A How-To Guide to Find Your Relatives
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Have you ever wondered if you’re descended from royalty? Maybe you wish you were related to a movie star. Possibly it has crossed your mind that you have ancestors that ventured to America on the Mayflower, well now is your chance to find out through this easy step-by-step process!
I’m not one to get starstruck over people with some fame, but I do consider it a bragging right to say I am a 13th cousin to Gregory Peck, or 2nd cousin 9 times removed to Davey Crockett, or even that Mary ‘Queen of Scots’ Stuart, is my 13th Great Grandmother! I was even able to find out that me and my husband are 12th cousins, 3 times removed. Quite frankly, that is far enough back that I’d consider it a safe zone!
Beyond having the opportunity to find out how I’m related to Elvis Presley, it is great fun to create a group with my friends to find out how we are all related. In college we had an institute group that joined and I actually found out that one of my friends was my 5th cousin and we were the closest-related two people in the building, but it’s too hard to go back and do all of the hard work to find out who most closely connects us, so I’m going to teach you the tricks to finding out!
Step 1: Create a FamilySearch Account.
If you already have one, GREAT! If you don’t, now is a good time to start. Family Search is a WONDERFUL tool for any type of family looking to delve into their family history, find fantastic stories, or do temple work for your ancestors if you are LDS.
You can create family trees, record memories from your relatives, and index historical names to make it easier for you and others to find your ancestors’ records. The possibilities are endless, and it can be a really healthy pastime for you, your spouse, and your children.
Step 2: Build Your Family Tree.
This is probably the most difficult, but most rewarding, part. The good news? Once you get back to about your great-grandparents they should already be in the system and the rest of your family tree (that has already been done by other members of the site) will snap into place. This is mostly out of respect for the living and not sharing their personal information online. This is a really good way to reach out to your family and make sure you’re entering your ancestors’ names correctly.
Once you’ve snapped into the system your “Family Fan” should look something like this. Make sure the information is all correct!
Step 3: Sign in to Relative Finder.
This is the fun part, you don’t even need to make a new account! Just sign in using your Family Search account and voila!
Your page should look something like this.
Now you can search through the relative categories on your sidebar and see your relations to authors, composers, constitution signers, movie stars, and more!
*Quick shoutout to Johnny Depp that we are 8th cousins 4 times removed!
Step 4: Join the Prism Perfect Group.
Click Groups in the top right hand corner, click Join in the drop down menu and type in “Prism Perfect.” Join our group and see how you are related to other Prism Perfect members!
Doing family history and learning how we are related to the people around us can really put our relationships and friendships in perspective. If you are religious, you believe in some way, shape, or form that we are all brothers and sisters. When it comes down to it we are all related, by blood or marriage, in some way.
Oh how wonderful the world would be if we could treat each other as family, instead of as enemies, strangers, and acquaintances we’d rather not interact with. A lot of troubles in the world wouldn’t be quite so difficult to live through because we’d know that our neighbors were at our side; for us, not against us.