Talk to your relativesNo-one knows more about your immediate family than the members themselves.
Speak to your grandparents, your Mum or Dad, aunties, uncles, cousins - anyone who might know something.
Even if all they can give you is a rough date of birth or even a maiden name it's a good place to start.
- Take one family line at a time.
It can be really exciting finding out all sorts about your ancestors but it can also be confusing - especially if names are passed down through generations. Research your grandma's line, for example, as far back as you can go then start on your grandad's.
- The best details to get are the ones shared by everyone - birth and death. Marriage might also be helpful and then you can start finding out about maiden names and siblings. Once you've got the basics you can start asking where people lived or were born, if they were in either of the wars etc.
- If your family has a chequered past be aware that some family members might not want to talk about their relatives. Try and explain why you're interested in finding our more but try and be sympathetic.
- Ask for photos - you can work out approximate ages from photos or even more about families as a whole. And even if you can't get any information from them you can still see if there are any resemblances and bring the names to life.
Read on: Step 3 - What records are there available?