Dear Mr KIA,
After living abroad for more than a decade, I have returned home to Singapore. Meeting long-lost relatives and reacquainting myself with the local culture has made me curious about my ancestry. I’d like to trace my family tree. Where do I start?—Inquiring Returnee
Dear Inquiring Returnee,
Good on you—sounds like it’d be a meaningful personal journey. Your first stop should be the National Library. Their collection of newspapers, passenger lists, merchant and business directories, and biographies provide a sound start to any search. You might have to scan through some dusty old microfilm to learn the specifics, but it is well worth it. Another good place to start is visiting the Singapore Family Tree online portal to document your family heritage. Also, there’s the National Archives of Singapore, which holds most of the country’s public and private historical records. In particular, check out the marriage, birth and death registers. Hope you’ll find what you’re looking for.