Land records track ownership listing names of the buyer and seller which may prove their residence or place of business or acreage for farming etc. It is important keep the dates in mind when you research a family especially if they have moved from another place. Check to see if there is access online first, then search the parish courthouses as most have started online access. Also check mortgage records as well, if possible. The Bureau of Land Management has an online title records search available glorecords.blm.gov. Land donations to children are not uncommon and therefore names of children may be included.
Death certificates include date and location of death, the causes, and often information about the spouse and parents. Most are located at the state level since the 1900s but may be available by applying at the local courthouse these are the state records. You will see the name of the doctor who pronounced their death, which may have been their family doctor as well depending on the dates from years back. Sometimes occupations are also included.
Probate and will records are great sources for names of children and other relatives. They may include clues about property locations and other records in the courthouse. Also included would be any underage children who would need a guardian. Guardian would be listed as well as the widows’ name, sometimes a maiden name for her.
Obituaries list not only provides the decease’s full name, date and place of death but also parents, spouse (s), children and grandchildren. Sometimes it may include the date of birth, but most often just their age. Online obit indexes include Legacy.com and Obituaries.com can also be searched at the newspaper’s website or Newspapers.com. Remember that the older the obituary the less information is included. Sometimes newspapers put a short biography of a person in the newspaper around the time of death, stating the importance of that person to the community.
Cemeteries record almost every interment including date and place of death and sometimes as well as their place of birth, their parents, spouse, and even names of children. Cemetery records can be found online and many you will need to contact in person. First try to see if they are posted on Findagrave.com. Once you have found their gravesite, you will possibly be able to read their Headstones with information on their birth and death dates. Check the nearest tombs for other family members. Take pictures of the whole grave or tomb and then zoom in on markings. Remember that family members will tell you for sure a certain person is buried in a specific cemetery but the record could be so old no one else remembers. Write down the information and record an interview with that person for the documentation of the place of burial and let them tell you why they remember as they may have attended the funeral.
See free genealogy websites: Check on genealogy websites for your ancestors. Sometimes if you cannot get your ancestor, their brother or sister maybe online. From this you may be able to obtain an email address to the person in charge of that information and ask about your ancestor, with whom they may or may not have information, it helps to know even if they do not have information. You can ask where their information came from and it will lead to an interesting encounter with that person if they are still living. Website information should always be checked for accuracy and always list the site or person on the site’s information to providing that specific photograph, document or hints of information. Use this information as a guideline to your ancestor not as actual fact unless they have included the documented sources.
More information on how to do your family search is coming.
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