Discovering Ancestry – Glad You Asked

Here is the link to the online article:
This one I wrote by accident actually. I just answered a question on one of their blogs – didnt think it would be published.
Jenni from Racine writes: I want to track my family history and don’t know where to begin. Can you tell me how to trace my family roots and how find out where my family is from and where we originated?

We posted this on the GYA blog at

GYA Writer Heather Rayne Geyer added: I have done this (well, started – it is a hard job, especially if you don’t want to pay money to do it like me). First, I checked with the SS Death Index. I got some dates of birth, dates of death, birthplaces and places of death (I think). But that is only if the person collected SSI.


is helpful to a point without subscribing, and just using Google to search for some names is helpful. This is how I found out where my grandfather was buried in California and where he worked at one time.

For relatives who came to America, you can try,

which is free. You can also find census records on the Web.

I then went to local cemeteries and went into the office and they helped me look up names to see if they were buried there. If so, I went to the grave sites which often gave middle names and exact dates of birth and death. You might also find relatives you didn’t know you had if, for example, there is a family plot or you find same last names buried next to one another (this happened to me).


About Heather Rayne

I am a mom, wife, writer, volunteer, eater of food, lover of animals and avid TV enthusiast. I am opinionated, honest, compassionate and sensitive. I can also be difficult, hard headed and emotional. I consider myself to have a great sense of humor and am very attracted to that in others. I am striving to live an authentic life. I am attempting to learn how to find happiness in the now. I always have hope to be a better person. That being said - I can be vulgar, negative and even a little bitchy at times. I say what I mean and my filter is often dysfunctional. With me, what you see is what you get. I have strong opinions and am quick to speak my mind. This can cause problems from time to time but I do not ever intend to hurt or offend anyone. With that - be warned. I do hope you enjoy my site. Thanks for visiting and have a swell day.

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