The Italian Genealogical Group has built an excellent site, helping you to search for births, marriages and deaths in New York. Discover more at italiangen.org. The name of this website may be rather bleak, but the experience is not. After finding details of the graves of ancestors you can create online memorials, add virtual flowers and a note to a loved one’s ‘grave’. The interesting epitaphs section reveals some amusing and even vitriolic inscriptions. Visit the website at findagrave.com. A number of breakthroughs can come from family letters, diaries and notebooks, so keep hold of these if you can. They often reveal clues to an ancestor’s life.