Research Principle and Techniques

A little about sources. Primary Source is a document describing an event that is produced at the time of the event. Marriage licence and certificates which give dates for the marriage are considered as primary for that event as well as a birth certificate. Secondary Source is a document describing an eventthat is produced sometime later than the actual event. A marriage licence or certificate is considered a secondary source for birth information. Baptismal and christening certificates which state the birth date are secondary. Typically, sources are more relevant the closer to the event they are than when they were stated. Hence a baptismal certificate stating a birth date is more relevant than the marriage certificate stating the birth date. The ideal is to have a primary source for each vital statistic event or document.

Stay focused, work on one family group at a time.

Here is a list to follow:

Be wary of family traditions and/or rumours. While they may be true, the actual details may have been changed. Stay within what you know or have documented and go from there. Hope fully, those rumours can be substantiated or maybe not if they were negative. There is often an element of truth to family rumours. Figuring out the truthful part is sometimes not possible.

Use a research planner to track your research.

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