Genealogy is the study of one’s ancestry and history using records and documents. Genealogy is not just for professionals and as many more become interested in the full story of their family’s history: genealogy is an excellent way to learn more about the story of one’s family.
The first step is to research within your family as far as possible. Ask any older living relatives about maiden names, names at birth or even country or state of origin if it differs from where you are currently. These first-hand accounts are vital to the success of any future genealogical searches. With maiden names and places of origin: it is easier to track even common last names that are more likely to be relatives rather than strangers.
Once you have a list of names of relatives, taking a trip to your local library that holds public records is a good step in the right direction. Many larger county and state libraries carry old birth, death and marriage certificates that are at least 100 years old. Many of these older records are stored publicly as they pose no risk of identity theft after the individual has been deceased for so long.
If you are having difficulty finding records, visiting your local cemetery (especially a historic or state one) may help. If you know specific dates (or approximate dates) like birth year and year of death then checking with the cemetery’s staff or by simply exploring the grounds may be a good way to find potential relatives.
If the death of a potential relative is more recent (within the last 10-20 years): many funeral homes and cemeteries keep an archive of recent and older obituaries that often list relatives both surviving and deceased as well as critical biographical information about the deceased.
If you want to learn more about genealogy, feel free to stop by our funeral home to discuss obituaries, plots and headstones with a member of staff. We are happy to help.
Questions About Genealogy or Our Funeral Home?
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