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tickledtrout | 16:44 Thu 27th Dec 2007 | Genealogy
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I would like to start doing my family tree but have no idea how to start it. I don't have much idea from pre Grandparents apart from where they lived (Melton). Any help appreciated

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You have started in the right way by finding out as much as you can about your grandparents, you should be able to get copies of at least their marriage certificates from your family, have you asked older relatives, or the surviving children of great aunts and uncles etc, Christmas is a great time to get started on this as many families meet up.
Do you know where your grandparents were buried? alot of info can be gathered from the memeorial stones in cemetaries or graveyards. Civil registration started in July 1837 and recorded births, deaths and all marriages, whether in church, chapel or register office. these are indexed, pop into the Harris, they have access to the index, or you can join an online site, findmypast.co.uk is good, or ancestry.co.uk, they both charge and both contain the cicil regsitration index.
census returns are available online on both those sites, ancestry.co.uk has 1841 -1901 (every 10 years), you can look at the 1881 census for free on many sites, including Familysearch.org, which is always a good starting point.
There should be no need for you to travel beyond the online sites as you can even order copy certificates for civil regsitration online now.
It shouldn;t matter in the early stages where your ancestry was from, when you get back into the 18th century you may need abit more help.
The lancashire record office in Bow Lane Preston has the calendar of wills 1858 to about the 1970s or so, and so you can look in there too if you want, i will explain how they work, it is free to be a reader at the record office, you just need a readers ticket, with 2 forms of id that include your address you caqn get one when you visit for the first time.
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Thanks so much dot, My paternel Grandparents both passed away in the last 12 months. I have so much from my memory of my Grandfather's family more than my Nan's. I don't remember ever meeting any of her siblings sadly.On my maternal side my mum knows nothing at all about her Grandparents. It looks like it will be easier to do my Dad's side rather than my mums but I would love to do the whole lot. All I really know that all my dad's family were from Yorkshire and my mum's from Weymouth and London
It probably would help if you had a sheet to make a start at writing this stuff down on, i can send you one if you want, can't get into the persional messaging though on beta, else i would, but my email is [email protected], send e message and i will send you a file with a blank starter sheet
Dot has given you the best advice - talk to your family and write everything down! It's never too soon or late to contact the living - some of the best fun I've had in filling out my tree is contacting relations I never knew I had. (I always thought I had a small family and to date have found relatives in England, Scotland, Ireland (N&S), Canada, USA and Australia.) You may also find they're a few records ahead of you and only to happy to have someone with whom to share the workload.
One more thought. Genesreunited is a worthwhile site to try. It does have an annual membership fee but it's not excessive. I don't think it allows uploads of pre-existing files so it will mean some re-typing, but you can record your family tree online. Big advantage is that it automatically compares your family tree with those of other subscribers and notifies you and them of possible correspondences. It matches name and year of birth so you do get lots of "just coincidences". On the other hand it does bring up genuine matches and I have gained contact with a cousin in Australia this way.

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