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Mark Wright's top tips for researching your family tree

16 April 2021, 15:47

Mark Wright shares his top tips to trace your family tree
Mark Wright shares his top tips to trace your family tree. Picture: Getty
Mark Wright

By Mark Wright

Heart's Mark Wright knows how profound it can be to trace your family tree - here he reveals how looking in to your ancestry can be a brilliant activity for the whole family.

After I took part in Who Do You Think You Are? I realised that history isn’t just what you’ve seen on documentaries or learnt at school, it’s the stories of our ancestors and relatives.

I discovered loads of brilliant, heartbreaking and fascinating information about the relatives on my dad’s side of the family, and getting together and watching the episode with my family was such a special moment and memory for all of us.

During lockdown, Zoom quizzes and virtual cocktail nights were good fun at the beginning, but they soon lose their appeal and can begin feeling a bit forced.

Older relatives can help by sharing their memories and going through old photos
Older relatives can help by sharing their memories and going through old photos. Picture: Getty

So instead, why not concentrate on working with your loved ones to piece together your own family tree?

It gives you something genuinely interesting to discuss, and there is enough scope for each family member to have something, or someone, to research.

Make family dinners a chance to share what you've discovered about your ancestors
Make family dinners a chance to share what you've discovered about your ancestors. Picture: Getty

Older relatives who can’t use the internet can also get involved by sharing stories and reminiscing about their lives.

By making a ‘date’ to meet up every month, you can all order a takeaway or enjoy a few drinks as you share what you have discovered and bring familiar-looking strangers to life with historical documents or joyful stories that might otherwise have been forgotten.

Make your family catch-ups more exciting with a shared project
Make your family catch-ups more exciting with a shared project. Picture: Getty

The past twelve months has really shown just how important family is to all of us, so why not bring yours even closer by setting out to find out where you really came from?

Mark's top tips

  • Get yourself a notebook, charting a family tree is rarely a straight line, and you'll be wanting to make notes about other names and places to look in to
  • Don't underestimate older relatives - your nan, grandad or even relatives on your cousins' sides could be a valuable source of information, let them join in the fun and share their memories
  • Delegate, it'll be more fun and more efficient if each family or person is researching a particular person or era
  • Make it fun, this is a great way to stay connected and make memories - even if you're not all in the same room

Researching your family tree can be made easier when you use Virgin Media, as their fastest most reliable broadband ever helps you stay connected to your family and friends.

For more information and the chance to win a laptop, headset and mouse, click here.