Welcome to the Brooks Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Brooks surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Brooks ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Brooks Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Brooks family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Brooks ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Brooks Ancestors
Sometimes two people can look at the same handwritten record, and come up with different spellings of the name. Be creative when searching for your Brooks ancestors -- we often search for misspellings intentionally to see if we missed any records. If you want to know Why can't I find Brooks my ancestor in the SSDI?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Brooks
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Brooks records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Brooks family history resource today.
Origins of the Brooks Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the Brooks last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your Brooks ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. Were you aware that Brooks is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 83], the surname BROOKS is defined as Local. Brooks, Becks, and Rundels are names for small rivers.
Brooks DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two Brooks ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Brooks research, read "DNA Research and Your Family's History".
Brooks Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your Brooks ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Finding The Family History" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Brooks family history.
Networking with Brooks Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Brooks queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Brooks ancestors.
Brooks Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Brooks was the 73rd most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Brooks Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Brooks, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming Brooks Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Brooks booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Family Reunions Don't Always Turn Out as one has Pictured" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Brooks reunion.