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  • Sources of UK Records

    Most of the records hat we have had to access in tracing our ancestors have come from England, Scotland and ireland. 
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    The Secrets under grandma's bed

    Family documents are an important source of information.  They may be well filed and organised, or you may come across them in shoeboxes, in cases on top of wardrobes or buried in old chests of drawers.
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    Bringing old photos back to life

    Old photographs are delicate objects. If they haven't been preserved properly, it is likely that they will have incurred some damage between the time they were taken and now.
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    Network of family members

    Use a Family and Home Information Sources Checklist as a guide to sources of information you might find in your home or the home of a relative.
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  • Scottish Records

    If you’ve got Scottish ancestors then you’re in luck because Scotland is a world-leader in providing family history information online.
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    Irish records

    If your ancestors are Irish, you might need to become a good detective.  Better still, if you can, talk to your Granny! She'll start you off in the right place.
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    Genealogy for Beginners

    DIY for you to trace your own family tree.
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    Locate your first primary source

    The most important sources are eye-witness and official documents.  The best first Primary Source is your grandparent's death certificate. It's a Gold Mine!!
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  • How to trace your ancestors

    Getting started is the biggest hurdle. Here's an easy guide to get you going.
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    Collecting evidence

    The best place to start collecting evidence is with the family. Especially the elders.
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    Bigger than you think

    Be warned. Once you start you'll be hooked forever! I had to learn to eat the elephant one toenail at a time.
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    Record keeping

    It's important to have some sort of order and indexing method for keeping your family records.  If not, you'll never be able to out the pieces of the puzzle together.
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A primary source is any record created during the time you are researching - an eyewitness account.

Primary sources can take many forms, such as newspapers, letters, journals, tax lists, court documents, church records, or a census. The most used primary sources are birth, marriage and death certificates.

Like eyewitness accounts of modern events, each primary source will only give one perspective and may be incomplete or inaccurate. As you conduct research, consider the following:
    •    Who wrote the document and why?
    •    How would these motives shape the information in the report?
    •    What was the intended audience for this document?
    •    Was it meant to be published or kept private?
    •    Was it official or personal?
    •    How does the writer know what (s)he has reported?
    •    What conventions/norms exist that shape the information? (church records preserve different information than tax lists or a census)
    •    What other sources might provide additional information?

A secondary source is a record created later by someone who did not experience the time period or events that you are studying. Most histories are secondary sources.

Primary and Secondary records that are used in genealogy research include:
    •    Vital records
    ◦    Birth records
    ◦    Death records
    ◦    Marriage and divorce records
    •    Adoption records
    •    Biographies and biographical profiles (e.g. Who's Who)
    •    Census records
    •    Church records
    ◦    Baptism or christening
    ◦    Confirmation
    ◦    Bar or bat mitzvah
    ◦    Marriage
    ◦    Funeral or death
    ◦    Membership
    •    City directories[17] and telephone directories
    •    Coroner's reports
    •    Court records
    ◦    Criminal records
    ◦    Civil records
    •    Diaries, personal letters and family Bibles
    •    Emigration, immigration and naturalization records
    •    Hereditary & lineage organization records, e.g. Daughters of the American Revolution records
    •    Land and property records, deeds
    •    Medical records
    •    Military and conscription records
    •    Newspaper articles
    •    Obituaries
    •    Occupational records
    •    Oral histories
    •    Passports
    •    Photographs
    •    Poorhouse, workhouse, almshouse, and asylum records
    •    School and alumni association records
    •    Ship passenger lists
    •    Social Security (within the US) and pension records
    •    Tax records
    •    Tombstones, cemetery records, and funeral home records
    •    Voter registration records
    •    Wills and probate records

There is a purpose to our research

    "You are our living link to the past. Tell your grandchildren the story of the struggles waged, at home and abroad. Of sacrifices made for freedom's sake. And tell them your own story as well — because[everybody] has a story to tell." George H.W. Bush
 
In a complex, mobile society like ours, life's tapestry gets shredded. The continuity of our lives is ripped by transience and fragmentation. Community is fragile, torn, scattered. Our need to examine and to share our stories is vital--for our own mental health, for our relationships and our cohesiveness in community, and for the good of a future that can learn from our past.Dolly Bertholot
 

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