From the Research Topics pages, you will find links to pages throughout the website with articles, finding aids, and other helpful information to help you prepare for your genealogical research at the National Archives. Videos from our genealogy workshops are also available, with many topics on how to get started using NARA records:. We provide digitized images of many of our records through the National Archives Catalog.
We also provide you with research tools , such as microfilm indexes, as well as resources , such as finding aids, articles and information on where to find the records, how to access them, and how to conduct in-person research. What are some of the Genealogical Records we have online? He said yes and headed to greet me.
We shook hands. He introduced himself as Costantino Rigon. My relatives might be from around here. His eyes bulged. I reached into the front seat of my rental SUV and grabbed a legal notebook full of genealogical research. Costantino saw the name Luigi Stoffella -- my great-great-grandfather. His eyes bulged again. That encounter was the climax of months of genealogical research.
I almost hesitate to peg this as a genealogy story because it felt, as it was happening, more like a dumb luck story. But I have since learned that many incredible genealogical stories sound like dumb luck stories. The desire to comb through the past is universal. The internet has made genealogy easier and more popular.
According to Time , genealogy websites are the second-most visited website category, after porn. Since , when Ancestry. But the DNA results only tell us vaguely where we came from. I wanted to know from whom. An entire industry has sprung up to help you dig into your family story: researchers, books, TV shows and online tutorials. The first step, experts say, is to conduct as much research here as you can. Talk to relatives.
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I called her Grandma Rae, short for Rachel. One of the documents at her funeral was a report card with the name Enrica, not Rae or Rachel. One day, an elementary school teacher said something like, What kind of name for a girl is Enrica? Rachel became Rae, and she went by that for the rest of her life.
How to trace your family tree - according to a professional genealogist | inews
That sounded like it was half-true, so I tried to prove that with Census reports. The other is that his brother worked at one of the Big 3 automakers, quit, tried to get his job back, and was told no.
He reapplied with a new last name, got the job, and my grandfather went along with it. Everyone on that side of the family always said we were Italian. My grandmother spoke Italian, her maiden name was Rigotti, and she had brothers named Guido and Tulio. It listed his home country as Austria, not Italy. He was born and raised in an area that was then in the Austro-Hungarian empire but was annexed by Italy decades after he left.
Your ancestors’ journeys across the Atlantic were tough. Finding their stories shouldn’t be.
Debora Hill, director and founder of the Pallante Center for Italian Research, says amateur researchers should seek out original documents, as they can be used to confirm or refute what you know. The name thing intrigued me. I hatched a plan to visit Italy, too, in part because I wanted to keep looking into my family history and in part because, um, it's Italy.
As I packed, I stuffed my computer bag full of hard copies of genealogical documents. I also uploaded copies of ancient pictures onto my phone. Jenny Tonks , an accredited genealogist for Italy research, recommends using pedigree software to build your family tree and to bring both a hard copy and digital copy with you. Asking someone to help you fill in blank spot s on a family tree is better than simply asking when a certain relative was born.
If you want your request to a busy government records office to get noticed, sending in a pedigree chart with the blank spaces highlighted is often the best way to get your request noticed and receive a response. Before I left for Europe, I booked three nights in Mezzolombardo, where my great-grandfather was born and raised.
I envisioned a working vacation -- I would eat pasta, look for records about my ancestors, and write about whatever I found. I left my schedule blank so I could follow my investigation wherever it took me. If we visit the Old Country on an American schedule, we'll never be able to have the type of authentic experience that we crave.
I arrived in Mezzolombardo on a crisp fall afternoon. I parked at my bed and breakfast, got out of the car, and slowly spun around in degrees of visual overload. Imagine mountains shaped like a majestic, craggy horseshoe. Then imagine a river bisecting that horseshoe. Put vineyards on either side of the river, and then drop two old, old, old towns snug against the sides of the horseshoe. Mezzolombardo sits tucked against the south side. I found the year-old church in which my great-grandfather was baptized.
I live in St. Peters, Missouri. I walked outside and onto the plaza in front of the church. If I was going to walk in the same place as my ancestors, this was the most likely spot. My great-grandparents were turning into three-dimensional people for the first time. After I left the church, I followed signs to the town cemetery, where a half-dozen people tended to gravesites. A man with black hair flecked with gray offered to help me.
He told me his name was Mariano. Mariano understood just enough English for me to explain what I was doing. I showed him a picture on my phone of the family gravestone. He seemed to recognize it. He walked me to a spot where it probably used to be.