Start with your family tree

The first step in tracing your history is building a tree. Begin with yourself then go back as far as you can.

Don’t worry if you’re unsure of the details—guesses work too. In fact, they can help us find clues to new information about your ancestors.

Tell us who you are.

Then tell us about your parents.

Take a hint

As soon as you begin a tree, we automatically look through billions of historical records, photos, and other Ancestry trees for information about your family.

When we find something, a green leaf appears on your family tree. Just click the Ancestry Hint to review the details.

Looks like we found a
census record for Grandpa.

Discover the story

A document isn’t just a piece of paper—it’s a snapshot of your family’s past. Plug a name into a search of our vast collections, and there’s no telling what you’ll find.

Your story awaits—go find it

Start a free trial

or grow your tree and search for records

We add millions of records every day.
What will you discover today?

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or grow your tree and search for records

Next steps

Discover how to get the most out of your journey.

Find more helpful information here.

Learn something new

Play video Search like a pro

Optimise your searches and use filters to fine-tune your results.

Play video Follow the guides

Learn how to find the details that live in records with helpful articles and tutorials.

Play video Maximize your hints

Get the most from Ancestry Hints with these helpful tips.

Play video Find answers in 1911

See what the latest UK census available can reveal about your family.

Tips from Ancestry members

“Ancestry is always adding to their record collections. Keep checking back to see if a new search gets more results.”

“Review all the hints. Not only are the documents fascinating, but make sure the facts are right before you add to your tree. I wish someone had told me this when I started!”

Get the free Ancestry app. It makes sharing and updating really portable—and so much fun!”