A lot of people want to know about their roots. The curiosity springs from several reasons: to create a sense of wholeness, to understand one’s self better, to find answers, or to merely know as the hunt for it gives them inexplicable thrill. Whatever reason it may be, knowing your roots is like bringing together the missing pieces of your life—where did it all started? Who are your ancestors? What had happened to them to bring you and your family to where you are now?
You may even surprise yourself that in the end, finding these missing pieces enabled you to appreciate your life better.
A step you can take to move you closer to knowing your roots is to find the nationality of your last name. This is tricky as you can’t discover the nationality of your last name by simply tracing the place of origin of your last name. Factors such as migration and colonization affect the nationality of last names. Therefore, finding the nationality of your last name entails a lot of patience and research as implied in the tips below:
- Online. You can get a general idea of the nationality of your last name by researching about it on the Internet. Take advantage of websites that offer free analysis of your name. The analysis of your name will inform you of your last name’s place of origin and its meaning. Write down the information you’ve gathered from these websites in a notebook for future reference.
- Family. After getting a general idea of the nationality of your last name, ask your family members about your family’s history and what they think about of the origin of your last name. However, be careful about fully trusting the things that you have learned as memory can be unreliable at times, especially if your resource comes from the elderly members of your family. Because of this, talk to several members of your family so that you can compare their stories and check for inconsistencies. Also, ask if anyone of them has kept a diary or any record that will confirm the stories you’ve gathered.
- Library. Do a lot of research in libraries about Genealogy. This will arm you with knowledge on how to trace family lineage and help you in using the right tools in finding the nationality of your last name. Also, inquire your local library if they’re keeping records of your community’s history, including records of marriages, births, and deaths. If they don’t, ask them where you can find them. These records can be helpful in unraveling your roots.
Don’t let dead ends dampen your spirit in tracing your lineage. This is
natural when doing an extensive research. Review what you got so far and
see if you missed anything. Try also to look at your research at a
different angle and you might discover an important tidbit on the
nationality of your last name. Also, ask your family or review the
records you have of the major trips taken by your ancestors. The place
where your ancestors have gone to might just provide you with the lead
you’re looking for.