The library is a great place to find information. My local public library here in North Carolina offers a lot of assistance to genealogist. For instance, RCPL offers its members free access to NC Live. With NC Live, users have free access to eBooks and audio books, videos, journals, newspapers, magazines, genealogy links, historical maps, history, biographies, and local history.
The most common types of vital records include birth, marriage, and death records. Most of the time a researcher can obtain a copy of the record or an image of actual records, which really puts the cherry on top!
These records include information such as the event date and place, age (at the time), parents’ names, occupation, residence, and sometimes will include the actual address or social security number. If the record is a death record it will also include the cause of death and possibly the place and date of burial.
Vital records are very accurate, but when dealing with very old records they are not always 100% accurate. It's very helpful to gather as much information as possible and compare notes before setting something in stone.
Military records help us get a glimpse into the past of our military ancestors. A researcher could possibly find service records, draft records, pension records, and several other types of records. Sometimes we luck up and find a military history.
Oftentimes, these records contain important information that we might not find anywhere else, such as height, weight, and hair and eye color. Of course they include name, birth date, addresses, death information, and military rank and affiliation. You might find out other family members names and address, and their relation to them.
Don't let a name cause a brick wall in your research. When reading census records, land grants, and other old documents it helps to know common name abbreviations because oftentimes you will find an abbreviation instead of the actual name, which can cause a lot of wasted time and frustration. Below is a list of common abbreviations and alternate spellings. I hope this list helps break down your brick walls!
Sometimes through investigation, researchers find that a family name was changed. Why was the name changed? Below are some reasons why your ancestors name might have changed.
Would you like to learn about your family surname? Ancestry.com has the best surname search engine ever invented!
Facts that are likely found using the surname search option include, but are not limited to, the meaning and history of the name, where the family lived and migrated to, immigration facts, and sometimes it will include the life expectancy and the most common occupation for that surname. It also includes interactive maps.
Looking at family history, it is important to understand relationship terms. This comes in handy when you are explaining your family history to others.
Do you know what a second cousin, twice removed is? If not, that's okay because most people only know basic relationship words like mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin, grandparents, aunt, and uncle. Below are some "cousin" definitions to get started.
Sometimes we have an abundance of information, but don't have a birth date. Well, if you have the date of death and the age of the deceased (often found on death certificates) then you can get an estimated birth year or an exact birth date. I have step-by-step instructions on the different ways to do that.