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DEBRA A. HOFFMAN 4 October 2014 Grow Your Family Tree.

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Presentation on theme: "DEBRA A. HOFFMAN 4 October 2014 Grow Your Family Tree."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEBRA A. HOFFMAN 4 October 2014 Grow Your Family Tree

2 Overview Basic Steps Maryland State Archives

3 Start at the Beginning

4 5 Basic Steps 1 – Start with what you know. 2 – Identify a research objective. 3 – Develop a research plan. 4 – Execute the plan. 5 – Analyze, evaluate and correlate the information.

5 Start with You! Write down what you know about:  Yourself  Siblings  Parents  Grandparents Gather the following information:  Full Name  Birth Date and Place  Marriage Date and Place  Death Date and Place  Military Service  Religious Affiliation  Etc.

6 Interview Family Members Do they have:  Bibles  Diaries and Journals  Letters  Memorial Cards and Funeral Programs  Birth, Marriage, or Death Certificates  Baptism Certificates  Citizenship Papers  Fraternal Records  Legal Papers  Military Records  Newspaper Clippings  Occupational Records  School Records  Photo Albums

7 Pedigree Chart

8 Family Group Sheet

9 Research Objectives

10 Identify a Research Objective Choose an ancestor. Identify specific research objectives. Select one to begin.  Usually you start with what you know and then work backward.  Include name, time period, location and what information you hope to find.

11 Example Who was the father of William H. Weaver who was born 14 October 1827 in Germany?

12 Locality Search Learn about the locality. Identify available resources.

13 Literature Search Determine what research, if any, exists:  Printed family histories and genealogies  Family information published in periodicals  Biographies  Local histories  Manuscript collections of family information  Computer databases of family information  Online family trees  Etc. Saves time and can provide clues

14 Develop a Research Plan

15 Research Plan What sources will provide direct or indirect evidence? Where are those sources located? Search broad time periods. Check for collateral relatives and variant spellings.

16 Background Information Identify your objective Identify the name, date, place and any other identifying characteristics  Surname variations  Identify starting information Identify limitations  Time Analysis of what is known  Identify gaps in information  Highlight clues

17 Identify Repositories Public Libraries  Library of Congress  DAR Library  Family History Library  Maryland Historical Society  Enoch Pratt Free Library  George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University  County Public Libraries

18 Identify Repositories Courthouses Family History Centers State and Federal Archives  Maryland State Archives, Annapolis State Libraries  Maryland State Law Library, Annapolis

19 Identify Records Census  Federal and State Vital Records  Birth, Marriage and Death Land Records  Federal and Local Church Records Court Records  Probate Etc.

20 Execute the Plan

21 Death Records on

22 Marriage Records

23 Deed Index on

24 Wills and Probate Records

25 Findings List the repositories you visited. List the resources you used. Cite your sources! List negative findings. Discuss any problems encountered. Take full research notes. Separate comments from the record.

26 Research Log Prevent brickwalls. Use one of these to prevent duplication of work. Foster accuracy by tracking what you have searched and the results.

27 Analyze, Evaluate & Correlate

28 Next Steps? What clues did you find? What other sources should you research?

29 Evidence Analysis Ask Questions:  Does it correlate with what you already know?  Did you find what you were looking for?  Is the information complete?  Does it conflict with other information?

30 Evidence Analysis Organize it in a systematic way  Timelines  Charts  Software

31 Cautions! Just because it is published in a book or on the Internet does not mean it is true! Don’t incorporate information into your family tree until you verify it. Use original records, if possible.

32 Be Skeptical!

33 Fannie Langdon’s Obituary Who Was the Informant? Provided an Erroneous Age—was actually 60

34 Death Certificate

35 Maryland State Archives Public Records from 1634-1789 Original state and county records Microfilm of original records Federal censuses Church records Land records Maps & Atlases Vital records

36 About the Archives

37 Getting Started at the Archives

38 Hours of Operation

39 Beginner’s Guide Repository for all permanent records  Municipal  county, and  State government Special Collections  Church records  Newspapers  Maps  Manuscripts  Photographs


41 General Public Tab

42 Family Historians Tab

43 Online Resources Reference & Research  Research at the Archives  How to Find Specific Records  Indices Found at MSA Guide to Government Records  Introduction to Guide to Government Records  Understanding Maryland Records

44 Need Help? MSA Help Desk

45 QUESTIONS? Thank You!

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