The core essence of genealogy is record search and record retrieval. The little pieces of our history that confirm what our ancestors have been tellings us.
At RecordClick we experts at record search and record retrieval.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a record search?
- 2 Why is a record search an important part of genealogy?
- 3 What types of records are searched to complete family trees?
- 4 How does a genealogist know where to search for records?
- 5 What are some record searching tips and resources?
- 6 Why is RecordClick so good at record searching?
- 7 How can we research other countries when we can’t read the language?
What is a record search?
A record is a document that contains evidence about the past. It is an accounting of an event that occurred, kept in writing or some other permanent form. A search is the act of trying to find something by looking carefully and thoroughly. Hence, a record search is the act of looking carefully and thoroughly for a document that contains an accounting of an event that has occurred.
Why is a record search an important part of genealogy?
Researching your family history will expose you to many different types of personal records. What you will find in these records may amaze you. For example, death records will provide you with a clue to any prominent illnesses that may occur within your family tree. Older death records also often have very unusual causes of death, giving you interesting information for family stories.
Birth and baptism records will tell you a lot about a person, including people that were present at their birth. These clues can help you find obscure people in your family tree that may not appear in any other records.
Land records and Wills often contain vital information about who your family members associated with when they were alive. Not surprising, many of these transactions will take place with in-laws that you will then be able to easily trace.
Records like these also often contain correct information about spellings of names and birth places and dates. Many family stories will tell one version of a story, only to find out the truth when you find the actual records.
What types of records are searched to complete family trees?
No one’s family tree is ever complete. The most-used records in genealogy are vital records – birth, marriage, and death.
These records retrieval will usually tell you plenty of information about the individual the record is about, as well as information about family members. There are many, many other types of records used in research, and to name them all is not really possible. But a good sample list of records is:
Adoption Records; Biographies; Cemetery Records; Census Records; Church Records; City Directories; Coroner’s Reports; Court Records; Diaries; Immigration Records; Lineage Society Records; Land Records; Medical Records; Military Records; Newspapers; Occupational Records; Passport Records; Photographs; School Records; Ship Passenger Lists; Social Security Records; Tax Records; Funeral Home Records: Voter records; and Wills and Probate Records.
How does a genealogist know where to search for records?
Knowing where to search for a particular record is the key to finding that record. Many records can be found online, but many of the online sites that have records require that you have a paid subscription to the site in order to view the records.
Most genealogists have a working knowledge of where to perform record retrieval through their own experiences of trying to find a particular record. Particularly in our own geographic regions, we’ve been everywhere, and we know the ins and the outs of how to get what we want.
We also know the privacy laws of every state in our own geographic regions, and you won’t find a professional genealogist sitting in the waiting room at the Vital Records Office for 3 hours waiting for our number to be called in turn, only to find out that we are not eligible to receive this record due to privacy restrictions.
You not only have to know where the record is kept, you must also know ahead of time if you are eligible to receive a copy of it. Many states do not allow genealogists a copy of a vital or court record. When checking, it is always important to ask – Is this a public record?
What are some record searching tips and resources?
Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) is a popular site for finding records, but they also require a paid subscription in order to view most of their records.
For records that cannot be found online, it is necessary to search for the place that holds that particular record.
If it is a court record – divorce record; probate record; land record; or other court record – usually the local courthouse will have a copy of the record. There are courthouses who have sent some of their oldest records to Archives, Local Libraries, or Historical Societies, and these records are no longer available at the local courthouses.
It is best to contact the courthouse to verify if they have the record you are searching for and if it is a public record.
Same thing for vital records – verify that the record is there and that you are eligible to receive a copy of it. Never accept that the information provided on a record is 100% correct. Those persons providing the information on a record made mistakes and sometimes, for whatever reason, just didn’t tell the truth when providing information. It is best to find at least 3 documents that provide the same information.
Why is RecordClick so good at record searching?
“Because RecordClick has me”, says one of top researchers; Nancy! All kidding aside, I believe what makes Record Click so special is the relationship between the researchers in seeking help from each other when we need to locate a record.
I don’t hesitate to contact one of the other researchers if I need a record, and I know that the record is in the area where another researcher is located. This networking together is what makes Record Click unique and most successful.
How can we research other countries when we can’t read the language?
The simple answer is that we can’t. We do a lot of research for those seeking dual citizenship or those seeking research in a foreign country. Research cannot begin in those countries without first learning the birth town and the names of the parents of the immigrant. Once we learn this information, the project is ready to be transferred to our international researchers. They also translate all documents for us into English in order that you can easily read and understand them.
When working as a team, such as we do, it makes genealogy research easier for us and for your wallet.
We can customizes your family search for the genealogical research you need, for your time frame, and for your budget. Let’s get started; contact us or click here to check out other services.