Look around for information that you already have in your possession which document the names, dates, places, and activities of your family. Collect= Certificates, journals, scrapbooks, old letters, family Bibles, school records, military records, obituaries, deed and wills, newspaper clippings, funeral cards, and any items that can give you factual information about your family. Collect everything, whether or not you think the information is important as it may become so later on. Write down the personal information that you find so that you can later go to verify each piece of information with a primary or secondary source.
Primary sources are records created at the time of an event, usually by someone with personal knowledge. Most common type of primary source is Vital records. Primary sources are considered more acurate than secondary sources. Conflicting info. Found in some records ie. Birth certificates Secondary sources consist of records created sometime after the event took place or with information supplied by others.
Local Histories: found on Gen Web Sites, in books USE MAPS- to identify State and county lines shift. For instance, Richland County has had several major changes that will affect your research. One we gained land from Fairfield county and two we gained land from Kershaw county. Map out migrations- You need to know where to look for your ancestors.
Information is for each household including all persons residing within the household on that day, regardless of when the census taker actually visited. Persons who died before the census taker came were listed and babies born after the census day were to be omitted. The censuses varied from decade to decade. Prior to 1850 only the head of household was named and others in the household were grouped by age and sex. Beginning in 1950, each individual in free households were named with age, sex, race, occupation, birthplace, ability to read and write, schooling during the year and infirmities such as blindness or deafness. Supplemental schedules Agriculture famer’s answers to questions on acreage, corps, livestock and products Industry and Manufacturing- report on products, raw materials, employees and their wages, means of production and income. Can give additional information, such as first name of person where on initials appear on the census. Social statistics- list school, libraries, churches and newspapers in each community Mortality schudules are genealogical in nature. Report names and ages of person who died within the calendar year prior to the census, with month and cause of death. Available in research libraries, archives, on internet, Family History centers Many times the age and birth information is a guesstimate. Census records are prone to have misinformation. Beware
Different counties organize their materials in different ways. Clerks and staff usually are glad to direct you to the records you want to study. Some courthouses, especially in the South, have lost records due to fires, floods, and storms over the years. Indexes- deeds, marriages, divorces, naturalizations, probate Marriage records- before the 20 th century grooms, before marrying, often had to sign a bond acknowledging that they would owe a stated sum of monety to the colonia or state government if there was any lawful cause that would prevent the marriage from taking place. A relative or friend usually acted as surety on the bond. Generally, bonds were replaced by marriage licenses in the 19 th century. If couple had not reached the age they can legally marry. Permission from a parent or guardian was necessary. Usually married in the bride’s county of residence. Wills- Get photocopies of wills and probate records, when possible, saves time and gives you a valuable reference for later study. Wills document: all names, relationships, residences, dates, location of property, conditions affecting distribution of estate, witness, case number volume and page. Probate records: wills, application and appointments of administrators or executors, administrators’ or executors’ bonds, estate inventories and appraisals, records of estate sales, guardianship records if heirs included minors, annual reports of estate income and expenses, receipts of payment to creditors, final settlements and divisions of property, and any other documents related to the case.
SC began keeping records statewide in 1915. Some counties have records previous to this date but not many. Birth and
Journals from 1692 and acts from 1691, supplemented by bills, petitions, reports, and so forth from 1782. : Journals and case papers of provincial and appellate courts. Non-current records of existing and defunct organizations. : Council journals from 1671; governor's papers from 1865, with rare scattered earlier material. Ledgers, journals, cashbooks, vouchers, and stub entry books from 1721. : Plats and grants virtually complete from 1731; nearly complete records of grants and conveyances 1671-1730; memorials of land titles, 1732-1775; microfilm of deeds available to 1920. : Accounts Audited of Claims Growing Out of the Revolution; rosters of Confederate War soldiers; Confederate pension applications; scattered records of colonial wars, War of 1812, Mexican War and Spanish-American war; records of the Adjutant General's Office. : Several thousand cubic feet of manuscript records and a growing collection of microfilm produced by the Department; microfilm and typed copies of selected records to 1860 made by the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Works Progress Administration. : An ever-growing microfilm collection of public and semi-public records of or relating to South Carolina from the British Public Records Office, the National Archives, and private manuscript repositories; published reference works; bibliographies; archival guides; and monographs on South Carolina history.
Local Libraries- City Directories, compiled indices, newspapers, reference books, maps, census records Interlibrary loan: Rent or borrow books and microfilm- nominal fee, available at libraries, archives and Family History Centers. Many of the major institutions that rent are Heritage Quest Family History Ceneter National archives National genealogical society New England historic genealogical society Mid-continent public library, independence MO Richland county public library
Service related records= service academies, National Archives card files on the tombstones of Unikon army servicemen, histories of many military units, audited accounts on claims of volunteers, and World War I draft registration cards.
