Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Documentation and Sourcing

After the long break I took from my blog, I realize that I should not have. I should have kept you in the loop on all things Genealogy; like Ancestry.com offering their records for free, for a limited time, of course. They always have the 14 day trial but this was for ALL records, not just what they choose to give you access to.

I have an Ancestry.com account and it is free. I have not ever had an account that is paid because as a member of the Church, I am given access for free. I do not know if the records that they give me access to are any different than a paid account so I cannot judge that. Maybe of I make any money I will get a paid account and find out if the source materials offered are any more in-depth than they are now. Interesting thoughts, but enough...

I am here to talk about sources and documentation of a family tree. This is a very important step. It is proof positive that your ancestor lived and they were where they were supposed to be, or they moved all over and you need to find them all across the country to prove that.

Census records and birth certificates and many death certificates are offered online now. FamilySearch.org offers them for free many times, as the indexers are making it possible that these records are released every day. Attaching a Census record from California, to your family line that came from Alabama, allows you to show where that family was over the many years.

My grandfather was in California and New Mexico, and was born in Alabama, and without the census records, and the stories he told about his times, we would not have been able to document this vast life of 95 years. The census records are a great source of information, and not just for the line you are working on, but maybe the sibling line as well.

Family members were known to live near each other, sons moved just down the road and the sister moved on the back street, but without these priceless papers, we would not be able to document and trace the lives that lived these stories.

Census records are not the only records that our faithful indexers are indexing though, they do any record that can be used to trace a person, up to and including birth and death certificates. Lunacy papers are also something to think about. TB and many other diseases were rampant and many died in these types of places.

My point is, do not forget to attach these records to your family tree, and do not forget to get copies for your paper trail. Copies and more copies and records and more records...there is no such thing as too much documentation.

Next time I will tell you how to find ways to search these records because I will try to do this research so I can help you as it will be fresh in my memory.