Tips to Become A Family History Research Expert

Family Research

Any research on the history of a family must start from the study of its surname and from the analysis of the various family branches which, even in places and at different times, have been distinguished by that surname, in its original form or one of its altered forms and derivatives.

With accurate bibliographic research, it is possible to try to explain the etymological meaning of the surname, the linguistic and graphic transformations it underwent, the areas of origin, and those where it subsequently spread. The family branches that have left some trace in the chronicles of the countries, cities, or regions in which they lived are also illustrated, highlighting the most notable characters who brought the surname object of the study, and the academic, honorary, or noble titles eventually obtained. The summary of the traced information is presented in a documented report with the citation of the sources of extraction and the bibliography consulted.


This research also has as its object the source and formation of the surname, its etymology, its diffusion, and all the historical, biographical, heraldic, and noble information, reported from bibliographic and archival sources, on the various family branches documented. Every single piece of information is examined in detail and the extensive report is documented through the photocopy of each bibliographic or archival source.

Furthermore, if the research has rigorously ascertained the existence of a Coat of Arms, it is reproduced in color and collected, together with all the documentation, in a bound volume.


Heraldry, onomastics, genealogy, local history, and biography are the subjects of the most important bibliographic works in the library. They are indispensable for the reconstruction of the past of most families.

The history of each family is closely related to that of the cities, towns or villages where it lived, and to the events of the individual states existing before the unification of the nation.

Therefore, a myriad of news of historical, biographical, and genealogical interest is kept in the local archives which can be divided into parochial, diocesan, state, notary, and municipal. The material preserved in the Vatican Secret Archive is very important in terms of quality and quantity. If you hire a genealogist, he can also work on family archive research.

Such information is contained in documents, mostly manuscripts and dated between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries, the reading and interpretation of which can often be very critical.

This is why all researchers who collaborate with the Association have excellent knowledge, not only of literary and ecclesiastical Latin but also of archival, paleography, diplomats, and epigraphy.

Thanks to the wealth of its sources, the ability to identify and use external ones, and the professional skill of its researchers, the Australian Heraldic Genealogical Association is today a point of reference in genealogy and heraldry in Australia.


The surname, or "lineage", is the name of the family and identifies all its descendants. For this reason, any research to reconstruct the history and genealogy of a family, or to determine the existence of a documented coat of arms, must start precisely from the study of the surname.

The onomastic is the discipline that studies surnames, their origin, their etymological meaning, the changes and transformations they have undergone over time, and their diffusion throughout the territory.


The coat of arms is, next to the surname, another important element of identification of the family. It is its emblem, its surname illustrated, and, when it graphically recalls the surname itself, it is called "speaking". Some families may have derived their surname from the emblem used.

Heraldry is the science that studies coats of arms, of families or entities, their origin, their description (blazon), and the symbolism of the various figures that make them up.

The heralds, starting from the fifteenth century, have compiled numerous collections - handwritten or printed - of illuminated or "emblazoned" coats of arms (that is, described with the heraldic language), called blazonaries, coats of arms or armory. Thanks to these works, kept in private and public archives and libraries, we can find the emblem of a family, which can be of the "noble", "citizenship", or "bourgeois" type.

Once proven that the coat of arms exists and is documented, we can make a correct color reproduction, printed or finely maintained by hand, in various formats.


Genealogy is the science that studies the lineage of a family by documenting the relationships and the biographical and biographical data of the members, from the progenitor up to the current representatives. It is the oldest science in the world since it occupies a large part of the Book of Genesis, dedicated to the origin and history of humanity.

The reconstruction of a family genealogical tree highlights multiple aspects concerning demography, genetic characteristics, local history, and social life.

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