Special 1990= District of Columbia; state from Louisiana through Wyoming, fragments for Calif to Kentucky. 1930- vet and of which war or expedition
1.Known Military dead during Mexican War 1846-48; Soldiers of the War of 1812 Buried in Tennessee; Roll of the Dead (SC) 2. DAR Patriot Index; Index Guide to Southern Historical Society Papers Published bibliographies and online library catalogs can help you identify . The first step in searching these military records is to examine the indexes to compiled service records. Available at National Archives, its regional branches, LDS Family History Library.
Federal Land Records- bounty land warrant applications 1775-1855- based on military service. Bounty land grants givens for Rev., War of 1812, Indian wars and Mexican war 1845-48 Most of these records are on microfilm Individual claims- land grants or purchases from foreign sovereigns (French, Spanish, Mexican and Bristish) and settled land before the US acquired it. Donation land claims- Fla. (1842-1850), Oregon, Washington (1851-1903) before Civil war, gov. gave settlers land in order to strengthen the US Claim to the area when ownership was disputed with another country. HOMESTEAD ENTRY PAPERS- The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed settlers on public domain lands to obtain title to the land. Had to live on it , cultivate it and improve the property for five years. LAND PATENTS- gov. transferred title to public domain land to individual owners through patents, recorded in tract books in the land offices. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATIONS RECORDS- Some records exist for immigration arrivals before 1820, but no law required ship captains to keep list of or deliver them to the gov. Authorities until 1820- Records are held in US Customs Online catalogue of records and indexes. www. Nara.gov Immigration info on Census: 1820-30 foreigners not naturalized; 1850-1870 birthplace of each person; 1870 parents were foreign born; 1880 on birthplace of each person and their parents; 1890 coumtry of birth for each foreign-born person or parent, years male over twenty-one had been in US, speak english and if not what language they spoke; 1900- 1920 all persons male and female; 1920- the city or province of foreign birth; 1930 – country of birth, mother tongue, year of immigrations NATURALIZATION PAPERS- process by which a foreign-born person becomes a citizen. First naturalization law in 1790- prior to that states or colonies handled the process on their own. 2 step process (1) “first papers” federal, state or local court. After 1906 usually in fed. Court (2) “final papers”- petitions for citizenship, oath of allegiance and papers proving residency generally 5 years. Naturalization info in census 1890-1930 1890-1910 foreign born males over twenty-one. Na Naturalized citizen; Pa- first papers taken out; Al-alien who had taken no steps toward naturalization; NR not reported. For those born in US columns blank. NATIVE AMERICAN- 2 categories (1) identified with a tribe or band (reservations) (2) blended into non-Indian society. Tribal records exist in two categories: (1) Five Civilized Tribes of the southeastern US and (2) tribes who were wards of the government, living on reservations. National Archives and its branches have records including tribal census rolls, enrollment cards, allotment and payroll records, some trading house papers, tribal citizenship applications, service records of those who served in military- especially the Confederacy during Civil War 1870 census first to include Indian as a designation of color AFRICAN-AMERICAN RESEARCH Extensive records pertaining to African-American genealogy. Military records and civilian materials. Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, Freedman’s Bureau 1865-1872 Territorial Papers- Set of transcribed records but mostly on microfilm. Hand written documents. If you had ancestors in Ala, Ark., FL, Il, Indiana, Iowa, LA, Mich, Miss, Missouri, Ohio Tennessee, Wisconsin during the territorial years- Look in the books. The microfilm is unindexed and contains images of handwritten doc. And cover all of the states that were once territories.
CIVIL SERVICE- Records somewhat restricted, but inquiries about serve that ended after 1909 may be made Passports- application filed between 1791 and 1926 are at National Archives. Limited searches can be made for age and citizenship info in records that are at least seventy-five years old. Some microfilm publications are available. TAXES- mircrofilm assessment list of 1862-1966 by state for 29 states and territories including former Confederate states. SS- applications between 1936-1978 www.rootsweb.com- site will generate a letter for you to use to request copy of application. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS- Early state records, newspapers, maps, family papers and family and county histories, bibliographies
Genealogical Resources To help solve the puzzle of your family tree
Records of the Secretary of the Province and State: Wills, inventories of estates, marriage settlements, commissions, mortgages, bills of sale, registers of trademarks, and charters of incorporation from 1671.
Military service records
County and Municipal records
What are the local sources I can use? Cemeteries Newspapers Local Churches and Religious Organizations Local Libraries Interlibrary Loan
Where do I find certain facts? If you need: Primary sources Secondary sources Birth date and place Church, vital, Bible Military, census, cemetery, newspaper, obituary Death date and place Cemetery, church, military, probate, vital, Bible Obituary Maiden name Church, Bible, land, military, probate, vital Census, compiled history, newspaper Children’s names Church, Bible, land, probate, vital Census, compiled history, immigration, obituary Marriage date and place Bible, marriage certificate Journal, newspaper Burial date and place Cemetery, death certificate Bible, family history Residence Census, land, military, obituary County history, newspaper Religion Church, Bible, cemetery newspaper