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

Source Documents How Trustworthy?

Each time you review a document looking for genealogical data, ask yourself the following questions about the document:

  • Who would have created the document, and why?
  • Would the document writer (e.g. a family member, a clerical person, an undertaker, a member of the clergy, a doctor, a judge, etc.) have sufficient first-hand knowledge of the recorded event?
  • Did the information of the event happen recently or in the more distant past (e.g. recent birth vs. a birth place recorded on a death certificate)?
  • How much concern did the document writer have in assuring the accuracy of the information (e.g. a court clerk for a will, a doctor recording a birth, a census taker recording who lives in a house)?
  • In compiled family genealogy books and local history books are the conclusions supported by evidence? Did the author cite sources. If so, then are they primary or secondary sources?

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