This week on Who Do You Think You Are? Actress Kim Cattrall started with just a name and a newspaper clipping, which led her to a marriage record that helped her solve a 70-year-old family mystery about her missing grandfather.

Three steps to finding an ancestor you know very little about:

Step 1: Talk to your relatives. Find out if they have wedding announcements, obituaries, military medals, photos or other memorabilia featuring names and dates that can help you refine your search on Also listen to family stories. They may contain similar information that helps put your ancestor in a specific time and place in history.

Step 2: See what others have discovered. Search family trees to find out what other members may have learned about your ancestor. When you find a tree you want to know more about, click on “Tree Owner” to send a private message to the person who created it. You might just end up connecting with a distant cousin. And when you’re viewing a record on, check the Member Connect box for links to other members who may be researching your ancestor.

Step 3: Look for immediate family. Lost your great-grandfather’s trail? Try researching one of his siblings or in-laws. These “collateral relatives” may have mentioned him in obituaries or wills, captured his image in photos or even shared their home with him, which could be revealed in a census record or city directory.

Missed any of this season’s episodes? You can watch them online!

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