Genealogy is the study of the descent of families and persons from an ancestor or ancestors. It is undertaken by people interested in their personal and family origins.Family History involves the biographical research into a person’s ancestors in order to produce a narrative history. It gives a personal, in-depth look into the life and times of an individual or family and shows the historical circumstances and geographical situations in which they lived.
Keep in mind thatall the records youdiscover are people…YOUR ANCESTORS
To satisfy your curiosity about yourself and your ancestry. To provide your children with a sense of who their ancestors were, where they came from and how they lived their lives. To preserve family cultural and ethnic traditions for future generations. To compile a medical family history to give family members an advantage in the battle against inherited diseases or defects. To qualify for a lineage or heritage society. To assemble and publish a family history book.
Record What You Already Know. ◦ Start with yourself and work backwards including all vital information available. Get Organized – Record information on pedigree charts. Begin Your Research at Home. Research one Ancestral Line at a time. Look for Primary Source (Original) Records: ◦ Census Records ◦ Vital Records ◦ Social Security Death Index
Dont put off talking to relatives Dont neglect to write down your sources (make photocopies of everything) Dont assume that everything you find on the internet is reliable Dont trust everything you see in print Dont accept family legends without question
Dont limit yourself to the current spelling of your surname Don’t assume your family is related to someone famous Dont be satisfied with names and dates Beware the generic family history Dont misspell the word genealogy
These may be in your home or the home of a relative: ◦ Birth, marriage and death certificates ◦ Deeds, wills, & titles ◦ Bibles ◦ Diaries, journals, & birthday calendars ◦ Family trees ◦ Funeral cards ◦ Certificates (from schools or jobs) ◦ Cookbooks and other books (check for inscriptions) ◦ Photographs
◦ Closet doors (look for writing on the inside walls)◦ Furniture (sometimes youll find names and dates on the bottoms or backs of furniture)◦ Autograph books and scrapbooks◦ Military service records◦ Newspaper clippings (many times found in Bibles◦ Pictures (dont forget to look at the backs)◦ Résumés
School papers (report cards can have parents signatures) Sewing samplers, quilts, and handmade items Tax records Trunks and chests Yearbooks Make copies whenever possible and include the source
Cite every source. – Keep a written record of all the sources you have searched. – Try to photocopy the information and the title page of books. – Interviews with relatives count as sources. Indicate person, date & time. – Keep information organized in files or notebooks
Use pedigree charts, family group sheets, research logs, etc. http://www.byub.org/ancestors/charts/ Genealogical forms are available for you to copy in the LCLS Genealogy Room or at:http://www.familysearch.org/eng/home/welcome/sta rt.asp
A family group includes parents, children, and the spouse of each child Prepare a family group sheet for each couple Include all children alive or deceased Include adopted children, but indicate adopted Indicate the source of the information.
Record—A family group record lets youlist an entire family and their information.
Using Pedigree Charts: Begin with yourself and work back one generation at a time. You are number 1. Your father is number 2. Father’s name on the upper line. Your mother is number 3. Use the woman’s maiden name. Men always have even numbers, Wives have odd numbers which are one more than their husband’s numbe
Chart—A pedigree chart lets you list your pedigree (your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on)
Write surnames in capital letters: ◦ William James THOMAS Write dates military style: ◦ 10 Aug 2006 Write names of places from smallest to largest: ◦ Cusseta, Lee, Alabama, USA
Paternal / Maternal Ancestors / Descendants Pedigree / Family tree Family history / Local history Lineal / Collateral / Half / Step
Work backwards from the present to the past, one generation at a time to avoid mistakes. Dates and places of events are just as important as names. For every generation back the number of ancestors doubles. Know the history of where your ancestors lived..
Who ◦ A full name, use a woman’s maiden name if known. What ◦ The event: birth, death, marriage, etc. Where ◦ A very important thing you need to know is the place where a person was born, married, lived or died, etc. When ◦ An (at least) approximate date for a event (birth, death, marriage, etc.)
By using a genealogy software program you can: ◦ Enter individual information ◦ Link individuals together ◦ Allow for as many notes as necessary ◦ Share information with others ◦ Download (copy) files from other people ◦ Add photographs, video clips or pictures of family memorabilia ◦ Produce artistically pleasing and personally-designed forms ◦ Search databases automatically
Personal Ancestral File There are others but PAF is good and is completely free. To install PAF software Go to www.familysearch.org Click on ―Download PAF‖
FREEWill batch load information from the FamilySearch website and load it into your individual PAF file.
