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Tracking Family Histories with Marriages

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/19/2007 | Genealogy

Those who dndeavour to trace their family history are in for an informative, challenging, and sometimes frustrating journey. Many spend years searching out their family history only to give up in the end. Things can be going great and information seems to be at your fingertips. Things can change quickly when months can go by without a single lead. Doing your genealogy can be hard but it is very rewarding in the end.

One would think that with todays technology, researching family history would be much easier. One must also remember, this new computer technology only goes back about 30 years. When searching beyond that many times you still must relay on old fashioned research and looking through paper records.

All isnt lost. Many people dont realize the wealth of information that is readily available. Public records are a great place to start and can give you leads on many other people to follow up on. Something that you could try, when tracing your family history is marriage certificates. All marriages must be documented and recorded. This is regardless of weather it is a church or civil ceremony. Everyone who enters into a marriage will recite copy of their marriage certificate. This will then be filed in the city or county where the marriage took place. Once they are filed, they are usually a matter of public record.

If the marriage certificate is a matter of public record then getting information could be very easy. You will have the names of the twp parties entering into the marriage as well as whom it was witnessed by. You will also have the time and date of the ceremony and the venue in which it took place. This can start you off in all kind of directions, giving you possible leads to follow.

When youre looking for people, generations past, before accurate public records were kept, marriage certificates can be a good source. Centuries ago, the church had a huge influence on peoples lives. Most would have been married in a religious ceremony. The church would have a record of this event taking place. Churches are known for keeping meticulous records going back as far as humanly possible. Again, the marriage certificate can be an excellent source to get you started.

The search for family history can be along and painful process. It can take years to find out who your relatives were. Many find the search is moving along fine when suddenly, everything stops. They have no leads for months. Many times it is a case of knowing what to look for. Marriage certificates are a great place to get information. If your relative was ever married there will be a written record of it somewhere. The details on a marriage certificate may be few but it can provide some insight to when and where the marriage took place. It can also give you more places to start looking and more people to track down. Genealogy can be a challenge; however with some knowledge of where to get started your research time can go much quicker.