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The French Republican Calendar or French Revolutionary Calendar was a calendar proposed during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late to , and for 18 days in in Paris. Dates in official records at this time use the revolutionary calendar and need "translating" into the Gregorian calendar for calculating ages etc. There are various websites which do this. Occupational information may be important to understanding an ancestor's life and for distinguishing two people with the same name.

A person's occupation may have been related to his or her social status, political interest, and migration pattern. Since skilled trades are often passed from father to son, occupation may also be indirect evidence of a family relationship. It is important to remember that a person may change occupations, and that titles change over time as well. Some workers no longer fit for their primary trade often took less prestigious jobs later in life, while others moved upwards in prestige. Census returns may contain some embellishment; e. Names for old or unfamiliar local occupations may cause confusion if poorly legible.

For example, an ostler a keeper of horses and a hostler an innkeeper could easily be confused for one another. Likewise, descriptions of such occupations may also be problematic. The perplexing description "ironer of rabbit burrows" may turn out to describe an ironer profession in the Bristol district named Rabbit Burrows. Several trades have regionally preferred terms. For example, "shoemaker" and "cordwainer" have the same meaning.

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Finally, many apparently obscure jobs are part of a larger trade community, such as watchmaking, framework knitting or gunmaking. Occupational data may be reported in occupational licenses, tax assessments, membership records of professional organizations, trade directories, census returns, and vital records civil registration.

Occupational dictionaries are available to explain many obscure and archaic trades. Information found in historical or genealogical sources can be unreliable and it is good practice to evaluate all sources with a critical eye. Factors influencing the reliability of genealogical information include: the knowledge of the informant or writer ; the bias and mental state of the informant or write; the passage of time and the potential for copying and compiling errors.

The quality of census data has been of special interest to historians, who have investigated reliability issues. The informant is the individual who provided the recorded information. Genealogists must carefully consider who provided the information and what he or she knew. In many cases the informant is identified in the record itself. For example, a death certificate usually has two informants: a physician who provides information about the time and cause of death and a family member who provides the birth date, names of parents, etc.

When the informant is not identified, one can sometimes deduce information about the identity of the person by careful examination of the source.

One should first consider who was alive and nearby when the record was created. When the informant is also the person recording the information, the handwriting can be compared to other handwriting samples. When a source does not provide clues about the informant, genealogists should treat the source with caution.


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These sources can be useful if they can be compared with independent sources. For example, a census record by itself cannot be given much weight because the informant is unknown. However, when censuses for several years concur on a piece of information that would not likely be guessed by a neighbor, it is likely that the information in these censuses was provided by a family member or other informed person. On the other hand, information in a single census cannot be confirmed by information in an undocumented compiled genealogy since the genealogy may have used the census record as its source and might therefore be dependent on the same misinformed individual.

Even individuals who had knowledge of the fact, sometimes intentionally or unintentionally provided false or misleading information.

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A person may have lied in order to obtain a government benefit such as a military pension , avoid taxation, or cover up an embarrassing situation such as the existence of a non-marital child. A person with a distressed state of mind may not be able to accurately recall information. Many genealogical records were recorded at the time of a loved one's death, and so genealogists should consider the effect that grief may have had on the informant of these records. The passage of time often affects a person's ability to recall information. Therefore, as a general rule, data recorded soon after the event are usually more reliable than data recorded many years later.

However, some types of data are more difficult to recall after many years than others. One type especially prone to recollection errors is dates. Also the ability to recall is affected by the significance that the event had to the individual. These values may have been affected by cultural or individual preferences. Genealogists must consider the effects that copying and compiling errors may have had on the information in a source. For this reason, sources are generally categorized in two categories: original and derivative. An original source is one that is not based on another source.

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A derivative source is information taken from another source. This distinction is important because each time a source is copied, information about the record may be lost and errors may result from the copyist misreading, mistyping, or miswriting the information. Genealogists should consider the number of times information has been copied and the types of derivation a piece of information has undergone. The types of derivatives include: photocopies, transcriptions, abstracts, translations, extractions, and compilations.

In addition to copying errors, compiled sources such as published genealogies and online pedigree databases are susceptible to misidentification errors and incorrect conclusions based on circumstantial evidence. Identity errors usually occur when two or more individuals are assumed to be the same person. Circumstantial or indirect evidence does not explicitly answer a genealogical question, but either may be used with other sources to answer the question, suggest a probable answer, or eliminate certain possibilities.

Compilers sometimes draw hasty conclusions from circumstantial evidence without sufficiently examining all available sources, without properly understanding the evidence, and without appropriately indicating the level of uncertainty. In genealogical research, information can be obtained from primary or secondary sources. Primary sources are records that were made at the time of the event, for example a death certificate would be a primary source for a person's death date and place.

Secondary sources are records that are made days, weeks, months, or even years after an event. Organizations that educate and certify genealogists have established standards and ethical guidelines they instruct genealogists to follow.


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Genealogy research requires analyzing documents and drawing conclusions based on the evidence provided in the available documents. Genealogists need standards to determine whether or not their evaluation of the evidence is accurate. In the past, genealogists in the United States borrowed terms from judicial law to examine evidence found in documents and how they relate to the researcher's conclusions. However, the differences between the two disciplines created a need for genealogists to develop their own standards. In , the Board for Certification of Genealogists published their first manual of standards.

The Genealogical Proof Standard created by the Board for Certification of Genealogists is widely distributed in seminars, workshops, and educational materials for genealogists in the United States. Other genealogical organizations around the world have created similar standards they invite genealogists to follow. Such standards provide guidelines for genealogists to evaluate their own research as well as the research of others.

Standards for genealogical research include: [98] [99] []. Genealogists often handle sensitive information and share and publish such information. Because of this, there is a need for ethical standards and boundaries for when information is too sensitive to be published. Historically, some genealogists have fabricated information or have otherwise been untrustworthy. Genealogical organizations around the world have outlined ethical standards as an attempt to eliminate such problems. Ethical standards adopted by various genealogical organizations include: [] [] [] [99] [].

In , a committee presented standards for genetic genealogy at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The standards emphasize that genealogists and testing companies should respect the privacy of clients and recognize the limits of DNA tests. It also discusses how genealogists should thoroughly document conclusions made using DNA evidence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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This article is about the study of family lineage and history. For the philosophical technique developed by Nietzsche and Foucault, see Genealogy philosophy. For the medical family history, see Family history medicine. For the sociocultural evolution of kinship, see History of the family. For other uses, see Genealogy disambiguation. Main article: Forensic genealogy. Main article: Genetic genealogy. Main article: Genealogy software. This section does not cite any sources.

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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. Child Namesake 1st son paternal grandfather 2nd son maternal grandfather 3rd son father 4th son father's oldest brother 1st daughter maternal grandmother 2nd daughter paternal grandmother 3rd daughter mother 4th daughter mother's oldest sister.