Top 5 Tools for Tracing Your Family History

Top 5 Tools for Tracing Your Family History

Posted By Paul G March 10th, 2017 Blog

After you’ve gotten started tracing your family heritage, you may find yourself at a standstill. Information from family members can only get you so far; we can’t depend on everyone in our lives to be excellent record-keepers of the past.

At some point in your genealogy research, you’ll likely have to turn to an external source to find out more information about your personal ancestry and the history of a tribe. There are many sources available to those searching for their Native American history. While going to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. isn’t an option for many people, there are plenty of online resources at your disposal to help your trace your family history.

Here are the top five tools we’d recommend using to trace your genealogy.

Ancestry.com

One of the biggest names in the genealogy industry, it’s no secret that a lot of people find success in tracing their family history on Ancestry.com. With access to over a billion records, this a great site for almost anyone. Ancestry also has many more Native American records that many of its competitors.

Ancestry.com offers many additional services that you may not have access to elsewhere. For example, they offer DNA testing as part of your family history search, which is becoming increasingly popular among people looking to find out more about where they come from.

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The customer support is known to be helpful, and with that many records at your disposal, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort that would have otherwise been spent sifting through documents. Fair warning: it’s a tad pricey compared to other genealogy sites. But with the extensive searchable collections, it may just be worth it.



 

Family Search

 Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this genealogy search website is entirely free for anyone to use. It has millions of records and even connects users with information from other sites, like Ancestry, giving you access to plenty of information about your history.

Of course, since it is free to use, it doesn’t offer certain features that paid websites do, such as DNA testing. It’s also important to note that it does not contain obituaries to search, making it slightly more limiting than other sites. However, it does give you the advantage of access to its extensive collection of genealogy for Native Americans.

FamilySearch also hosts the free-to-download Family Tree app. The app syncs with your website account as you build out your research, giving you an up-to-date view of your family tree as you build it out.

Findmypast

This genealogy search database is limiting for some people searching for information about their family history, as the database is limited to English-speaking countries. However, it still boasts an impressive 1.6 billion records. The site offers a helpful index of surnames and records of Native Americans, as well.

The site is easy to use, and you can start off with broad searches by state or country if you don’t have any more localized information to go off. There is also a family tree builder that makes adding family members such as siblings to your search easier than other sites.

Findmypast is somewhat lacking in customer support – it doesn’t offer much beyond the FAQ page – and it does not allow for other features like DNA testing. But it is a great resource for those looking for wide access to records.

RootsMagic

This genealogy software is a great tool to help you collect family history information and store it in one place. You can use the in-app search database to find records through websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.

RootsMagic is “FamilySearch Certified,” meaning you can be on FamilySearch in your web browser and import files into RootsMagic directly. The software is very flexible and allows you access to either digital or printed report to show off your family history research efforts. It can handle large amounts of data, so you don’t have to fear losing any information, no matter how large your family is.

Evernote 

Of course, genealogy softwares like RootsMagic can be pricey. In some cases, you may prefer to conduct all of your genealogy research on free databases and maintain your notes yourself.

Evernote is a website, app, and cloud system that allows you to take extensively customized notes, upload documents, and so much more. Wherever you have Evernote downloaded – say, your smartphone or tablet – or are logged into it in your browser, the notes are completely synced to your account, so you won’t lose anything.

With the premium subscription, you can even scan PDFs, images, and other web clippings into your notes. With Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Evernote makes these documents searchable in your account, too.

Doing your own genealogy research is tough, but leaving that highly personal task to someone else may be even tougher. With these tools, we’re confident your search will be made much easier. Good luck!

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Comments

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Tools for Tracing Your Family History

  1. Kiwi plaster ..walker says:

    All my life I was told I was native American.my dad comes from the blood line of plasters that created peasterville tx and the native schools..I don’t understand why after living proudly as a native .ancestry test tells me I’m not even though I have all the Cherokee features

  2. With the treasure trove of information on the internet, tracing your family history is now easier than ever. Online records and archives can help you fill in the blanks about your ancestors, providing genealogy information that you just can’t get from your living relatives.

    As records continue to be scanned, digitized and put online, information is becoming even more readily available, but piecing together a family tree is still a time-consuming exercise. Treemily provides people seeking to eternalize their ancestry in a tangible form with a one-of-a-kind tool for building stunning family trees. With this solution, creating a visualization of your family history is easy as one, two, three!

    • david steiner says:

      What happens when birth records have been destroyed of one of your parents? My mother was born in 1925 and addoptd right from birth. She knew her real mother and grandmother were supposed to be Native American but not having any birth records giving her real mothers name she was never able to trace her heritage. The birth records at that time were destroyed once an adoption from the hospital was completed. Is there any way of getting information from before her birth. She has told me that her birth mothers name was Ruby Smith and that she was believed to be Cherokee .

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