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This content is taken from the University of Strathclyde's online course, Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsHello, and welcome to week three of your course, Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree. This week we're going to be exploring the different types of major sources that genealogists use around the world. Not every country has all of these sources available, but there should be something within this week for everybody. So, broadly, we're going to consider the main source types-- why they're created, who created them, what you can do with them, issues, challenges, and opportunities that they may present when you're looking for your family members. We're going to be looking at civil records, and, broadly, these contain birth, marriage, and death records created by governments.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsThen we'll look for-- look at religious records, broadly looking at a number of Christian denominations, but we'll also consider a few non-Christian faiths as well. And then we're going to look-- move on and look at census records. Not every country created census records, but they are a rich resource for genealogists. So we'll consider some census substitutes for those countries of particular interest. Finally, we'll take a look at military records and how those are created. We'll also be using a set of birth, marriage, and death records, and getting in-depth with those. And using them to fill in a family tree, so that you can have a sense of how these can be interrogated, and used in your research.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 secondsSo, through this we'll look at some indirect and direct evidence. And then, we'll look at the importance of archives in preserving and providing important family information, and what data can be considered and used through them. Finally, we'll look at how to evaluate databases, in terms of what they cover, the ease of use, rates of transcription and how good they are with transcription, and other important issues, and which should help you decide what databases you might want to use for your personal research. So you'll also get a chance to discuss, which databases you've used, and how you found them useful. So I hope you enjoy this week.

Welcome to Week 3

In Week 3, we’ll be exploring the different major types of sources used by genealogists around the world.

Not every country has all these sources available but there should be something here for everyone. Broadly we’ll consider why the records were created, who created them and any issues, challenges and opportunities that they may present when you are searching for family members.

We’ll take a set of birth marriage and death records and show how these can be used to fill in a family tree and this will link back to our discussion of indirect evidence in week one.

The importance of archives and other organisations in preserving and providing important family history data will be considered and…finally, we’ll think about how to evaluate databases in terms of their ease of use, transcription error rate and other important issues and how to decide which databases to use for particular research questions.

We also invite you to discuss which databases you’ve used and found helpful in your family history research.

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This video is from the free online course:

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

University of Strathclyde