18 October 2008

Read the certificate very carefully

Essential resources for anyone starting to explore their genealogy are certificates handed down through the family. Read them very carefully.

At last month's BIFHSGO conference a person looking to start her research came to the consultation desk looking to find the date of emigration of her ancestor to Canada from the UK. We tried the Find My Past database of departing ships passenger lists from the UK and found a few possibilities.

I asked if she had any other documentation and she produced a well-creased original birth certificate. Although not conclusive that certificate, with information on a birth a couple of decades earlier, also held a useful hint as to which voyage was more likely. The certificate was issued a few weeks prior to the departure of one of those possible voyages. Had the certificate been obtained in connection with the emigration?

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