You know that Great Aunt Maud lead a colourful life and that Uncle Fred ran away to a circus but are they really your ancestors or just stories about people the family knew?
So to find out these people are related to you, lets start with you. Always start from what you know and work backwards.
Have a good look at your birth certificate and it should have this information on it.
* Your full name
* Your date and place of birth.
* Your Mum’s full name and maiden name.
* Your Dad’s full name and occupation.
* When and where they married.
* Any older children.
* The doctor or midwife.
* Who registered the birth.
That is a lot of useful information. Now get Mum and Dad’s marriage certificate. This is where it starts to get interesting. This is what should be on it.
* Their full names, ages, occupation, status, i.e. spinster, bachelor, where they were living.
* Date and place of marriage.
* Their parent’s (your grandparents) names and father’s occupation.
* Minister or Celebrant’s name.
From this, work out if Maud or Fred could be Mum or Dad’s side and work back from there. Always apply the same ‘rules’ to each person. By that I mean, birth certificate, marriage certificate and sometimes a death certificate.
Remember that the information on certificates is only as good as the informant and can be incorrect. People weren’t always truthful about their ages, so don’t dismiss a person just because they don’t seem to fit.
A note of caution; when looking at online family trees, from other people, even family, CHECK the dates. A person can’t have children three years after they die. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check and double check. Another problem that comes up often is that where a family has sons, those sons often named their firstborn son after Grandad.
So Peter Smith, son of David, names his son David BUT so does every other son as well. Check the wife, date of marriage and the child’s date of birth.
I think that that is enough to work with, happy hunting!