Genealogy can be challenging to research, since before the twentieth century, government records such as birth certificates and identification cards were not commonly issued, and much of family history was passed down via oral tradition which may or may not have been completely accurate. Luckily, local churches tend to be a repository of useful documents holding this information, such as baptismal records. Other sources of genealogical information include census records, and books on the history of family names. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains a large database of genealogical information which is open to the public. Other more specialized records include census records (which are open for use from 1790 to 1930), courthouse records (which include marriages and land ownership), immigration records, ship registries, old telephone books, and newspaper obituaries.
People studying their genealogy often start with the present generation and work backwards to construct their family tree.
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