Research to identify your ancestors

Monday, May 26, 2008

What is a Primary source?....What is a Secondary source?

(Note...see the very beginning of this blog for important steps on how to get started on your genealogy).

In genealogy research, when it comes to verifying the names, dates, and places of your ancestors lives, you want to try and locate a primary source for this information above that of a secondary source.

What are PRIMARY sources? They are documents that are first hand accounts, like a birth and death certificate or marriage license. Generally these are true sources, without error in them.

What are SECONDARY sources? They are the information about your ancestors that you possibly find in books, census records, verbal sharing, and other people’s genealogy records. Whenever someone else copies/transfers data into another form of record, it becomes a secondary source....because of the margin for error created in the transfer.