Have you ever wondered why your last name sounds Irish or Jewish (or any other ish nationalities out there) rather than American? Has it always brought curious questions of which you have always failed to answer? Would it be good news to you if you would finally come to know where that twang in your name came from? It would? Then go ahead and read this:
To get started with your own search for those long, departed ancestors and to better explain your unique name, it is wise to start with these few tips on doing family name search before going online and finding out what sites offer free service:
Do several searches instead of focusing on just one. Since family names could sometimes have different spellings, doing a search on each variation is highly advisable. An example? The Smith search.
The so-called Smith search is when you search for an ancestor with a very common name such as, well, Smith. In these cases, it is wise to add other information such as dates of birth or death, even location or occupations. Sometimes, knowing the meaning of the ancestor’s last name could also be of help.
Do foreign language family name search. Search engines that are in foreign language can be accessed in Google. It offers 140 versions of international search engines. MSN can also be a good source.
The site that claims to have the biggest collection of family history (which comes in free, thank goodness!) is FamilySearch.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints own this site. The site has an ‘assistant’ that could help the researcher on things like getting started, downloading forms that are useful to the search (pedigree charts or family group records), showing records that are relevant to the family name search (census and vital records, marriage and even death records) and the most important to you: the category on family organizations and surnames.
We should be thankful that the Latter-day Saints believe ancestral knowledge and genealogical work is an essential part of salvation. Because of this, they invest so much on family history search. Finding that elusive ancestor could be as easy as typing your last name and pressing the enter key.
There are great benefits in being a member of family history groups such as the one being offered by FamilySearch. First, you are able to access myriads of information on ancient records. You are also able to share your information with other people who might be interested in searching for their own ancestors.
Aside from FamilySearch.org, there are other sites that can be used to look for your family name history. GenExchange.org, familytreemaker.com, kindredkonnections, and Ancestry.com, to name a few. All of these are very similar when it comes to their features such as offering databases that could contain up to 2 billion names!
The next step? Have, at least, some knowledge on using family name search engines.
Very soon, you are to find out that online search engines are powerful tools for family history works. These search engines have so many indexes that could be very useful for one’s search of family names or surnames, one would just need to know how to narrow down the many search results.
These are just know-hows on starting your search for that unique last name and, eventually, your family history. Make use of the free researches that are being offered while they are there. What is there to lose in the first place? Instead, you might be able to find out that you have a rich ancestry to boast of !