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How do you find your relatives? Have you thought at least once in your life about your own ancestors? What were they like? People of wealth who were active in the community? Or poor toilers who sincerely hoped that their children and grandchildren would have a better life? How many generations of relatives would you name without a hitch. 


Often many of us begin a serious search engines to find people for our ancestors out of sheer interest. Or based on bureaucratic requirements. Let's figure out together how to turn a modest knowledge of grandparents into systematic information. And then create a lush and detailed genealogical tree of your family.

как найти родственников

There is nothing more valuable than the words of eyewitnesses. Those who were directly involved in many events, and remember older family members. If you are lucky and your grandparents can tell at least some information - catch this bird of luck by the tail. Ask them in as much detail as possible about everything and everyone. And since you're afraid of missing out on some information, it's better to make a list of questions in advance. You will get a kind of mini-interview.

Ask to see photos, record the conversation on a camera or dictaphone. Believe me, those who can't boast of a treasure in the form of living relatives have to search for ancestors much longer and harder. Don't let such treasured sources of information go unnoticed.

In addition, it is important to go through the family archives. There may be the right documents, photos, diaries. Once upon a time, many photos were signed on the back, and various diary entries were kept. They may not always be helpful in finding relatives, but they are interesting enough - as cultural mementos of bygone times.

Try to keep all the valuable things you have. For example, a simple photograph can tell a lot about who the person worked, where and how they lived. Be sure to look closely at every detail of the photos. This will make it easier for you to gather new information, as well as recognize ancestors in other old photos. If you're afraid of forgetting something, then be sure to write down everything you see fit.

Organize your information

Let's say you now have a certain amount of information about living relatives as well as those who are no longer there. What's next? Experts advise you to take detailed notes of all the data you have managed to obtain. Be careful with dates, names, patronymics. All of this is as important as possible.

Act in whatever way is easiest for you. Take a large sheet of paper and a pen, or open a document on your computer and start taking notes. Put yourself as the starting link in your genealogical tree, and then gradually continue to indicate all the available information. You, your siblings, your parents, their parents. So you'll notice that your system expands. New people, names, dates are added. But what if you don't know some of the dates? Where do you look next?

Working with Internet sources and archives

The next step in the search for lost ancestors can be registries, archives and the Internet. Many archives digitize paper versions of documents, so you don't have to travel far and wide to get any reference. To get the information you need, all you have to do now is send a request to the institution's e-mail address. Requests should be sent to the place of residence of the relative you are trying to find.

But remember that such information also has a certain shelf life. In village councils, information about a person is kept for about 60-70 years. Then it is transferred to the district archive. After about the same period, the documents are sent for storage to the regional archive. If you are trying to find a really distant ancestor, it might make sense to go straight to the regional archives.

Moreover, you can find additional information on thematic websites or in open databases. It's enough to enter the appropriate search query on the Web and scour the relevant web pages. It's not guaranteed that you'll find enough data, but even the slightest clue can help your search. For example, relatives of veterans of World War II may try to find the relevant information on the sites "Feat of the People," "Memory of the People," "Memorial.

Special sites

It so happens that someone from the big family was brought to their native land from far away countries. Don't get upset, the chain of enquiries doesn't stop there. Thanks to the Internet, you can also send the request you need to a special agency in another country. It also happens that the necessary "overseas" reference will come to you faster than the domestic one.

The main thing is to know exactly where your ancestor lived. Many of the names of cities and towns have changed many times, which may confuse you. In addition, information does tend to get lost. Sometimes even forever. The lion's share of archival information was destroyed because of the hard events of the past centuries.