Seven Key Genealogy Factors to Trace Your Lineage
Genealogy is a fascinating topic whether you are trying to locate living or deceased family members, researching intestacy, or simply studying your personal family history. It can take time, effort, and considerable perseverance, but it can be very rewarding.
Genealogical research will demand the skills of a historian, detective, and a master researcher, as you hunt for links and connections throughout your family tree. If you don’t know where to start, or if you’ve hit a dead end, here are some tips to get your search back on track.
1. Start with Surnames
The foundation of your search can generally be built around your surname or family name. It provides a key tool in your research, so follow that thread through. Some surnames are relatively new, others have changed or morphed over time, while others can be traced all the way back to ancient ancestors whose names derived from a profession, a nickname, or a location.
2. Don’t Disregard the Given Name
While not always as dependable as a surname, a first name or given name can be a useful thread to follow. There are often specific naming patterns in a family, as a result of deliberate name selection by the parents. Often a given name is passed down from parent to child, or taken from a grandparent or near relative.
3. Look into Locations
Of course, locations of births, deaths, and more are vital links in the chain. Searching vital, court, probate, land, and estate records can provide clues to locations where your ancestors lived and died.
4. Study Family Records
Families often have a wealth of genealogical clues in the form of old Bibles, official documents, old records, and more. As you discuss your genealogy with family members, you will often find clues to dates, names, and places, as well as pieces of evidence that can aid in your search.
Journals and diaries are often full of hints and clues to fill in gaps. Baby books, wedding books, awards, diplomas, and even school yearbooks can provide useful information on dates, places, and connections.
5. Search Official Records
Birth certificates in particular are often an excellent resource, as both parents’ names will generally be listed. Often, other useful information will be included as well, such as where the parents were born, dates, occupations, and more. Marriage certificates and licenses, divorce papers and other legal documents will also show ages, names of parents, and other useful tidbits.
6. Pay Attention to Dates
Dates are important links in the chain of your genealogy research. Dates of births, deaths, baptisms, marriages and more should be carefully recorded. Search family records as well as census, military, and church records for clues.
7. Employment Hints
Knowing your ancestors’ jobs can not only give you a glimpse into their lives – it can actually be key in differentiating between surnames. As you search through both family and official records, you will come across records of employment, and you do well to record this helpful information.
You may want to call in a professional to assist in your search. Excellent advice and assistance can be found at http://www.census-searches.co.uk/.
- 5 idea’s to begin your geneaology search (shellochsner.wordpress.com)
- Martinage Genealogical Research (martinagegenealogy.wordpress.com)
Filed under: Genealogy Research
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