Researching Your Family History
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Listen and Read | Vocabulary Exercise | Discussion
Role Play | Online Investigation

I have been interested in doing family history research, or genealogy, for many years because we can learn more about ourselves by studying our family heritage. I first started by interviewing my oldest living relatives about their lives, and I recorded these interviews on cassette tape. Then, I wrote down the names of my parents and grandparents in a pedigree chart. After that, I tried to fill in the missing information (birth/death dates, places, marriages) by collecting vital records from government sources like the city office or other office in charge of preserving these records. I also visited local churches and cemeteries where I was able to find other vital statistics. Looking over land records, wills, and personal letters can also provide clues to your family's past. Besides these sources, I also used the Internet to search for missing ancestors, and one such Website is Now, I am writing a book about my family history as a way of preserving my family's heritage.

Part 2: Discussion

How can learning more about your family history help you understand yourself? If possible, give examples from your own life.

Part 3: Online Investigation

Many people know relatively little about their family's background. Use the Internet to find out more about your family name, where your ancestors came from, and if possible, the name and birthdate of a deceased family member. You might consider using a like to get you started.


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