Missouri Western State University Merit Badge College 16 March 2013 Genealogy Merit Badge
Pre-requisites • To sign off the merit badge today you should have already completed the following: • Created a timeline for yourself or a relative and from that timeline written a short biography or Kept a journal for 6 weeks. • Interviewed a relative or family acquaintance • Obtained at least on genealogical document. • Created a pedigree chart with at least 3 generations • Created two family group records
Workbooks • Please fill out the workbook as we discuss the different aspects of Genealogy.
What is Genealogy? (Req. 1) • Genealogy (ge·ne·al·o·gy): the study or investigation of ancestry and family histories. • Who were they? • Where did they live? • What were they like?
Ancestor or Descendant • Ancestor (an·ces·tor) • a person from whom one is descended (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc) • Descendant (de·scen·dant) • an individual descended from another (child, grandchild, great- grandchild, etc)
Where to Begin: Who are You? (Req. 2) • Create a timeline of your life. • List Important Events: Birth, Schooling, Vacations, Scouting, Family, Memories. • Ask parents and grandparents to tell you about things that occurred in your life before you can remember • Use these notes to write a short biography of yourself. • Update this timeline and biography every year. • Write in a Journal
Next Step: Learn from living relatives (Req. 3) • Talk to your parents and grandparents. • Ask them about their childhood. • Where did they go to school? • What were their friends like? • What did they like doing? • What were their brothers/sisters/cousins like? • What do they remember about their parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles. • Record their stories (Tape and Written)
Now where do you go? Obtain as much information as you can from your parents and grandparents. • Get Names, Dates, and Places • If possible obtain records and documents • Get copies of photographs (label them) Record the Information you obtain on Pedigree Charts and Family Group Records. Include where you got the information!
Genealogy Software Legacy Family Tree (www.legacyfamilytree.com) Family Tree Builder (www.myheritage.com/family-tree-builder) Personal Ancestral File (https://www.familysearch.org/products)
How do I find more Information?Genealogical Resources: (Req. 4a) • Vital Records • Birth, Marriage, Death records • Census Records • Every 10 years from 1790. Privacy laws mean that only through 1930 have been released • State Records • Land deeds, wills, pension records • Libraries • Books and microfilm resources • Internet • Family papers, bibles etc. Birth Obituary Will Census
Evaluating Records (Req. 4c) • Primary Records: • A record that was created at the time of the event. Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Marriage Record, etc. • Only primary source for that event. • Secondary Records: • Information recorded at a time other than the event. Example: Birth date listed on death certificate. • Secondary information can be incorrect. If a close family member were to die, and you were asked to fill out the death certificate, would you be able to accurately remember that person’s birth date, mother’s maiden name, etc.
Vital Record: Death Certificates • Primary Source: • Death date • Death place • Burial Place • Secondary Source: • Birth Information • Parent’s Information • Spouse Information
Census Records Taken every 10 years as required by the US Constitution 1790 – 1840: Lists heads of households only 1850 – 1930: Lists all members of household 1940 – 2010: Not released to public yet. 1890: Destroyed by Fire Information obtained from Censuses: Names of Family Members Ages at time of Census Birth Locations Where the Family Lived Not Terribly accurate! - neighbors frequently gave information. Only as accurate as the census taker.
Books, Websites, etc Information gathered and published by other researchers May Contain Errors Motherwell Memories
Obtaining Records • Family: Check with your parents/ grandparents, etc to see what records they have. Make photocopies or scanned images of these records. • Record Repository: courthouse, state or national archive, state library, genealogical library. • Internet: Watch for Primary, Secondary, and “Dubious” records.
Computers and Genealogy (Req. 8a) • Storage of Information: • FamilyTreeMaker • Legacy • Ancestral Quest • Sharing of Information: • Internet Sites • E-mail • Digital Photos • Finding Information: • Online Records • Computerized Document Searches • Google
Photography (Req. 8b) • Microfilming: Copying old records onto film that can be viewed and copied. • Allows more access to records that are falling apart. • Allows microfilms to be copied and stored in multiple facilities (libraries). • Duplicate copies in case originals are destroyed. • Microfilmed copies are now being digitized and copied into computer databases.
Evaluate Information • Do your detective work! • Do you have an original record? That’s great evidence – make sure you record where it came from. • Did you get it from someone else’s research? That’s questionable – check out their sources – hang on to the information as a “possible” • State something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing evidence, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to others. • Keep your mind open – your ancestors may not be who you think they are
Review Requirements • Use this time to complete • Timeline / Personal History • Prepare questions for relatives • Fill in Pedigree Chart and Family Group Records • Search Internet for Resources • I will come around and check off requirements for those who have completed the prerequisites.