Genealogy - Missouri Western State University

Missouri Western State University
Merit Badge College
March 20,2010 May 8, 2010
Please fill out the workbook as we discuss the
different aspects of Genealogy.
Genealogy (ge·ne·al·o·gy):
the study or investigation
of ancestry and family
Who were they?
Where did they live?
What were they like?
Ancestor (an·ces·tor)
 a person from whom one is
descended (parent, grandparent,
great-grandparent, etc)
Descendant (de·scen·dant)
 an individual descended from
another (child, grandchild, greatgrandchild, etc)
Create a timeline of your life.
▪ List Important Events: Birth, Schooling, Vacations, Scouting,
Family, Memories.
▪ Ask parents and grandparents to tell you about things that occurred in
your life before you can remember
Use these notes to write a short biography of yourself.
Update this timeline and biography every year.
Write in a Journal
Talk to your parents and grandparents.
 Ask them about their childhoods.
▪ Where did they go to school?
▪ What were their friends like?
▪ What did they like doing?
 What were their brothers/sisters/cousins like?
 What do they remember about their
Record their stories (Tape and Written)
Letter from my Great Grandfather
Charlotte Holmes:
The biggest, hardest thing in our family was when my older brother Chuck got sick;
he was about twelve (in about 1924). This was a bone infection and there was not
antibiotics or sulfurs or nothing of that sort at the time. Four years later they took
off his right leg above the knee. He spent a good deal of time in the hospital and in
bed at home.
While he was a boy scout he had a Model-T Ford because his uncle Walter made
sure that he had one so that he could get around; he couldn’t walk very far by
himself on his artificial leg. Well, there was a voting contest to send one boy to
scout camp for free and another boy in town got it. But then they discovered that
there were a lot of votes that hadn’t been counted and most of them went for
Chuck. The other boy had already left when they told him about it so Chuck rushed
home and told my mother that he was going to camp. He got his gear together,
jumped in his Model T and rode off down around Lake Michigan and he managed
to get there. Well, my father came home and he was pretty upset. My mother told
him “I couldn’t have stopped him if I wanted to.” Chuck had a wonderful time at
camp. He worked with the scouts in Batavia in the 1950’s and 60’s until he retired
on the farm.
Vital Records
 Birth, Marriage, Death records
Census Records
 Every 10 years from 1790. Privacy laws mean that only
through 1930 have been released
State Records
 Land deeds, wills, pension records
 Books and microfilm resources
Family papers, bibles etc.
Primary Records:
 A record that was created at the time of the event. Birth
Certificate, Death Certificate, Marriage Record, etc.
 Only primary source for that event.
Secondary Records:
 Information recorded at a time other than the event.
Example: Birth date listed on death certificate.
 Secondary information can be incorrect. If a close family
member were to die, and you were asked to fill out the
death certificate, would you be able to accurately remember
that person’s birth date, mother’s maiden name, etc.
 Primary Source:
 Data that was
recorded at the time
of the event.
 Birth date
 Birth Place
 Parent’s Names
 Secondary Records:
 Information recorded
at a time other than
the event.
 Mother’s or Father’s
Birth date and place
 Primary Source:
• Death date
• Death place
• Burial Place
 Secondary Source:
• Birth Information
• Parent’s Information
• Spouse Information
 Primary Source:
 Marriage date
 Names of Spouses
 Marriage Place
 Secondary Source:
 Parent’s
 Birth dates and
Taken every 10 years as required by the US Constitution
1790 – 1840: Lists heads of households only
1850 – 1930: Lists all members of household
1940 – 2010: Not released to public yet.
1890: Destroyed by Fire
Information obtained from Censuses:
Names of Family Members
Ages at time of Census
Birth Locations
Where the Family Lived
Not Terribly accurate! - neighbors frequently gave information.
Only as accurate as the census taker.
Information gathered
and published by
other researchers
May Contain Errors
Motherwell Memories
Family: Check with your parents/
grandparents, etc to see what records they
have. Make photocopies or scanned images
of these records.
Record Repository: courthouse, state or
national archive, state library, genealogical
Internet: Watch for Primary, Secondary, and
“Dubious” records.
Storage of Information:
 FamilyTreeMaker
 Legacy
 Ancestral Quest
Sharing of Information:
 Internet Sites
 E-mail
 Digital Photos
Finding Information:
 Online Records
 Computerized Document Searches
 Googling
Microfilming: Copying old records onto film that
can be viewed and copied.
 Allows more access to records that are falling apart.
 Allows microfilms to be copied and stored in multiple
facilities (libraries).
 Duplicate copies in case originals are destroyed.
Microfilmed copies are now being digitized and
copied into computer databases.
Start with yourself as
 Next is your Father (up)
and Mother (down)
 Each generation
continues in the same
way: Grandfather (up)
and Grandmother
List Father on Top Line
Mother on Next Lines
Children in Order of Birth
Use Extra Pages if Necessary
List only one family per
Do your detective work!
That’s great evidence –
make sure you record where it came from.
• Do you have an original record?
• Did you get it from someone else’s research? That’s
questionable – check out their sources – hang on to the
information as a “possible”
• State something as a fact only when it is supported by
convincing evidence, and identify the evidence when
communicating the fact to others.
• Keep your mind open – your ancestors may not be who you
think they are
Use this time to complete
 Timeline / Personal History
 Prepare questions for relatives
 Fill in Pedigree Chart and Family Group Records
 Search Internet for Resources
I will come around and check off
requirements for those who have completed
the prerequisites.
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