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Tracing your ancestry?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:58 UK time, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Can't see the exclusive web-only film? Click here to watch. 

Lucy Siegle has been looking at researching your family tree without spending lots of money. Lucy pointed out that a lot of the information that professional researchers, and some commercial websites, will charge you for can be gathered for free.

Local libraries and record offices are a mine of free information - as they contain parish records. An expert that Lucy spoke to recommended looking at the 1881 census online.

Click here for more info on looking at census records online (England and Wales). Click here for more on Scottish genealogical information.

Lucy also said to beware of paying too much for certificates that can be obtained for less from a register office.

Click for the General Register office - England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland and the General Register Office for Northern Ireland. See also: BBC Family History website.

One Show viewer Colline Mcleod from Blackheath (watch her film, above) in London is an avid genealogist. She has been tracing her family tree for 15 years and has managed to follow it back as far as the 1700s. Along the way she discovered a great great uncle who served at Buckingham Place under George V and a branch of her family who emigrated to Patagonia only to be killed by a local tribe.

Colline's top tips for tracing your ancestry cheaply:

1) Talk to all of your older family members to glean as much as possible.
2) Visit the area that relatives lived in and talk to the local residents.
3) Use local parish records.
4) Use the National Archives at Kew.

Have you researched your family tree? Do you have tips, hints, or stories to share with us?

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