Genealogists are interesting people. They are treasure hunters, invesand are intrinsically motivated. The treasures of their hunt are the names and dates
of a certain individual of worth to them. The things that usually bring a genealogist to excitement are written facts within birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates. However, these things cannot always be found easily, especially without know- ing places or dates that pertain to the hunt.
A census record will often be easier to find than other records in certain cases. The census report can give locations, dates, names of other family members unknown, and various other hints of where we can go to find actual certificates. Many times a person’s name can be derived by hunting in one document, while missing dates can be filled in during the discovery of another document.
The birth certificate is a good place to begin your hunt on ing the other side of the family. In addition, dates and places can be discovered that will lead the genealogist to geographical areas to search out other pos- sible family members.
Divorce records may seem harsh, but they can give important information as well. Much information can be found that will lead to more places, dates and facts, and this can help the genealogist to know the real details behind the divorce.
Marriage records not only depict a happy day for both families, but the dates, places and full names of parents and even their places of birth can often be found on these records.
Some states will release adoption papers for a price. I was abel to acquire my adopted grandmother’s adoption papers and follow the blood line of her real mother who had died giving birth. I have now found that the biological blood line leads to my grandmother’s adopted line — they are all relatives.
Many records can also be found at the county level by going into a county clerk’s office.
However, there is usually a small fee per record obtained. On one occasion, I wrote to Czechoslovakia for my grandfather’s records. They sent me a christening verification. It cost me $50 and took four months, but it helped me to find so much more information that led me to his father and mother.
It is at the genealogist’s discretion to determine what they wish to pay for these precious materials, but if you have access to a genealogical library, the information is available at a minimal charge per sheet.
It may be more comfortable for you and your wallet. Some people may also opt to hire a specialist genealogist, which can be very expensive.
Churches of varied geographical areas can be an asset for finding burial records and christening records. Bibles are also a great and usable source for finding family members. Some bibles have been kept in families for years, and have become heirlooms. Look in the front or far back pages, and discover if someone has kept family records within the pages of time.
Have fun finding your people and getting to know them. They were thinking, feeling individuals just like you and perhaps even share some of your own idealisms.
Dori Wright has a personal passion to help others start learn- ing their family trees by doing genealogy. She has spent more than 33 years researching genealogy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org