Home Source Genealogy Records

The subject of today’s article, home source genealogy records is one of those genealogy basics that is easy for family researchers to overlook.  You may have important family history information helpful to your genealogy hidden in your home and not even realize it.

Conducting a thorough investigation of available home sources should be one of the first things every beginning genealogist undertakes.  Lurking in what might seem like everyday paperwork may be important clues to family member activities.  Especially overlooked are those sources not traditionally considered as “genealogy records”.

My intent is to help you think a little deeper about what may be lurking undiscovered in your basement, attic, storage unit, filing cabinet or desk drawers.  This is one of those rare times where having pack rat tendencies can actually payoff.

For extra motivation, you can use this search for information as an opportunity to get more organized.  Looking through your stuff gives you an opportunity clear out clutter and better utilize what you own.

Use this checklist below as a guide to sources of information you might find in your home or the home of a relative.  Now get busy and see how many new useful bits of information you can discover and plug right away into your family history.

Master List Of Home Sources

  • adoption papers

  • baby books

  • bank statements

  • bankruptcy records

  • baptismal records

  • birth certificates

  • birthday cards

  • burial plot purchase documents

  • burial records

  • business ledgers

  • church directories

  • civil/criminal case files

  • confirmation records

  • custody orders

  • death certificates

  • deeds

  • diaries/journals

  • diplomas

  • divorce files

  • driver's license/state ID cards

  • estate settlements

  • family bibles

  • foreclosure paperwork

  • funeral programs

  • income tax records

  • letters

  • life insurance policies

  • local history books

  • marriage certificates

  • mass cards

  • medical records

  • membership cards

  • military discharge papers

  • military enlistment papers

  • military medals

  • military
    pension papers

  • military service records

  • mortgages

  • naturalization papers

  • newspaper announcements: birth, engagement, marriage, death

  • newspaper obituaries

  • newspaper school honor rolls
  • newspaper society pages

  • newspaper sports clippings

  • passports

  • pay stubs

  • pictures

  • portraits

  • postcards

  • probate files

  • professional directories

  • property surveys

  • property tax paperwork

  • receipts

  • report cards

  • school awards

  • school pictures

  • school transcripts

  • school yearbooks

  • scrapbooks

  • social security cards

  • sports programs

  • sympathy cards

  • vacation albums

  • wedding albums

  • wills

  • work ID cards

The lesson here is that investing a small amount of time to take inventory of what you have in your house can pay big dividends in better genealogy and a cleaner house.  Happy hunting!

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Applying the Genealogy Proof Standard to your Research

5 Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid

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Find Records

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Researching Ancestors through Military Records

Using the National Archives (NARA) for Genealogy Research

Using U.S. Census Records

Finding Homestead Records

Canadian Genealogy Research using the Internet

Researching British Genealogy


Genealogy Source Citations Made Easy

Finding Family History Books

Listening to Genealogy Podcasts Made Easy

Using Cyndi’s List for Genealogy Research

Researching Ancestors Using Obituaries