Genealogy is a social science. Its an historic study of ones family history. It begins with ones self and all living family members and works backwords varifing information, keeping records on sources of information from at least two different places. This information can come from areas such as bibles, letters, diaries photograph albums, as well as birth and death certificates. The number of areas that can be researched for information is endless. Information should include: names, dates, places and relationships. We all came to our present location from some where else, including foreign countries, and it will be necessary to have a working knowage of history and maps. Dates when areas split or combined.

    1. Talking to relatives
    2. Library material
      • Local
      • Relative's home town
    3. Various societies (historical, and ethnically) such as:The Balch Institute for Ethnic Study:
    4. Business sector (pay for research services)
    5. Government sources (various levels of records including achieves)
    6. Church records (marriage, birth, death, etc)
    7. School records, all levels including college
    8. The internet (Web pages, newsgroups, e-mail)
    9. Visiting cemeteries, especially in relatives hometown
    10. Attend workshops
    11. These are not all the tools that a researcher has at his disposable. It is also possible some are not accessible to him either.

    Onomastics is the study of names. The family name is also referred to as the surname. It is our primary link with both the past and the future. The earliest use of the surname was probably with the Chinese around 2852 B.C. The Roman empire first used single names, switched to multiple names as the empire became larger. And when it collapsed the use of surnames was no longer needed.
    Over the centuries one nation after another adopted the use of the surnames for national reasons and by the 12'th century the use of the second name was so wide spread, with out it was considered uncommon. It is important to note that all the nations of the world did not support the use of surnames at first and usage of it did not occur at the same time everywhere. At the treaty of trent (1545-63), the use of surnames was instituted for all churches to maintain records on births, deaths, marriages and various other church activities, including the church census. Surnames from all over the world fall into four categories
    1. occupation
    2. location
    3. patronymic
    4. characteristics
    Surnames may have more then one meaning for them. A word in one language may mean something completely different in another. check the surnames I am researching. Surnames should be traceable by most people to the 11th or 12th century, and if there is royalty in any of our lines they should be traceable even further. Of course much is dependent on wars, natural disasters and the nation in question.
    In our research we trace our parents back to our grandparents, where two becomes four. Our great grandparents becomes eight and our great great grandparents becomes sixteen. This continues, with increasing maiden names on the female side and If collinear
    lines of uncles, aunts and cousins are considered as well as in-laws, the number will seem endless.

    is a topic that should be researcher by anyone studying their lineage. Especially if there is any possibility of royalty in the family line. Heraldry was used to identify people
    important positions such as: kings, lords, barons dukes, knights as well as members of the church and important organizations. Try this surname search for a possible connection with a coat of arms.

    Surname search heraldry.
    We are all immigrants or sons of immigrants. People have migrated from one place to another since the beginning of time. Settlement of the U.S. came after a number of explorers visited and settled here. With the passage of time, and movement of people, immigration from all from all over the world developed into the cosmopolitan society we know of today. Tracing ones roots always leads back to another country or countries with the potential for language and custom differences . The FHCcan help in your research, in most cases, by providing information from those foreign countries. Translating and identifying names, dates and places can be difficult due to poor quality of some of the material, and handwriting as well as language of the records and documents available. Many of the records may have been copied from records that were damage causing the quality of the records to be unreadable.

    To check for documentation from any location, it is necessary to know some history of that area. For example, we have seen a number of countries in Europe and Asian change after the destruction of the Berlin wall. The unification of both Berlin and Germany. The brake up of the U.S.S.R. and the same of Yugoslavia into independent nations.
    We have seen changes in Africa as well. Old governments are replaced by new ones, borders are expanded for one nation and withdrawn by another. These changes will all affect research of the people in witch we are researching.
    Disasters, affect people and the records of an area as well. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, disease and man made disasters such as war create problems for the researcher including lost documentation. Our family history in the U.S., is traceable only as far back to when they first came here. People were in the Americas before Columbus discovered it, in 1492. Early settlements of Jamestown and St. Augustine
    brought new settlers. Jamestown would lead to Virginia and the 13 colonies. St. Augustine would lead to Florida. The French, Spanish, English and all the others that had claims to land on North and South American, would relinquish there authority to in
    dependent states. Tracking of our ancestors to these and all the other world nations from where workers came and stayed, depended on time.
    The early settlers moved from east to west from north to south, and causing new areas to be developed. This too would affect our research.

    1. Blood
      Parents, Brothers and Sisters
    2. Legal
      Marriage and Adoption
    3. Combination of the two
      In laws , Uncles and Aunts
    4. Kin
      All others
    Names for relatives include grand parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws.
    The fact is, this is only a small portion of the known relatives. When two people get married their relations become relatives. Some combinations include:
    • His parents and her parents are in-laws to each other
    • His siblings are in-laws to her siblings
    • Cousins on both sides are related Aunts and Uncles are related
    These combinations are distant (blood - marriage) relations and are refereed to as kin, probable because there is no given name for there relationship.

  7. Record keeping
    Keeping records is important. When we want to know where we got the information we can always check our sources. It is also used to varify contradictory information. The real question is what method should be used in keeping these records. On line paper, in a book, on 3 by 5 cards or in a computer? Anyway that you keep them is OK as long as you understand them and are able to refer to them when needed. If you use a computer you can keep excellent records and save hours of work indexing and editing when necessary. Of course there is a cost when you computerize your work but the results is worth it. There are a number of computer programs that can be used, so its best to check around. With the computer you are also able to use the internet as a source of information. This is a whole new world wide source, capable of takeing you to other genealogist, researching the same names as you, and to your ancestors birthplace.

  8. Internet
    The Internet is the latest method in use for genealogy research. It is international and has the capability of reaching every home that has a computer. It provides e-mail capability to reach out and make contact with unknown people that can be provide all kinds of information. Comparing notes on surnames and locations is availabl. It provides search engines that can tell you names, addresses and even phone numbers of individuals around the world. Newsgroups on genealogy help each other in research methods. This includes peoples from different states and different countries. Personal web pages also provide information on surnames and locations being researched, and individuals to get to get in touch with. All this information that was never before obtainable.


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Last Revised December 7, 2002

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