In genealogy work, home is a valuable source for family information
Every research project begins at home. Whether you are looking for information for the first time or searching through your personal research folders, your home is a valuable source of family information.
Take time to look for records you might already have. Use the following list as a guide to sources of information that you might find in your home or in the home of a relative.
- Birth: Birth certificate, adoption record, baby book
- Citizenship: Alien registration, deportment papers, naturalization papers
- Civil and legal activity: Bonds, contracts, guardian papers, summons or subpoena
- Death: Death certificate, funeral book, memorial cards, obituary, will
- Divorce: Paperwork
- Employment: Apprenticeship records, disability records, income tax records, pension records, retirement records, Social Security card, union records
- Everyday life: Biography, journal or diary, letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, publications, scrapbooks
- Family: Bibles, bulletins or newsletters, coats of arms, histories, lineages or genealogies
- Health: Hospital or medical records, immunization records, insurance papers
- Household items: Dishes or silverware, engraved items, quilts, tapestries or needlework
- Land and property ownership: Abstracts of title, deeds, estate records, land grants, mortgages or leases, water rights
- Licenses: Business or occupation, driver or motor vehicles, firearms, hunting or fishing, passports or visas, professional
- Marriage: Anniversary, wedding announcement, wedding book
- Military service: Disability records, discharge records, National Guard records, pension records, selective service records, service medals or ribbons, sword or firearms, uniform
- Religious activity: Baptismal or christening record, blessing, ministerial record, ordination, confirmation record, church records
- School: Awards, graduation diplomas, honor roll, report cards, transcripts, yearbooks
Barry J. Ewell is author of "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History" and founder of MyGenShare.com, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.
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