Look a little closer at this vintage family photo of children larking around on the beach - could one of the boys be your Great Grandfather?

If you’ve ever been curious to know more about your family history then now’s your chance. The story of your family’s past is contained within the billions of online records at Ancestry.co.uk. Like any good thriller, though, it’s not straightforward. It’s full of twists and turns, shocks and revelations. The fun is in following the plot through all these surprises and discoveries.

The competition to win one of 10 Family Tree Makers- including a six month premium membership is now closed

In the meantime, here's some tips for starting out on your journey into your family's past:

1. Creating Your Family Tree

Ancestry.co.uk have everything you need to begin your journey by constructing your family tree. Once you’ve done this you have the perfect bookmark to your evolving story as you delve back in time. With this online page you can keep track of the discoveries you’ve made, making sure you don’t lose your place as your story grows. There is a lot of help along the way - the Hints button is a vital tool to point you towards your ancestors’ records.

2. Census Records

Census records begin the opening chapter. They introduce the main characters, put them in the context of their place and time, and help you work out the relationships between them. The most recent census is from 1911, when your grandparents or even parents were probably alive, so that’s a great place to start.

3. Birth, Marriage and Death Records

When you’ve set the scene, you can start looking for your first plot twists. Birth, marriage and death records add detail to your ancestors’ most important events – and often reveal unexpected parents or shocking liaisons.

4. Occupation and Military Records

Occupation records examine careers, separating the honest workers from the dodgy dealers. And our military records provide your tale’s true heroes.

5. Your Story, Your Journey

Where your story will take you is impossible to say. You might follow your family to the USA or Australia in migration records, or visit them in jail with criminal records. And you can keep reading for as long as you like – Ancestry’s parish records go right back to Henry VIII’s reign in the 16th century.


Start your family’s story now with a 14-day free trial at Ancestry.co.uk.

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