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I Want To Do My Family Tree, Where Do I Start?

Following the Guides: Volume 3 Edition 7!


If you have been following the instructions, great! If not you might first want to check the genealogy sections located in our archives.


Locating & Utilizing Church Records

It is extremely important to know how to Locating Church Records

trace your Ancestors through Church Records. If you read the next column, you will understand why.

Basic church records include marriage record, from this one document, you can learn plenty, such as the date, the bride and groom's parents names and who took part in the actual ceremony. This will lead you to other areas of research. The actual marriage license can produce even more information, now you have a date with which to search through local marriage records, where you will be able to find reported dates and places of birth.

You can also go into local newspaper archives and look for engagement and/or wedding announcements. This is another area where more clues may be hiding; such as town, state or country of birth.

No matter what the denomination, all congregations maintained records of some type. At the very least, one should be able to locate records concerning the congregation and its members. Record types and variations thereof, are specific to specific denominations. Both Catholic and Presbyterian church records are normally very complete in recording baptisms, marriages, deaths and membership; Catholics also include confirmation records. Baptist records are usually less complete, marriage records are actually kept as part of the minister's personal files. Jewish records may contain bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah records.

In short, there just may be a treasure awaiting your discovery.




June 2002

My Progress: Stage 6

In our last edition, the reader was taken through another series of retracing my steps, as I looked through obituaries. A few weeks prior, we discussed how I was using obituaries and tombstones to locate information while I awaited copies of records from the church that many of my family members had at least had funeral services conducted from.

This church, although in a small rural community is extremely busy and I had to wait more than two months to receive my initial information. I received a packet of information, with a small attached note indicating that the receptionist had been extremely busy and therefore was able only to locate a few pieces of documentation. My request had been for information regarding the family of my grandfather, Michael Nunweiler. I received a copy of the marriage certificate for my grandparents, a copy of the baptismal certificate for my deceased aunt and an uncle and a sheet containing some burials from the church. On the burial sheet was information about my mother's infant sister who passed away at the age of 9-months, my grandfather, and two of my grandfather's relatives; pay dirt!

Since I had been unable to locate any information on my grandfather's date of death, with the exception of the year, I now had an approximate date (date of burial) and the town he had passed away in, a town some 25 miles away. There had also been no record indicating the birth or baptism of my mother's infant sister, there had been no tombstones or cemetery records indicating that she had ever existed, I finally had solid evidence to back up my mother's statement.

Stop by on July 7, for our next update of this page.

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Genealogical Links

*Albany County, NY Naturalization Records Database
1821 - 1991

* Surname Search with Coat of Arms

* Any Birthday Database

* Virtual Vietnam Memorial Wall

* Pearl Harbor Casualty List

* POW / MIA Database

* Korean War Casualty Database

* Vietnam Casualty Database

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Page Last Updated 6/23/2002
C 2002 L Munro