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Revision as of 01:51, 9 May 2010 by Romjerome (Talk | contribs) (Official documents)

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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:

  1. Primary source: firsthand evidence of history, made at the time of the event. For example, diaries, certificates, newspapers, ...
  2. Secondary source: accounts of history based upon primary and secondary sources, offering commentary and analysis, such as history books, genealogical publications,...
  3. Tertiary source: a selection and compilation from primary and secondary sources. For example, library catalogues, bibliographies, ...

Most important genealogical sources

Official documents

Religious documents