Sources play a key role in genealogy.
A source is anything (personal testimony, video recording, photograph, newspaper column, gravestone...) from which (genealogical) information can be derived.
It is useful to make the following distinctions between sources:
- Primary source: firsthand evidence of history, made at the time of the event. For example, diaries, certificates, newspapers, ...
- Secondary source: accounts of history based upon primary and secondary sources, offering commentary and analysis, such as history books, genealogical publications,...
- Tertiary source: a selection and compilation from primary and secondary sources. For example, library catalogues, bibliographies, ...
Most important genealogical sources
- Census records