Family Tree Reports – Basic Sources for Family Tree Reports

The secret to building successful family tree reports lies in a strong foundation of source material. Probably the most important of those sources are the Civil Registration Records of Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates. These are crucial documents for verifying any other data found while building family tree reports and can be used to trace your family tree back further in time. We’ll explain the nature of these sources, where you can locate them, and the various ways you can utilize the information contained in them to construct family tree reports.

Using Civil Registration Certificates to Build Family Tree Reports

The birth, death and marriage of every citizen are recorded in official documentation in most countries around the world. This vital information is quite easily accessed, and crucial to developing family tree reports. Each certificate produced contains and confirms the details of each particular event, although the actual content of each document may vary. Indexes for these registers are usually chronological, following a definite timeline, making it possible to perform an ancestors search by date rather than geographical location. To make any use of BDM certificates though, you must at least possess an idea of when a person was born.

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What to Look for in BMD (Birth, Marriage and Death) Certificates

As you find your relatives, it is essential to enter the information contained in these documents into your family tree reports. Generally you will begin with yourself, entering your vital data and repeating the process for each person to be included in your family tree reports. If you don’t have a birth certificate for certain ancestors, you can locate other documentation connected to them from that of other relatives.

For instance, if you have a birth certificate for your grandmother who was born in 1915 in a specific location, it will contain the names of her father and mother – your great grandparents. You would expect their marriage to have taken place sometime before 1915, so would have an idea of where to look for their marriage certificate.

That marriage certificate will contribute to your family tree reports by providing information such as; the names of your great-great grandparents,

Their occupations and where they lived. You can begin to see how one document can lead you to another while researching for family tree reports.

Death certificates yield a little less genealogical data of value to family tree reports, yet still contribute to finding relatives. Usually only containing information about the deceased, they can tell us the person’s age, which can lead you to a birth certificate identifying their parents. The death certificate will indicate where the person died, which can help you to locate other sources such as Wills and Burial records which may contain more useful information.

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Research Tips for Building Family Tree Reports

Certain general rules can be followed to maximize the results of the research you do for family tree reports. Keep the following tips in mind when searching for Civil Registration Records and you’ll construct family tree reports of exceptional genealogical value.

  • Begin with the last known family birth you can find for which you have a birth certificate.
  • Remember that some marriage certificates don’t provide exact ages, and may contain terms like "full age" or "legal age" instead. This would indicate that a person was 21 years of age or above, and if they were less than 21, it might say "minor". If this is the case, begin searching for birth certificates for them from 16 – 20 years prior to the marriage date. This might be a long process, but may help you to locate data needed to complete family tree reports.
  • Check and Double-Check names and data. You will frequently come across same names or more than one potential match for your ancestor when researching for family tree reports. The only sure way to discover which one is correct is to order the original birth certificates for those who are the closest match, and compare the data on them with information you already have on the person.

Constructing family tree reports involves a lot of tireless research and analysis. The rewards far outweigh the efforts though, and following the advice we’ve given will help to eradicate some of the roadblocks you may encounter when composing family tree reports. Be patient and persevere, and those elusive ancestors you thought you would never find will find their way into your family tree reports.

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