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3 Tips To Help Trace Your Family Tree

Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were, where your family name comes from, or how to get started delving into your family's history? 

TV shows like 'Who Do You Think You Are?' have made the hobby of finding out about your ancestors more popular than ever. Here are 5 hints and tips to get you started...

1. Work Backwards From Yourself

It might be tempting to start with a distant family member you've heard stories about, but that could return confusing and misleading results. The best thing to do is to start with yourself and work backwards, so that you can be sure you are looking at proof which connects each generation together.

By starting with yourself you can begin the process with the people you know, and even talk to them to find out information about family members they might remember. You can then piece together this information through public records, like Wills, Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates which you'll find through the UK Government's General Register Office.

2. Utilise The Internet

There are several websites designed to help discover your family's history and build your family tree. We recommend:

Ancestry have the world's largest online library of family history information and they're constantly adding more. They can also use your DNA to reveal your ethnic mix and discover places and people hidden in your past.

When you sign up to Ancestry you can benefit from a free trial, plus raise 10% as a donation for a charity of your choice when you sign up via Give as you Live Online!


Genes Reunited helps people find living relations and takes them back in time to discover their family history. As well as being able to acces a handy Family Tree Builder and a database of over 550 million records, their online community is packed full of great advice and knowledgeable members who can help with your next step if you get stuck.

Genes Reunited also offer a free 15% donation to the charity of your choice when you register via Give as you Live Online.


Findmypast.co.uk is UK's leading family history and genealogy website and has been awarded the Queen's Award for innovation in 2007. They have one of the biggest sets of UK family records, including the complete census records from 1841-1911.

When you sign up for a free trial using Give as you Live Online, Findmypast.co.uk will donate 75p. Sign up for a subscription and they'll donate up to 20% to the charity of your choice, at no extra cost.


3. Be Social

You don't need to be a private investigator to find living distant relatives anymore - social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help you find and reach out to living family members you may have never spoken to. Send a polite message explaining what you're doing and asking if they can think of anyone you might not already have thought of.


What is Give as you Live Online?

Give as you Live Online is a FREE online fundraising platform that has raised over £18,000,000 for UK charities just through online shopping. There are over 5,500 stores listed and over 200,000 charities available to support. Sign up, click through Give as you Live Online and raise free donations whenever you shop!


Offers, donation rates and participating stores are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please visit the Give as you Live Online website for the most up to date information.

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