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Family or Personal Histories << Family Records <<

| Go to the Family or Personal Histories Introduction |

Family or Personal Histories Guide

Family Records-
Family or Personal Histories
What's in Them Where to Find Them How to Use Them***

Almost always include:

  • Some names, dates and descriptions of events important in the lives of the subjects

    May also include:
  • Varies widely-see typical chronological and life-topic content

  • Family records of all types are generally found using the same tactics. These listed here apply to journals, photos, Bibles, as well as other family records:

     

  • In your own home - attics, closets, basements, bookshelves, etc.
  • In the homes of your known relatives
  • In the possession of distant cousins located through research
  • In libraries, archives, genealogical and historical societies, and other specialized collections
  • In antique shops, used book stores and flea markets, especially near the residence of the subject
  • Through websites designed to reunite diaries, photos, Bibles and other memorabilia with the families from which they were separated

    "See the list of recommended family records links for specialized websites for particular record types."

  • To gain a more complete understanding of your ancestor or family
  • To find dates of life events to further research
  • To find names of family members, neighbors and others who interacted with your family
  • To gain insight into the personalities of your ancestors - both the subjects and the writer
  • To put your ancestors' lives into context time- and history-wise
  • To use as input for family or personal history you are writing or to update/supplement an existing history
  • To see what your ancestors looked like (if illustrated)
  • To find names of distant cousins to network with, especially if descendant information is included
  • To find clues of medical conditions that may continue to affect your family today

  • *** Please share your suggestions for other uses of information found in family records here

    For more information on these important records, be sure to catch the Family Records episode of Ancestors on your local PBS station.

     
     
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