Member of the National Genealogical Society 2018
Member of the New Mexico Genealogical Society 2018

Why Do I Need Sources On My Family Tree?

Sources is the method you utilize to prove your work. Just because someone said Mary Smith was married to your ancestor in 1845, how do you know this?

For example, in the United States women were rarely on documentation until the 1850 census. They appeared on marriage certificates, and their own birth or baptismal certificates. There were rare instances where they appeared in a newspaper article.

Walk through any cemetery and you will see stones that say something like, "Sarah, wife of J. P. Andersen" - she didn't even warrant her own identity or last name. So proving female lines (and particularly maiden names) before 1850 can be a bit tricky.

Thus, in comes Sources. Family research isn't about having the most names; it's about having valid family members, each with their own story. And sources are a great way of telling their story more thoroughly. You can actually find out even more information through Sources.

Last night I once again discovered a woman who was born in two different states, two different counties, and married in two different counties on the same day! No one even looked at the Sources to see the mess that was being created on this woman. All they wanted was another name on the tree.

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