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Genealogy is the study and research of one's ancestors and family heritage.

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.

External links

Further reading

  • Akenson, Donald. Some Family: The Mormons and How Humanity Keeps Track of Itself (2007) on LDS Family History Library
  • Cerny, Johni and Elliot, Wendy. The Library: A Guide to the LDS Family History Library. (1988). 763 pp.
  • Ching, Frank. Ancestors: 900 Years in the Life of a Chinese Family. (1988). 512 pp.
  • Cole, Trafford R. Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical & Other Records in Family History Research (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Cruise, M. T. W. Guidelines For Ancestry Research With An Emphasis on African-American Genealogy (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Herber, Mark. Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History.' (2nd ed. 2006). 873 pp.
  • Hey, David. Family History and Local History in England. (1987). 276 pp.
  • Irvine, Sherry. Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians (2nd ed. 2003) excerpt and text search
  • Moody, David. Scottish Family History. (1988). 219 pp
  • Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures (2004)
  • Smith, Jessie Carney. Ethnic Genealogy: A Research Guide (1983) excerpt and text search