Checking and Finding Sources

Just a reminder for anyone who is researching their family. Remember to cross-check your paying and non-paying sources. You will often find a record for free by using hints you actually get from your search on paying websites. For example a paying website may give the year and locality of a record or some other information you are lacking which will let you go to and do a free search. It may appear that all the American records or all the Scottish records are on the paying websites but you can use them to get some details of a record and then go over to and find them. There are many Scottish birth and marriage records there so before you pay for one see if you can put different details together . It is lovely to be able to order certificate copies from Scotlands People but remember they are COPIES and cannot be used for any legal purpose. Also, has research guides telling what sources are available for a given locality and where they can be found .

Simple thought for proving your evidence: think PAPER TRAIL. The actual proof of anything is the HARD EVIDENCE not what someone told you. Even then you will find all sorts of problems, conflicting birth years, conflicting names. Again, you need to cross check several pieces before coming to a conclusion.  My favourite material is the census. How lucky we are if we can find our relatives in consecutive running years!

Also, don’t forget that whatever area you are researching should have a Family History Centre, an Archives centre and a Local Studies section in their library. It’s surprising how helpful a librarian can be!

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