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    Using Cemetery Records to Learn about Your Family History

    When people are researching their family histories, they often use a number of official documents for facts, including cemetery records. These records can hold a lot of information that you may not be able to find anywhere else. In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised at just how much you will learn just from cemetery records. Here are some of the facts that these records contain that will help you with your genealogical research:

    • How a person died
    • Where a person died
    • The name of the attending physician at the time of death
    • Names of the next of kin of the deceased, including spouses and children
    • Names of the parents and/or siblings of the deceased (This information is not always available from cemetery records.)

    Family Tree Research: Getting Started

    One of the most difficult things about researching your family history is getting started. If you haven’t ever done anything like this before, you may have no idea what to do with any information that you may already have, including cemetery records. Here are some tips that will help you get started with your genealogical research:

    • Start with your immediate family. This is the easiest information to get and you can get a lot of first-hand information as well as the information you will find in cemetery records and other documents. Don’t forget to ask relatives, especially older ones, to tell you as many stories from the past as possible.
    • Organize your research. If you have started to gather documents such as cemetery records, you need to organize them. You can use your own filing system, but one of the best ways to do this is to file them in one large records file, with sub-files for the various types of records.
    • Keep many different files. You are going to have all kinds of documents and other snippets of information, and if you don’t file everything so that it is easy to find, you will have a rough time of it when you finally start to do the actual writing.
    • Get a tape recorder. You are going to be talking to many family members to get information, and instead of getting writer’s cramp taking notes, it is a lot easier to have a small tape recorder with you. Better yet, get a voice recorder that you can hook up to your computer and download the conversations into word documents.

    Using cemetery records is an excellent way to get a lot of great information for your family tree research. Accessing these records is relatively easy. All you have to do is contact the cemeteries and request copies of their records, for which there may be a small administrative fee. You can also go online and look up the cemeteries and make your requests right online, which takes a lot less time and is much easier. If you are going to start a project such as a family tree, you need to make sure that you are organized and have all of the documents you need, including cemetery records.

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