Evaluate Written and Oral Evidence Just because its in print (or online) doesnt make it true. Look to see if the book is documented; that is, did the author cite a source for each fact? Spot check some of the authors sources. Are you able to find a document based on the footnotes or endnotes?
Useful sources of primary information:A primary record or source is one createdby an eyewitness of an event. Birth, death and marriage certificates Family Bibles (recorded when the event occurred) Obituaries Birth, marriage and death announcements Passports Letters, diaries Photographs
Census RecordsLocal Historical and Genealogical SocietiesLibraries and ArchivesComprehensive SitesGovernment SitesMilitary RecordsVital StatisticsEthnic SitesDocumentation
Where do I go next? Check with area public and academic libraries, historical and genealogical societies as well as those resources in geographical locations where your research is concentrated. •Auburn University Library •Grady Bradshaw Library •Lewis Cooper Library
Library of Congress: Local History and GenealogyReading Roomhttp://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/images/lhg-home-title.gifAmerican Memoryhttp://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.htmlDirectory of Genealogy Libraries in the UShttp://www.gwest.org/gen_libs.htmAlabama Department of Archives and Historyhttp://www.archives.state.al.us/Georgia Archiveshttp://www.sos.ga.gov/archives/
In the U.S., a census has been taken every 10 years from 1790 through 2010. 1790 to 1930 censuses are available to genealogists to search. There is a 72 year privacy rule. The 1940 census will be public in April, 2012
Census records lead to other civil and religious records. They narrow down the timeframe and places to search for civil and religious records.
Many of the censuses give not only names, ages and birthplaces, but also state the relationship of people within a household. Give clues to the ancestors country of origin as well as where they lived.
Each census became more detailed as each decade passed. The 1890 census was almost completely destroyed by fire.
Look at the census for the state where your ancestor lived when the census was taken Start with most recent census (1930) and work backwards. Note similar names living nearby—in the same county and in neighboring counties. Watch for spelling errors and variations, and oversight. Be open to ―Soundex‖ surnames Scan or photocopy record the information you find, especially the year of the census.
Vital records are civil records of births, marriage,deaths, etc. Keeping vital records only began after the mid 19th or early in the 20th century. Start with yourself and work backwards. ◦ Obtain a birth and marriage certificate for yourself, parents, grandparents, etc.
You can find some vital record information on databases such as: Ancestry.com Library LDS Family History Library State archives and health departments But often you will have to write to the county or state where the records are held and pay to get copies.
Alabama State Vital Records Office IP.O. Box 5625Montgomery, AL 36103-5625(334) 206-5418Fax: (334) 262-9563The following records may be ordered for a $15 fee: •Birth (since Jan 1908) •Death (since Jan 1908) •Marriage (since Aug 1935) •Divorce (since Jan 1950)
Alabama State Vital Records Office IP.O. Box 5625Montgomery, AL 36103-5625(334) 206-5418Fax: (334) 262-9563The following records may be ordered for a $15 fee:•Birth (since Jan 1908)•Death (since Jan 1908)•Marriage (since Aug 1935)•Divorce (since Jan 1950) Each Alabama county has vital records links
Social Security Death Indexssdi.archives.comVital Records ($$)http://www.vitalrec.com/index.htmlLocal Health Departments ($$)Order birth and death certificates
Baby’s name, birth date and parentsBirthplaces of both parents, their age, their occupations, and their addressThe number of other children
Beginning in the 1600s, town clerks in New England and county clerks elsewhere (1700s) primarily maintained marriage records.After 1850s at State Board of Health/Bureau of Vital StatisticsOther sources of marriage records: Justice of the Peace registers Found in county clerks office
Place and cause of death.Name of deceased’s parents,Residence at time of death,Exact date of death, and date of burialName of informant and relationship to deceasedFuneral home that handled the arrangements, name of cemetery
Available at : www.familysearch.org www.rootsweb.com www.ancestry.com The Social Security Administration has over 88 million records
Gives the name of the persons father, maiden name of mother, date of birth, address at time of application, occupation, and name and address of employer. This is primary evidence because it was written by the person himself. To obtain a copy, write to: Social Security Administration OEO FOIA Workgroup 300 N. Green Street P.O. Box 33022 Baltimore, Maryland 21290-3022