Start asking questions of your elders NOW!
- People go by nick names some of the time, do you know what their real name is?
- Where were they born?
- Was this their one and only marriage or possibly a second or third?
- Where were they married?
- How many children were born?
- What were their names?
- Who did they marry?
- Did they serve in the military?
The more information you get now, the better your chances are for finding the rest. When you ask these questions, be prepared. Have a voice recorder available and a pedigree chart ready.
Example Pedigree Chart:
The key to proving your blood line are documents, documents and more documents. Start collecting. Keep all originals in a very safe place.
What kind of documents are accepted?
Birth certificates, marriage certificates, wills, and any legal document that can prove that a generation connects. Death certificates, divorce records, deeds, tax records, census records, bible records and military discharge papers are excellent. The list goes on.
A sticky point in time:
During the Civil War, many government buildings were burned. Hence the loss of documents. Don’t give up. Think out of the box. Look for city directories, physicians diaries, tax book, and general store records. There could be other documents that were created before or after the war that survived time. It just takes a lot of digging.
Where can I look for documents?
Some states have websites that show births, deaths and marriages. Most are transcribed documentation. If that is the case, they should state which county holds the information and you can mail off for a copy. Copies vary in prices. You will have to check with each Clerk’s office. If you get lucky, there are a few states that have scanned all of this info that is over 100 years old and posted them for you to download. Find your nearest library that has a Genealogy Department. There should be a variety of microfilm, microfiche and computers that will allow you access to websites for FREE! (normally have to pay for if you accessed them from home).
I have some information, now what?
Organize your information, decide how far back you wish to go. If you are interested in finding out if you have a “Patriot”, contact us, we will be glad to assist in the research.