot of information from the pre-revolutionary era.
How to find out who my ancestors were, possibly in the archive. Moreover, this can be done completely free of charge. The main thing is to be patient, because this process takes a lot of time. It is important here to correctly compose a request so that archive employees can answer it.
How to find out the nationality of ancestors
Today’s latest technologies allow you to learn a lot about your ancestors: their nationality, ethnicity, place of residence, possible place of emigration, etc. This can be done using the DNA test.
It's no secret that all genetic information is stored in DNA. Special DNA tests made in the laboratory make it possible to determine the origin of the genus with the highest accuracy, and genetics will give a detailed conclusion on this subject.
As a conclusion, you can say that if you wondered how to find out who my ancestors were, then various sources will help answer it, the main thing is to be patient and systematize this information correctly.