Saturday, May 27, 2023

Starting Out or Starting Over: Building Your Family Tree with Census Records, Vital Records and Source Citations

Today is Day 3- Build It of Starting Out or Starting Over 6-Day Family History Bootcamp.

We are discussing the significance of census records, civil registration or vital records, and the often-overlooked practice of source citations. By delving into these resources, we can add more branches to our family trees and uncover details about our ancestors. 

Census records serve as an excellent source for family history research, offering a snapshot of individuals or families at specific points in time. Using census records, we can trace migration patterns, confirm relationships, fill gaps, and gain insights into our ancestors' lives. Some standard details include names, ages, gender, occupations, relationships, birthplaces, and family origins. 

Civil registration or vital records are official government documents that chronicle vital events such as births, marriages, and deaths. Birth records provide crucial information about children, including names, genders, dates and places of birth, parents' names and occupations, and more. Marriage records offer insights into couples, including names, ages, birthplaces, occupations, and wedding details. Death records capture details such as names, ages, and causes of death, often including information about residences, birthplaces, and parents' names. Other civil registration records encompass adoption, naturalization, and divorce, shedding light on various aspects of our ancestors' lives. 

Source citations are essential in genealogy. By citing sources, we track where information is obtained, evaluate reliability, and provide transparency in our research process. Source citations allow others to follow our steps, verify conclusions, and ensure accuracy. Consistency in writing source citations is key, even though it may seem tedious, as it greatly enhances the credibility and usefulness of our family histories. Resources such as Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills and the FamilySearch wiki page on citing sources can assist you in learning how to write accurate source citations. 

As we continue researching, integrating census records and civil registration or vital records helps us add details about our ancestors and more branches to our family trees. Consistently writing source citations establishes a solid foundation for our family history research. 

Click the link to watch the recorded webinar of Day 3 - Build It.

© Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2023. All Rights Reserved.