Amy Rees Anderson

Finding Out Who You Are By Learning Where You Came From

Figuring out who your ancestors are is one of the coolest things in the world.  I was lucky to have Grandparents who were big into doing genealogy research when they were still alive and they provided me life history books for their own lives as well as providing me life histories written by my great-grandparents and great-great grandparents. Reading those life histories has been one of my favorite things to do.  Reading the stories of my grandmothers helps me see where my own personality came from…sassiness and all :).  I come from a long line of amazing women and men.  But I wanted to know even more so I started researching sites that could provide me the best information and that is when I was introduced to the website .  Signing up for the website is completely FREE – always – no charge now or later – its 100% free.  The website taps into one of largest (I actually believe it is the largest in the world) databases of genealogy databases which is hosted by the LDS Church. Now for those of you out there who are not affiliated with the church – don’t worry – you do NOT have to be affiliated with the church in any way to sign up for an account and find all your ancestors – this database is a database of everyone’s ancestors from all over the world.  It was created from birth records, death records, city and country records, and from people doing their own research and adding to it. The database is prepopulated with people who have died and then people can manually add in living people – so for example, when I logged in I found my deceased grandparents and then I manually added my living parents and all of my living siblings.  Once I linked us to my deceased grandparents I was able to then follow each grandparent for generation after generation after generation into the past.  It was amazing!  The entire chart was already there and built for me – I just had to link myself onto it.

Even cooler is that I can click on any past relatives name and it shows me any photos people have added of my relative and it has stored documents and life histories and other uploaded items added to my ancestors.  I was able to find photos of ancestors I have never even seen before – it was SO COOL!!!  In addition I found news articles about my relatives linked to them and I found journals that had been uploaded to some of my ancestors clear back from Wales and Ireland and Scotland and Sweden and on and on.  I even found that I come from real life actual royalty!  SWEEEEETTTT!   I always wanted to be a princess and come to find out I actually am 🙂 .  It was SO EXCITING!  You will be amazed what you find out about who you are!

I have become absolutely obsessed with this website and reading information about my relatives and now I am trying to gather more information using the tools they offer to continue extending my pedigree chart as far out as possible.  It is amazing how much data you will find on your family day one because so many people worldwide are adding information to this database every single day.  It is AWESOME!

Log in and try it out today – you will be so excited at what you find!  Just go to the homepage and in the upper right hand corner click the words “Join for Free”. Then fill in the About Yourself page with where you are from and your date and place of birth (this will start your personal box that will begin your family tree). There is a checkbox on the page asking if you are a member of the LDS Church or not – just click yes or no – the only thing this affects is that for LDS Church members it will show information on baptism into the church and temple attendance.  Whether you are LDS or not you get full access to all the family tree information and photos and memories and journals, etc.  So you don’t miss out on any of the exciting things the system offers either way.

I guarantee that as you get into linking to your grandparents or great-grandparents (or whichever generation is no longer living because remember that your living relatives only show up if they are added manually to the system) and you see the amazing family tree automatically start to show it you will become obsessed just like I am – SO SO SO COOL!

Have a great Monday everyone and make sure and figure out who your ancestors are on  !



  • J'Aime MacPherson says:

    My husband’s family is really into this. They found out he came from a long line of royalty as well in Scotland so we went and stayed at their castle; MacPherson. Turned out he is a duke. haha I felt special being married to that. 🙂

  • Katie says:

    I LOVE genealogy! It is truly amazing how much can be learned at the FamilySearch site – especially with the stories and photos that are now available! Because I am obsessed with it though I have to mention two things because I WISH that someone had told me when I first started (it’s a new mission of mine to sapre someone else from going through what I did).
    First relates to your comment “this database is a database of everyone’s ancestors from all over the world.” Not everyone has ancestors in there and just because someone isn’t there, soen’t mean they are not your ancestor, it just means that no one has submitted their information before.
    Second – and way more important – their site is NOT validated, verified, or in any way assisted in being free of errors. Just because something is in there, does not make it reality. I spent many months searching and working hard with what information they have before realizing that there were some mistakes. Now I am left going over the info in there to verify what is based in reality and what is family mythology and nothing more and what falls inbetween somewhere. What is there can offer incredible help and clues for starting research, but taking the time to verify things fully help you know that you are researching your family, not someone else’s.
    I don’t say either thing to be critical, but rather to try to spare someone else months or years of research to only find out that they have been researching people that they are not even related to. Been there, done that, don’t want to go there again.
    Either way, may family or not, the stories found on this site, though, make me appreciate history and all those that came before. Thanks for throwing this out there – it really is such a wonder to have all of that available at the click of a button for free. 🙂

    • ARAadmin says:

      Katie the website tells you next to each ancestor what the source of the family info was so that is super helpful to use to verify the names to be accurate. So far mine has been incredibly accurate so I haven’t had the same problems you describe. But because the site allows people to update their own family tree it is possible a person would add something wrong which is why looking at the source of each name is helpful. And you are correct, just because it isn’t showing doesn’t mean the family member isn’t there. And every day new data gets uploaded to their system from people all over the world doing genealogy so I check back often to see what new updates have been made on my family tree and it grows all the time. Another really cool thing to be aware of is the fact that you can order a DNA test from and have them try and link you to your family tree as well. It is AMAZING what they can do to help link you to the missing gaps in your chart. And it’s not that much money to have done. Anyway, happy hunting for your ancestors 🙂

  • Maurine says:

    Great info. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!

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  • Savannah says:

    I have no clue where or who my mom is or where i came from.

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