Trace ancestor : tracing your noble roots
by Jan-Olov von Wowern

Are you interested in genealogy and family search? Would you like to trace an ancestor to find out if you belong to an ancient noble family? 3 years ago I started doing serious research about my family, and came all the way back to the founder of our family who was made a Marquis in the year 1141. In the process I have
collected more than 2000 pages of documentation and made friends all over the world!
In this brief article I would like to tell you about some of the most important things to remember when you want to trace ancestors and look for possible
noble roots.

First of all, you need to collect and systematize the knowledge you already have. This means to search written material already available, interviewing family members and relatives, trying to find physical items relating to your family history and if possible summon a family meeting. This will give you the background material you need to trace your ancestors.

Second, you need to start using the Internet as a genealogical tool. In order to trace ancestors you need to learn how to use search engines and telephone directories to do genealogical research. You will also need to find and use specialized
Internet sites that deal with noble genealogy and nobiliary issues such as heraldry (the science that studies armorial bearings). In many cases you can find sites specialized in the nobility of specific countries, and they will provide you with lots of valuable information.

You will also want to search libraries for books related to your family search, and from many libraries you can buy photocopies from the books you need. To trace your ancestors you will sometimes want to own a specific book related to your family history, and you will need to search antiquarian book shops.

Several Internet sites have specialized in heraldry, and at one site you can search among the coat of arms of more than 130,000 families. Heraldry can be a powerful tool when trying to trace an ancestor.