Author Topic: Records Quiz  (Read 1303 times)

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Offline impleri

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Records Quiz
« on: December 25, 2010, 11:11:11 PM »
Hi all,
I've been merging multiple genealogies from different parts of my family into one, then verifying the data. I've been torn between how much records to keep, so I wanted to ask the crowd here: how much records do you keep? Birth records? Death? Marriage? Census forms? Wills? Phonebook excerpts? Photos of gravestones?

Personally, I see birth, death, and marriage certificates (when possible) as a good minimum for anyone born after those records existed (aside: I have found WV's vital records database to be absolutely excellent for anyone of these between 1840 and 1900). I'm ambivalent about census data (it's nice to know what part of a city they lived, but is it really useful to know their every move?).

Offline woadgrrl

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Re: Records Quiz
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 04:19:59 AM »

Personally, I see birth, death, and marriage certificates (when possible) as a good minimum for anyone born after those records existed (aside: I have found WV's vital records database to be absolutely excellent for anyone of these between 1840 and 1900). I'm ambivalent about census data (it's nice to know what part of a city they lived, but is it really useful to know their every move?).

I think it depends entirely on what you want to accomplish with your genealogy.  If you're really just wanting to have the names and dates as far back as you can find, then the vital records are enough.  If you're interested in trying to really delve in and find out about the individuals and their lives, or if you're hoping that someone in the future might do so, then keeping the the more detailed records is useful, as it can help create the link between the individuals and specific events that may have impacted their lives and decisions.  For example, if you know what neighborhood someone lived in, who was in their household, etc., it can make it easier to skim newspaper archives for mentions of those people or that neighborhood.

So, it's really up to you.  Personally, I'm the packrat type anyhow, so I keep everything.  It's not as though it's really hard to do that these days, since everything can be stored electronically.