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Tracing your family tree may prove to be very painstaking as the task involves great care and attention to detail. Where do you even start? How do you know you're following the right track? Tracing your family tree involves gathering information about a group of people related by descent from a common ancestor and then arranging the line of descent in proper order, the oldest ancestors at the top, the older ones in the middle and the newest age group in the very bottom.

There are certain steps you need to follow to ensure that every detail is accurate.

1.   Decide on the theme you want to follow. Do you want to include all the living and the dead members of the family or just the one's still alive?

2.   Research to uncover relevant information about each member such as place of birth, time of birth, marriage details, movement from one region or country to another, and if applicable, date and place of death and surviving family.

3.   When you have all the information you need, you can start tracing using the descendant chart or the ascendant chart. In the descendant chart, you start with a common direct ancestor, following that lineage carefully until you come up with the present family members. You do exactly the opposite when you choose to use the ascendant chart, start from the present day members and then trace back into the past.

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