Genealogy records are those which can be used to research a family's lineage and movements throughout history. These records include birth records, death records, marriage records and divorce records in order to confirm dates and places where these vital events occurred. Other records that can be used during genealogy research include property records, newspapers, immigration and naturalization records, and other documents and photos that local historical societies often provide to the public.
Following the life of an ancestor is often much like a scavenger hunt, which requires you to use information from one source to lead you to the next clue. For example, a family bible or marriage certificate may offer details regarding the identity of a great uncle, but you must use his full name in order to find his birth certificate through public sources. This birth certificate will then provide the full names of his parents, giving information for one generation prior, which you may use to search for property, marriage and birth certificates and other vital documents registered in those individuals' names.
Information Contained in Genealogy Records
Vital records such as those created at birth, death, marriage and divorce can provide important information to future generations including possible genetic disorders or health problems in the bloodline, identities of distant relatives, and areas where ancestors lived and died. Birth records often provide the place and date of birth, names of parents and possibly the religion and race of the child. Death records will provide the cause of death, date of death, next of kin information and place of burial. Marriage and divorce records can provide details regarding property owned by a couple, date and place of marriage or divorce, whether a marriage resulted in any children, and occupations of the couple.
Reasons for Conducting Genealogical Research
You may wish to search local and national genealogical documents for information regarding your ancestors if you simply want to trace your lineage to determine where your family's roots began. Or, you may wish to complete your family tree and pass that knowledge on to future generations. Other reasons for obtaining genealogy records include researching possible physical ailments that may be inherited, finding a family cemetery plot, or discovering property once owned by your ancestors. Many family historians are pleasantly surprised with the discovery of distant cousins living just around the corner, too.
Sources of Genealogy Records
Genealogy records are maintained by both public and private offices and sources of information. You may have access to a family bible or other documents such as birth and marriage certificates, newspaper clippings and memorabilia that can help aid your search for information. Public offices including local libraries, military offices, immigration offices, surveyors and assessors, historical societies, health departments and court clerks are all sources of genealogy records. Private sources include family records, churches, newspapers and cemeteries. Searching all of these sources simultaneously can provide you with faster, more complete genealogy record results, allowing you to further your research in as little time as possible.