Tag Archives: sources

Land Deeds

old-mapsThough property documents and land deeds may not strike you as the first place to check for genealogical information, but you should not discount these sources in your research.

Unlike regular vital records, you never know exactly what information you will find on a deed. But because a person needed to be identified as completely as possible, there were often many pieces of information included. Several members of a person’s family might be mentioned (parents, spouse, children) as well as neighbour’s names. This will most definitely be the case when property is willed in an estate. You may also find a birth date, occupation or place of birth. (more…)

16 Dec 2012

Homestead Act Records

homestead act records for genealogy

Settling of the American west offers a lot of genealogy information

Buying real estate or land can leave an important paper trail that can have plenty of genealogy information once you find the records you need. Land deeds are a great resource for any family tree studies.

But the Homestead Act in 1862 is a true treasure-trove of information if you are lucky enough to have American ancestors who took advantage of this land offer. There are very detailed files associated with all the people who claimed homestead land.


16 Dec 2012

Heraldic Visitations

If you have any ancestors in the 1500-1650 time period from the UK, you will have to do some research through the Harleian Society’s heraldic visitations. They are amazing and filled with genealogy information as well as local history.

There was a widespread problem of fraudulent coats of arms usage, and so King Henry VIII decided to document proper family lineages in 1530. He sent a group of “heralds” to visit every town and parish in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in order to record the family history and pedigrees for all the noble families. This huge project went on from 1530 until 1688, consisting of several rounds of visits. For my own history, my ancestors were mainly from Cheshire and there are visitations for that area for the years 1580, 1613 and 1663. (more…)

16 Dec 2012

Cemetery Research

Visiting a cemetery is a very in-person and hands-on way of collecting family history information. You can find graveyards with your ancestors and other family members through various online cemetery records, print or online obituary announcements, or from still-living relatives.

genealogy cemetery research with gravestones

You can learn a lot about genealogy from gravestones

Tombstones and grave-markers can give you a lot of important information about the people who are buried there. Birth and death dates are the most obvious, and are found on nearly every stone you’ll find. Symbols on the stones may indicate church associations, which can help you locate further records about them (often birth, death or marriage records). (more…)

15 Dec 2012