What’s the Value in Doing Descendancy Research?

June 24, 2015  - by 

Some people have wondered, what is the value of doing descendancy research? Why would someone want to move from a point in early history forward to the present? Isn’t it easier if I start with me and work my way back to my earliest possible ancestor?

The tendency to start with a living person and moving backward in time is a relatively new idea, within the last century. Historically, genealogists and family historians have researched their family lines by choosing a well-known ancestor and moved forward in time, rather than going from the present backwards.

Tim Bingaman, a research consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah, presents some excellent insights in his lecture titled, Descendancy Research: Finding the Past in the Present.” Learn how descendancy research can help move your personal research along and guide you in discovering some new ancestors you didn’t know you had.

Watch a free 40 minute video titled Descendancy Research, where you can learn what descendancy research is, how to choose an ancestor to begin your search, and then collect previous research about that ancestor. Tim Bingaman uses case studies of his own ancestors to show you how it’s done.

This video is part of the many videos found in the FamilySearch Learning Center.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Almost all of my research has been descendency because we already knew our direct line back to my 9th gr grandfather, William Russell who arrived in MA about 1640 so it was only logical to do a descendant research since he had 12 children.

  2. Do you research ancestors from other countries? I am researching my ancestors from the Abruzzi (Abruzzo) region, province of Pescara, town of Muscfo. I do not speak or read Italian and would like to determine some way to research my Italian relatives and ancestors further. Thanks.