Finding your ancestors or creating a complete family tree is an exciting activity that many people started to involve themselves in. For those who are passionate about history and would like to find distant relatives that they don’t know about, genealogy is the auxiliary science that should take into consideration. There are some tracks you can follow on your own in order to find far ancestors and relatives you had no idea about, but things become much easier if you know how to use the Internet and technology. Before emerging yourself into complicated processes, you might want to start asking your oldest family members about what they remember related to their family – their parents, grandparents and other relatives they know some details about. This will give you some sort of direction, and you can explore further options.

The reason behind wanting to build a complex family tree varies from pure curiosity to finding someone because of a medical history that could affect someone in the family. Going through endless documents that are stored in the city’s archives could take years, so you should think about a better method to cover all the volume of information in a faster way. This is where the Internet comes in. You can use all sorts of online resources and tools in order to find what you are looking for. Some resources can offer relevant information about recorded baptismal certificates, wedding certificates and other documents that might be helpful for finding a distant relative or at least directing the search in the right way. Here are some tips on how to find your distant relatives using the online environment only:

Family tree research

There are specialized websites that can be of great help when looking for distant relatives. An online platform that offers this feature lets the user introduce whatever relevant information they found by researching beforehand, and they continue the process using the collected data. Such websites continue the research for you and add important details to your family tree that are backed up by documents or other sorts of reliable data. Some platforms also obtain photographs of your family members. The engine behind family tree research platforms collects and compares data from various sources and creates links/bonds between facts. Some online platforms are faster compared to others, but this process usually takes from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the research and the information available.

Your ancestors and distant relatives can now be found online due to the movement of archives in this environment. Since going paperless is now a trend, there is no wonder why access to information is so facile. Actually, most of the family tree research available online are quite expensive, so be prepared to invest a considerable amount of money in building a complete family tree.


Another good option for finding more information about potential distance relatives would be interviewing people. After you properly assessed the information in the beginning and you have a well-built starting point, you can consider interviewing people online. At first, it will be complicated to put together all the pieces, but once you start upgrading your collection of information, things will start to come to light. Of course, you don’t have to engage in physical, face-to-face interviews.

The online environment offers enough resources to help you with finding contact information for persons you consider useful for your research. Contacting them via phone, mail or social media platforms is a great starting point. Doing all the work by yourself might mean that you have to invest some time and effort into it, but you have higher chances of finding a distant relative by using peer-to-peer methods rather than indirect options.

Demographic databases

Most countries moved their demographic databases in the online environment, on secure servers that can be accessed only by specified persons. When you are in need of information that can be found in these demographic databases, you can check what requirements you have to respect in order to gain access to them and start your search.

First of all, the main criteria used for making a search in the demographic database of a country include first and last name, the location and the approximate year when the person was born. By knowing these factors, you can find important details about potential distant relatives and you can get in touch with them for further research. Interviews and checking demographic databases represent a sure way to success.

Background search

In case nothing works, and you don’t find the necessary time to complete the research by yourself, you should know that there are companies which offer background search services for all sorts of purposes. If you have basic information to provide such a company with, they will continue the research process and let you know what they find out. This is the easiest method considering the fact that you are supposed to give the company the premise only and the process will run individually, giving you time to do research on your own if you wish to. Of course, combining both methods and comparing the results is the safest bet.

Final thoughts

For obtaining reliable results that will lead you to the person you are seeking, you should take into account all possible research methods. Besides talking with all of your family members and collect data about potential distant relatives you may have, hiring a company to do a background search could lead you to great results in less time than you expect. Of course, there are many more other services you could opt for and you can start researching physical documents if the Internet is not enough for completing your genealogy research. When the purpose of your research imposes urgency, you should contact specialists to do the research for you, but when the reason behind your search is curiosity or a personal need, you can take your time and do the research on your own.

Anurag Choudhari is the co-founder of Geekenized Technologies LLP, a web development & digital marketing agency that helps various SMBs & SMEs in developing & maintaining their online presence.

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