The unique challenges that face those researching Middle Eastern family history

The Middle East, the area that borders the Mediterranean Sea and includes western Asia and North Africa, has a complex history as it has been under the Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Muslim Caliphates, and Ottoman Empires. This means that genealogy for those with Middle Eastern roots can be tricky due to diverse cultures and languages. FamilySearch recently offered some suggestions for those seeking to begin their Middle Eastern family tree. Among the suggestions are: 

• "Search national archives. If you know where your ancestors emigrated from, you might be able to find information about them. However, national archives are not available to the public in most Middle East countries, so this may be a difficult path to take in your search."

• "Remember that the millions of available records, especially those from the Ottoman Empire period, are dispersed among the different countries of the area. Start by finding records at your ancestors’ places of birth."

•  "Remember that civil government records for the newer nations only began with their independence. For records prior to independence, your search needs to focus on records kept by local churches and other religious groups. Look for earlier records in the archives of the ruling countries, such as Great Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire."

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