Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Is Your Favorite Record Type?

It’s Saturday night, I’m back on Pacific time (because Arizona doesn’t do DST) and the first day of spring has arrived! Life is good. 🙂

Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings has issued this week’s challenge for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

1) What is your favorite record type or resource?  Not a website, but a type of record – e.g., census, cemetery, land, etc.  Why?

I’d have to say I have two favorite record types, depending on where I am researching:

For my Carpatho-Rusyn half of the family tree, it has to be church records, which are quite good (not excellent, though, due to some sloppy record keeping), and, not coincidentally, parish registers are the one and only resource for finding family information.

Rusyns in the 1800s were mostly poor peasants, who owned nothing and had no opportunity for education. That pretty much eliminates items such as land deeds, probate, tax records and family Bibles.

In general, for my American ancestors, I’d have to say probate records are my favorite record set because they might not only name the deceased, a spouse and children, the will or, better yet, intestate records, name FAN club members – friends, associates and neighbors.

From them, I’ve learned names of children from multiple marriages, collateral relatives, with whom an ancestor did business, churches attended and identified some close friends.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include one more set of favorite records. For those with Swedish or Danish ancestry, if the name of an ancestral village is known, records of Scandinavian countries include baptisms, marriages, burials, moving in/moving out records (yes, the minister kept a list of who moved into town and from where and who moved out of town and where they went), censuses and tax records.

As a whole, I’d have to say that Scandinavian records rank in first place in terms of quality and completeness of all the record types in various places that I’ve used in my personal research.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge. They are always fun.


One thought on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Is Your Favorite Record Type?”

  1. I have to admit that Swedish church records are fantastic, whether in Sweden or in the US. They were great record keepers. I like probate records, too, when they are available.

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