Friday, August 27, 2010

A Primary Document

A "Primary Document" is any historical document written during the life time of the person under research. It is any civil, legal, or governmental record written during the life span of this person. Examples are deeds, wills, court orders and records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records, census data, military records, and tax records. A primary document may also be any family, personal, religious, or social record, such as Bible records, personal letters, diary, business or other items which involve communications or references to the person being researched. Finally, there is any document written during the life of the individual from any other source such as letters, newspaper articles, and diary which is written by others about the individual you are collecting documentation.

The item to the right is an example of a primary document for my Grandfather and Grandmother Ewen. It is their marriage record written 21st March 1918. Pretend it is one from your family and identify what information it contains.

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