Overview

Geneology is, in its broadest form, the study of stages of evolution leading to the animals and plants of present day. In a much more limited sense, geneology is the study of the direct descendants of a person or group of people, which can be mapped in a tree diagram known as a family tree or genealogical tree.

Genealogists

Hobbyist genealogists typically go after their own ancestry and that of their spouses. Professional genealogists may also conduct research for others, publish books on genealogical methods, teach, or work for companies that provide software or online databases.


History

Historically, the focus of genealogy was on the descents of rulers and nobles of the Western hemisphere.The term often related with the field of study called heraldry, in which the ancestry of royalty is represented in their coats of arms.

The United States practitioners of Genealogy were the first to give Genealogy its modern system.John Farmer was an American enterpreneur who first capitalized on the idea of "atinquarianism" which was popular in America after the Revolution War.He became a coordinator, booster, and contributor to the burgeoning movement. His efforts led to the creation of the New England Historic Genealogical So ciety, which publishes the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.


Genealogy: the process of research

Genealogists start their research by collecting family documents and related stories. This creates a foundation for documentary research, which involves examining and evaluating historical records for evidence about ancestors and other relatives, their kinship ties, and the events that occurred in their lives. As a rule, genealogists begin with the present and work backward in time.

Genealogical research is a complex process. It uses an array of available historical records and some genealogists even go as far as obtaining genetic analysis for proving kisnhip.As in any kind of research reliable and original records are a must. In many cases genealogists need to gather skillfully anecdotal and circumstantial evidence in order to build an identification of kinship.

Historical, social, and family context is essential to achieving correct identification of individuals and relationships. Source citation is also important when conducting genealogical research.


Records and Documentation

Below is a small list of the evidence and data a genealogist should gather to in the process of his or her genealogical research:

Birth records
Death records
Marriage and divorce records
Adoption records
Biographies and biographical profiles (e.g. Who's Who)
Census records
Church records
Baptism or christening
Confirmation
Bar or bat mitzvah
Marriage
Funeral or death
Membership
City directories[10] and telephone directories
Coroner's reports
Court records
Criminal records
Civil records
Diaries, personal letters and family Bibles
Emigration, immigration and naturalization records
Hereditary & lineage organization records, e.g. Daughters of the American Revolution records
Land and property records, deeds
Medical records
Military and conscription records
Newspaper articles
Obituaries
Occupational records
Oral histories
Passports
Photographs
Poorhouse, workhouse, almshouse, and asylum records
School and alumni association records
Ship passenger lists
Social Security (within the USA) and pension records
Tax records
Tombstones, cemetery records, and funeral home records
Voter registration records


References

Genealogy on Wikipedia.

Cyndi's Genealogy List

Family History Research

Genealogy Blogs