Question Home

Position:Home>Genealogy> How can I find my family history/tree and exact origins if I don't know my r

Question: How can I find my family history/tree and exact origins if I don't know my real last name!?
I can't really ask my family!. All my grandparents are dead except for my maternal grandmother; she doesn't know too much history herself (she doesn't even know her real age & birthday)!.

I have my father's last name but it's not it's not his true family surname!. It's just a word that means Circassian which is what I am!.

**Circassian is NOT a typo!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
Do you know which clans your family is from!? I have a "fake" last name too, but I know what my clans are!. Unfortunately, I've only memorized a few of them, I have several but I can't bother to remember the clan names!. None of my family history is documented, we have no papers or family tree!. All of my grandparents except my paternal grandfather is dead!. My father knows a lot about our family history though and about our clans!. So do some relatives on my father's side, they documented some things!. It's kind of sad though, we are forgetting who we are where we came from!. I suppose it's natural, though!. You can't hold onto these things forever!.

Good luck trying to find your real last name and clans!. I'm not sure how you would go about doing it, it's hard to find anything if you don't know where to start!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Many people don't know their real ages, it's very common in some cultures and was in mainstream US society right up until the advent of birth certificates around the turn of the 20th century!. Talk to your grandma and see if she can provide any clues!. They may not be facts, but they could help point you in the right direction!.

Just a note: if your last name is legally documented it is your "real" last name!.

The rest of my answer will have a U!.S!./English speaking world bias to it and may or may not be applicable to your region (not sure where you live)!.

Start by checking your birth certificate!. (I'm assuming you've had that name since birth, if not start with your name change papers)!. If your father changed his name after you were born his original name might appear on your cert!. If he changed it before you were born you might be able to use the information about him or your mother to trace back!. Look for marriage records, census records, land records, etc!. If you know a specific area where he's lived you might also have luck with court records!. You might also be able to find helpful tidbits in newspapers, obituaries, or death records!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

For everyone, don't forget a DNA, both the mtDNA & yDNA!. In your case, if none of your living realatives have a clue, then DNA is your only option!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Ow, that's hard!. Maybe one of your aunts or uncles know!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Does your father know what his real family surname is!? Is the name he's using now his legal name!? If the name was changed through legal channels (in the US; I'm not sure about other countries), it's a matter of public record!. It might take some digging, but you should be able to find the record of name change which would have the original surname!.

And don't ignore your maternal grandmother's knowledge!. You may be able to find a mention of your parents' marriage or partnership on a genealogy website if you start building your mother's family tree, and that might help you find your father's surname!.Www@QuestionHome@Com