Genealogy Research Source Record

While performing research on a particular individual or family unit¬† it’s best to keep close track of which records have been sourced.¬† Birth, death, marriage and census records in particular are often referenced by the authority holding the information.

These are referred to as case numbers, file numbers and the like. These are records where the location, county, region, city and state information accompanies a file or reference number along with a date of record. To request official records from a government or other local agency this data is necessary. Keeping a detailed form containing this data is paramount in maintaining a file with verifiable records.

Genealogy Research Source Record
Genealogy Research Source Record

Keeping a genealogy source record for items you find online can be tricky. All sources of critical data you will find while researching your family tree online came from a tangible source. Citing sources such as “” is the mistake many people make. You must document the original source that the online record was derived from, and document as much information about that record as possible.

If you are not able to view a scan of the original document online, it will be beneficial to request an actual copy from the original source of information. Be wary of all typed text online. There can be no verification that the data was entered correctly without seeing the original document. Be sure to note whether a source you’re citing included a scanned image of the original or if the information is only listed as a typed entry from a list on a web page.

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