Royal families are diverse, to say the least. What are the chances that your ancestors came from one royal family? Are you in line for a throne? Who are the members in your family tree?
In royal families, future heirs are often identified from a young age. Sometimes they’ll learn early about their royal heritage from a family member, other times they will find out for themselves when they reach adulthood.
The average person has over 40,000 relatives. But unless you already know your family tree back through to Adam and Eve, the task of figuring out your ancestry can feel pretty daunting.
If you’re not sure how to identify royal lineage, this process will help you through it.
Step 1: Uncover the meaning of your surname.
When you’re tracing ancestry, first learn the origin and meaning of your last name. Our last names connect us to our ancestors and their personalities and experiences. Last names came about to distinguish people from others and tell a story of each branch of your family tree.
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Typical surname types across all cultures fall into seven categories.
- Descriptive (such as “Fitzroy” meaning “son of the king”)
- Parent’s name (such as Marriott (from Mary))
- Location-based (such as “West”)
- Occupational (such as “Knight”)
- Religious (such as “Pope”)
- Estate (such as “Windsor”)
- Patronage (Such as Kilconnell, meaning ‘follower of Connell’)
Be aware that the further back in history you go, the more spelling variations of your last name you’ll find. And sometimes ancestors took on entirely new surnames after significant events. Such as living exiled in foreign lands or receiving custodianship of royal manors.
Step 2: Capture your relatives knowledge of the family.
Time to talk family history with your loved ones. Interviewing family members for genealogy research can be an excellent way to learn about forefathers and foremothers you once had, but also current family who don’t know you’re related. This step can also answer possible genealogy brick walls. The people close to you can reveal ancestors you never knew you had and places going back several generations. Tips for family history interviews:
- Extend an invite to your oldest relatives first. They’re likely to know the most information. Then move on to other family members.
- Schedule a time and quiet place to talk. Your discussions can be done over the phone, video chat and/or in person.
- Ask questions to spark conversation and connection. Excellent family history questions will always open up rich conversations and a wealth of stories.
- Note down what they share. You never know what nuggets of information you may forget. With permission, you can also record.
- Collect information about their ancestry. Get family documents, heirlooms, photographs, and memorabilia, etc.
Step 3: Research Your Ancestors Online and Offline
At this step, you’re likely to have learnt about royal relatives! Next, research your ancestors using historical records, such as census, church records, records of the armed forces, and more., but these sources may not include everything significant about your ancestors. You can also find more by looking offline and testing your DNA. DNA can offer some genetic surprises. When your research exemplifies the Genealogical Proof Standard, your royal heritage is credible.
Do you share the blood of a Persian King? Are you a noble descendent of Royal Kent Saints? Is Oyo Empire an ancestral dynasty? Elsewhere?
As you research online and offline genealogical resources, make sure you are looking at all data and sources with a critical eye. The Internet makes it easy to find accurate facts as well as intentional misinformation. Writing up your conclusion could consist of a family tree report or chart. In situations where you have conflicting evidence to resolve, use thorough analysis and correlation to validate proof.
The legacy of your ancestors can be extremely inspiring. From their reigns, to their social ties, to their writing styles, there are so many memories locked away. This is the beginning of your journey toward greater understanding of your destiny, through genealogy research.
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