Have you always been curious about your family tree? Are you able to trace back some of the roots, but at the same time, there are bare spots, and you’re really not able to go back more than a couple of generations? Tracing your family roots has not only become more commonplace; it has also become a trend thanks to the number of tech tools available for people to use. These tools are making family genealogy easier, faster, and more understandable, giving people a true look at their roots and their family history.
So, if this is a hobby you have been wanting to give a try but aren’t sure where to get started and what tools would be most beneficial, here’s a look at some of the most effective tech resources on the market today.
Mobile Apps – Convenient Access Wherever You Are
Of course, the biggest and arguably the most useful tech tool to be offered to novice genealogists is the abundance of mobile apps dedicated to tracing family history. Some have been so successful in their offering and marketing campaigns that they’ve not only created a buzz – they have changed the entire landscape of family tree tracing.
They have taken a relatively obscure pastime and made it much more convenient, approachable, and mainstream. Anyone can use these apps with ease, and there’s no need to be a historian.
So, which apps are making the biggest wave and the biggest name for themselves? There are a few notable ones that you’ve likely heard of, including Ancestry (which also has a website you can use), Reunion (iOS platform only), MyHeritage (iOS and Android), and RootsMagic (iOS and Android). Each one boasts its own extensive list of benefits and features, so it’s well worth doing your research to find the one that best fits your needs and family tracing style.
Access Public Estate Records – a Glimpse into the Past
Public estate records can also go a long way in helping you to fill in missing branches and useful information on the family tree. Public Records Reviews gives you a really fast and simple way to do this search from home, giving you results in mere seconds. All you need to do is type in a first and last name, the last known location, and let the search tool do all the work.
Now imagine doing that same task the old-fashioned way by visiting the county clerk’s office in person. Results will take days, if not more.
Estate records are often one of the most useful tools that genealogists will use, as they give you a bit of a glimpse into a deceased person and can fill in a lot of gaps about their life.
Social Networks – Connect with People in Fast and Easy Ways
Then there are the social networks, which have made it incredibly easy to connect with people all around the world in just a short message. If you’ve got a name that you are searching for information on, these networks can prove to be useful. It’s not at all unheard of to find a lost relative through Facebook, Instagram, or one of the other popular social networks.
Even the fact that people post so many photos on their social networks can prove to be useful as these pictures can help you to connect the dots of the past and present.
What’s important to keep in mind is that you may have to go through a lot of people until you find the one that belongs on your family tree. So, while this can still speed up the process, there will still be research and time you need to put into it.
Online Census Records – Don’t Underestimate the Power of These Records
Census records aren’t exactly exciting, but the reality is that they can offer a lot of useful information for genealogists. The fact that the records are now online means you can access them any time, and anywhere. For many of the top genealogists out there, census records are the most useful and accurate puzzle piece to use.
Keep in mind the fact that the various family tree tracing apps, such as the ones listed above, are using this exact information.
DNA Testing – the Ultimate High-Tech Tool
Then we have DNA testing, which has really exploded in the past few years. The fact that you can be sent a DNA testing kit in the mail, take your sample, send it in, and then get some really insightful and in-depth results is just shocking.
DNA testing is not only used to figure out your ethnic origins, which can help with filling in the family tree, but it’s an important tool in proving or disproving family connections.
What Will the Next Wave of Tech Tools Bring?
With so many advances in technology and the fact that they seem to be happening faster than ever, the only question left to ask is what the next wave of technology tools will bring to genealogy?