It doesn’t take much to begin researching your roots.

Is your family story a complete mystery to you? Join the crowd. And yet despite a lack of information up front, millions of people around the world are using Ancestry.com to discover their roots and connect more deeply with their loved ones.

So where should you begin? With your family, of course.

We think everyone deserves to know where they came from. So we’ve built an online family tree tool that makes it easy for you to simply enter what you know – even just your own first and last name, birth date and place – and watch your story unfold from there.

HOW DOES IT ALL WORK? We use what you enter to search the world’s largest online collection of family history information for missing details. And we let you know with
hints ( ) in your tree when we’ve found something.

The more you can tell us, the more we can help you find.

Family stories are constructed from names, dates and places in history. And you may have more of this information available to you than you realize. How can you find it?

CALL PARENTS, SIBLINGS, GRANDPARENTS AND OTHER LIVING FAMILY MEMBERS and ask basic questions that will give you more information to enter into your family tree:

  • When and where were you born?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • When and where were you married?
  • What were your grandparents’ names?
  • When and where did they get married?
  • When and where did any deceased relatives die?
  • Where were they buried?
  • Who is your oldest living relative?

Tip: Take detailed notes during these conversations. Or use the Ancestry Storytelling Service to interview relatives, tell family stories and attach them to your tree.

LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE AND RELATIVES’ HOMES FOR DOCUMENTS like birth certificates, letters, diaries, newspaper cuttings, family bibles, photo albums or scrapbooks. Find as many important dates in these documents as possible, including birthdays, baptism dates, marriage dates and dates of deaths.

ENTER WHAT YOU DISCOVER INTO YOUR ONLINE FAMILY TREE Again, we’ll use what you enter to find missing details about your story in the world’s largest online collection of family history records and family trees. You could find entire branches of your tree already complete – or connect with a relative you never knew you had.

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