What is Genealogy
Tid Bits
Tips and Gotcha's
Top ten myths
Top ten reasons to do it
Just for Fun
Getting Started
An exercise using a pedigree
Paperwork organization
Preserving your records
Labeling your records
Maps and geography
Old style dates
Old style handwriting
Tombstone reading
Calculating relationships
Family reunions
PC Software
Genealogical Programs
Genealogical Numbering Systems
Family Group Sheet form
GEDCOM format
Descendancy report
Ahnentafel report
Recap and Statistics
The data pyramid
Source Documents
Record types
Vital and primary records
Manuscript archives
Censuses and the soundex
Actual examples
Where to Look
Where to do your research
Kansas City area research
U.S. GenWeb
Recent immigrants
Ellis Island
African American
Native American
Hispanic American
Recommended web sites
Certified professionals
Genealogical publishers/sellers
Recommended books
Publishing your family history
Forms to use
Dewey Decimal system
Homework assignment

Genealogical Source Document Record Types

Primary records are more trustworthy than secondary records. The reason is because primary records were made at about the time that the recorded event actually occurred (e.g. a birth certificate or a death certificate). Additionally, primary records are recorded by persons who usually create such records (e.g. doctors or court recorders).

Secondary records are often used to provide clues for where to search for primary records. Types of secondary records include such things as family bibles, family history books, newspaper articles, etc.

Compare the types of records in the two columns below. Randomly select some of them and think about when such records would be created and who would have supplied the information for them.

Adoption/Guardianship Article, newspaper/magazine
Birth Association, certification
Court Appearance Association, membership
Death Association, position held
Education (attended any grade level) Book, family history/genealogy
Education, graduation/degree/major/honors Census, federal
Election Results Census, mortality schedule
Estate, administration Census, state
Estate, inventory Church: baptism/christening
Estate, settlement Church: marriage
Immigration Church, membership and/or positions held
Land, purchase/sale Church, minutes
Land, transaction Computer file/index
Land, deed Directory, city
License, driver's Directory, telephone
License, occupational Family bible
License, professional Family group sheet
Marriage Freeman
Marriage, divorce/annulment Historical
Military pension Hobby/Interest
Naturalization of citizenship Honor/Award
SSN (assignment) Interment, funeral service
Taxes, assessment/payment Interment, obituary
Town Meeting Minutes Interment, tombstone/records
Will, inclusion/heir Letter, written/received/possession
Will, proven Marriage, announcement
Will, written Marriage, banns/bond
Witness Marriage, intentions
Medical, Accident
Medical, operation/procedure
Medical, physical condition
Meeting (of an organization) Minutes
Military (discharged/mustered out)
Military (enlistment/mustered in)
Military (promotion)
Military (war/battles)
Oath Taken
Personal, guess
Personal, journey/trip/visa
Personal, oral history
Personal, diary/ledger/journal
Personal, self-knowledge
Residence, lived at
Residence, move from
Residence, move to
Residence, ship passenger (from)
Residence, ship passenger (to)
Residence, warning out

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