Get your family together for Christmas
The Genes Reunited Christmas Campaign
We are offering you the chance to win some amazing prizes this Christmas including a brand new digital camera! All you have to do is add 10 or more relations to your Genes Reunited family tree before 13th December. Below are some handy hints to help you find more ancestors and relations, so what are you waiting for? Start adding relations today!
Handy Hint 1 – How do I get started?
To get you into the festive spirit we are giving you the chance to win 1 of 3 fantastic prizes, including a Canon Ixus Digital Camera and a lifelong Platinum membership to Genes Reunited! The prize you are eligible for will depend on how many relations you manage to add to your family tree between now and 13th December 2010.
If you haven't already, then the first step is to begin creating your family tree on Genes Reunited. Use the 'Family Tree' tab at the top of the page to start and fill in names, dates and other details that you know, starting with yourself. You can then add your parents, your siblings your partner, children and so on.
Handy Hint 2 – Speak to your relatives
Once you have added as many relations as you can using your own memory, it's time to start talking to your relatives. Pick up the phone or meet for a coffee and remember to take a pen and paper to write everything down. The most important things to ask for are names, dates and places. If you can, start with your own parents as you never know what surprises may emerge, you may find that your mother has a middle name that she has never mentioned before. Assume nothing and ask and confirm everything.
Besides names, dates and places, try to build up a profile of each relative to really bring your family history to life. Questions such as, what is your earliest memory? Where did they go to school and what was their first job will help you get a better picture of what life was like for each relation.
Handy Hint 3 – Start using records
Hopefully by now you have a few relations in your tree. You can validate the information you have gathered using birth, marriage and death records that are available on many family history websites including Genes Reunited.
Census records are, by far, the most helpful record set for anyone researching their family history. Assuming you know the name of an ancestor who was alive in 1911, you can seek them in the 1911 census. Hopefully, they will appear in a household with their siblings and parents. Armed with the parents' names, you can then seek them in the 1901 census, and work back through the decades until you find them living with their own parents. If all goes smoothly, you can work back to the 1841 census, where you will find your earlier ancestors stating their ages and places of birth in the early 1800s.
Handy Hint 4 – Hot Matches
Hot Matches are a feature only found on Genes Reunited. All you have to do to start getting Hot Matches is add relations to your family tree. Genes Reunited will then compare the names in your tree to names found in millions of other family trees on the site in order to notify you of any matches.
You may be lucky enough to find there is another family tree on Genes Reunited with four or five names that match details of relations in your tree. Your next move would be to email the member who you have a Hot Match with (remember we never reveal your personal email address) and find out if they are willing to swap information with you. This is a great way to find relations you never knew you had and discover whole new branches of your family tree.
Handy Hint 5 – Ask an expert
If you get stuck Genes Reunited has an amazing group of volunteer helpers who will aid you in any way they can. Visit the 'Trying to find' board here post any questions about an elusive or hard to find relative. You will normally get a response in a matter of minutes.
Our resident expert genealogist, Anthony Adolph, is also on hand every month to help you locate those hard to find ancestors. Join in with his next web chat or see if your question has already been answered here