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Genealogy - Census Records  

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014 URL: http://researchguides.wcu.edu/genealogy-census_records Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Introduction

What is Genealogy?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is "an account of one's descent from an ancestor or ancestors, by enumeration of the intermediate persons; a pedigree."  Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.

Why is it Important?

You can understand and discover the importance of your  family in the larger historical picture, preserve the past for future generations, and provide accurate storytelling.  Researching family history is an extremely popular hobby, now more than ever. There are many reasons for its increased popularity, but perhaps the biggest is the ever-growing use of the Internet. The Internet has changed the ways in which a family tree is researched, making it easier than ever. Records are now infinitely more accessible, research can be done at any time of day or night, and results are available at a much quicker pace.

Getting Started

This guide will aid you in your research of family history and ancestry by providing you with the tools to find and search genealogical information. These tools include useful databases, websites, organizations, and other resources that will help you discover your family roots and their place in history!

Where to start...

  • Ancestry.com
    Ancestry provides an easy to use format for accessing genealogical records. You can search through birth, death, voter, military, and Census records. Ancestry also allows you to create your own family tree or search through others' trees. This is a great resource for first time genealogists who are just beginning their research. To access all of Ancestry's resources a home subscription or library subscription is necessary.
  • FamilySearch
    FamilySearch is another great place to begin your research. Like Ancestry.com, it is an easy to use database of genealogical information and includes similar records such as birth, death, marriage, and land owner information. However, unlike Ancestry.com, no subscription is necessary.
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