Government Ancestry Records

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When searching Government Ancestry Records, don't expect to find all your information contained in one link, or in one record archive. In order to do a search for your ancestry, or a genealogical search, several different topics will need to be investigated. You can start with birth and death records, and then look in the census records.

There are land records to search, military service records, immigration records, and naturalization records; all of which can be useful in your ancestry quest. It takes a combination of many different types of searches to get the full scope of an ancestry search. All of these records are recorded with the government and are easily made available to the searching public.

The vital records division of government ancestry records is an excellent starting place. All the records mentioned above, as well as many that weren't mentioned, are public records that have been created due to people's interaction with government in the course of their lives. From birth to death, marriage, buying a house, a car, school graduation, military service; almost any activity of importance that has taken place in a persons' life, has been recorded in government documents.

Let's use the example of immigration records in our explanation of government ancestry records. Immigration records, which are also known as "ship passenger arrival records", can provide you with information like a person's nationality and place of birth, their age and height, as well as hair color and eye color. You can learn their profession and last place of residence, including the names and addresses of their relatives here in the States. You can even find out how much money they had on them at time of arrival. Immigration records have been recorded for arrivals to the States from foreign ports from around 1820 up until 1982.

Another arm of government ancestry records is in land records. Most of the land records that are of interest to searchers are the land entry case files. These records document the transferring of government public land to the status of private ownership. The National Archives supposedly holds more than ten million of these types of transactions. More information stemming from the land entry case files comes in the form of 'tract books'. These books are divided into geographical areas which are 'Eastern States' and 'Western States', and are arranged by the legal descriptions given to the land. When searching government ancestry records, the National Archives are full of insights into different peoples' lives, with loads of information about their families and their personal histories.

The National Archive records are made up from every branch of the Federal Government, so nearly any American can find out information about themselves, their ancestors, or their communities. It's a great resource for ancestry hunters, and it all stems from how these people interacted with the government. Again, many different searches can put the pieces of the puzzle together for you, but this article has given you good places to start your Government Ancestry Records search.

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This article was published on 2010/03/29