5 Tools and Tips for Tracking Your Ancestry

These are some of the best tools that can help you track your ancestry.
These are some of the best tools that can help you track your ancestry.
These are some of the best tools that can help you track your ancestry.

Getting to know the branches of your family tree can take time when first starting out. There are many websites that are helpful with your search – some better than others – but there is some preparing you will need to do before digging into your family’s background. Here are a few tools and tips that can help you track your ancestry.


Gather your Information

Your family tree begins with your immediate family. You can find further information about your ancestry by gleaning information from the stories of your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. To gather the information you need to continue, you will need to record the following:

  • Cities, states, and countries where relatives have lived
  • Nicknames they might have had
  • Occupations
  • Birthdays, marriage dates, and dates of death


Work Backward

Take the information that you have and work backward, building as you go. Record information for your siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and use this information when you begin your online search. Baby Boomers may not have as many living relatives as younger people and may need to rely on other sources for their ancestry search. Family Bibles were often used to record vital information and may be a good starting place when tracking information to determine your ancestry.


Search for Free or Pay a Fee

There are many websites available for tracking your ancestry that offer a free trial so you can preview them before committing. Other sources, like Chronicling America, are free and allow access to digital versions of historic American newspapers that date from 1789 through 1922. Other sites that can help you track your ancestry include:

These are but a few of the many ancestry websites available that can help you get started.


Other Tracking Tips

Web tools aren’t the only way to track your ancestry. First-person accounts from your ancestors – such as journals, letters, Bibles, or memoirs – can give you a lot of insight into your family and the threads of information you need to find your family tree down to its roots. When searching websites and other sources for ancestral information try different spellings of the last name in your search, as many names have been given various spellings over time.


Get Started Now

Tracking your ancestry can be a time-consuming task, especially if you start with just a little information. The more information you can gather before beginning your search, the more successful you will be in finding your ancestry.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

Interior view of the indoor pool at Del Webb Ponte Vedra in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

Jacksonville Area 55+ Communities With Indoor Pools

There’s something so luxurious about an indoor pool. Take a look at these communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding northeast Florida area. You’ll find indoor pools and much, much more.

Sunset on sandy and rocky beach in the Bay Area of California.

55+ Communities on the Beach in the Bay Area

Perhaps you’re ready to turn your dream of living by the beach into reality. In that case, we’ve got you covered, because there are a few wonderful beachside 55+ communities right in the Bay Area.

A 55+ couple with arthritis holding hands and enjoying a day at the beach.

The Best Places to Retire With Arthritis

Those with arthritis know the pain and discomfort can be difficult to manage day-to-day. While there are many remedies to manage the pain, one you may not consider is climate. 55Places has taken a look at the best regions to live if you have arthritis, and many of them are home to 55+ communities!

A bridge over a pond on the grounds of Sun City Lincoln Hills in Lincoln, California.

Large 55+ Communities in the Sacramento Area

One of the greatest benefits of living in a large community is the vast amount of amenities typically offered. If you’re looking for larger 55+ communities in Sacramento, you’ll want to check out the three following communities.

Aerial view of the Downtown Spartanburg skyline in South Carolina on a sunny day.

Living in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwestern South Carolina—also known as the Upstate—Spartanburg is an ideal destination for active adults who want to retire in a mid-sized city with a small-town, close-knit feel.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top