Understanding Your ...

Ancestors in the Records

Understanding your ancestors’ lives can help you use the sources and trace them more effectively. In return, knowing what to look for in the sources can help you understand your ancestors’ lives better.

In this section, I’ve tried to explain how to locate and use the records as well as give tips on how to get as much as possible out of the records. With a full understanding, sometimes even a simple birth or marriage record can tell quite a bit about your ancestor.

This section will be expanding. Each month, I will send out a “Record of the Month” in the newsletter that highlights a particular source useful in understanding your ancestors’ lives. The next month, I will add that source to this page.

Below are the sections included in this website. For more information, click on that link.

 Getting Started
 Parish Records
   Overview Article: Getting the Most Out of Parish Records
   Birth Records
   Marriage Records
   Death Records
   Other Types of Parish Records
 Other Records
   Civil Registration Records
   Census Records
   Land and Property Records
   Probate Records
   Military Records
   Court Records
 Immigration Records
   Ports and Their Records
   Article: Eight Ways to Cross the Ocean
 Naming Patterns
   Emigrant Name Changes
   Phonetic Spellings
   Patronymic Naming System
   Name Changes at Marriage and Birth
   Other Surname Changes
   Clues in Surnames
   Tips for Identifying Your Ancestors’ Country of Origin