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immigration records
family traditions
census records
common resources
Genealogy Can Be Fun: 3 Resources
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In Part I we learned how to get started in genealogy by talking with family members, reading old journals, studying photographs and looking at recordings in the family Bible. In Part 2 we looked at names and their origins and how they can lead to locations. In Part 3 we will look at the common resources used by genealogist to find their ancestors.

In the early days, genealogies were memorized. Some areas in the Pacific and other parts of the world still have this tradition. The traditions were preserved until recently in some areas but conditions have changed cultures and made thinks for the worse. Family traditions and genealogies are best preserved.

People were separated by geographical features in the past, by mountains, oceans and seas. Isolation had developed many cultures into a different language and different customs. Now, such features are minimized by modern engineering and transportation but there is still some isolation. Records available for genealogical research vary according to location and nationality.

Governments have always tried to keep track of their people. The reason is that they want to tax them and use their young men to fight wars. They may want to keep a class system that separates groups such as the rich, the middle class, and the poor slobs who do all the work. Churches also want to keep track of their people, to keep them active, collect donations and to keep a church tradition in the family. Some countries collect a church tax.

With time, people have migrated because of disparate situation such as the Irish Potato Famine, war, disease or plagues, tsunamis and earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and to find freedom, work, or exploration. Wherever they go, somebody is keeping track of them. Here are some common resources for genealogy research:

Ship Manifest or Immigration Records: Many Americans immigrated through Ellis Island in New York. Passenger list are valuable to researchers.

Census Records: National, State and Local Census give much information on families and individuals. Names, ages, sex, occupations, income, race, marital status, immigration dates, country of origin, parent's country of origin and sometimes other information. It gives ages but not date of birth but you will learn the name and locality of a person at a definite point in time.

Birth Records preserved by countries, churches, counties, and other localities give the name, sex, race, parent's names, doctor's name, place, time, hospital, etc. It is the defining thing that makes one person differ from another. If you know the name and date of birth of a person, other genealogical research resources will bless you with a ton of information.

Death and Sometimes Burial Records give the place, date and time of death, the cause of death, date of birth and place, and possibly other information such as parent information.

Marriage Records are the beginning of a family unit and often give the names of parents of both spouses. The time and place of a marriage can be valuable to your research.

Journals, Newspapers and Other Printed Sources can give historical information, obituaries, and other information. You should keep a journal too. Your grand grandson might want to read it.

I'll be back with some help on finding some of these records in this computer age.

Fly Old Glory!


Street Talk

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