Tips for family research
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Who Do you Think You Are - tips for family research
Speak to family
Speak to as many family members as you can and write down everything they tell you.
You may well find your relatives are a mine of information and they may even have photos and other documents to share with you.
We have created a list of questions you could use to start off with.
Build your family tree
Once you have registered on Genes Reunited, start building your family tree for free.
As you add names to your tree we'll offer you matches with them with other trees on the site. We'll also show you matches with our records, helping to make your research easier.
The bigger the tree the more matches you'll see. Start adding more names to your tree here.
Message members and find matches
Send messages to other members who have the same names as you in their tree. As well as showing you matches with the names in your tree, you can look for matches by going to the Search Trees page.
Contacting other members is a great way to share information. Once you have made contact you can give each other access to your tree.
Order a birth, marriage or death certificate
Why not use our records to further your research? Our birth, marriage and death records are all indexed making it really easy to find your relatives.
You can order a certificate from the Genes Register Office to find out more about the event. Certificates can be full of useful information, such as the names of the parents and an address.
Use our census records
Once you have traced your tree back to 1911 you can start using our census records to see who your relatives were living with and where.
We have the full census collection for England and Wales from 1841 to 1911. It is FREE to search our records.
Let us send you Hot Matches
Sign up for our Hot Matches email. We'll send you matches with names in your tree every few weeks. So we do the searching for you and you just have to make contact with the members who have the same names as you.
If you sign up for our newsletter you'll be kept updated on what's happening on the site and you'll even be sent details of special offers from time to time.
You can alter your email preferences on the My Account page.
Chat to our experts
Once a month there is a live webchat with our resident genealogist Anthony Adolph.
You can chat with him here and ask him for help with your research. You can also read previous webchats which might give you some inspiration.
Print off a family chart
As well as building your tree online, we have created some family charts that you can print off and fill in yourselves.
These are useful as it'll show you where the gaps are in your tree.
Ask our members for help
Have you hit a brick wall with your research?
Why not go to our Community section of the site and ask other members for help?
We have many helpful members who will kindly volunteer to do some research for you if you're stuck.
If you are looking for ancestors then post your question on the Find Ancestors board.
If your search is for living relatives then post your question on the Find Living Relatives message board.
Re-visit your research!
From time to time it's always a good idea to go back and have a look at the information you already have.
Have another look at the certificates you have ordered or information you have been given.
A name or an address that might have meant nothing the first time around may well fit nicely in to the puzzle now.