Home is Where the Records Are: How to Mine Your Closets for Genealogical Gems


The advent of the internet was a game-changer for amateur genealogists. Now that billions of scanned documents and photographs are available online, it’s possible to discover information from other continents and centuries with the simple click of a button. However, it’s also easier to run into misinformation and head in the wrong direction, and online research is only useful for records that have actually been uploaded and published online.
Though the world is much smaller thanks to online tools, you may not need any technology at all to tap into your most useful resource: your own home. Remember that legitimate genealogy — the kind that could be useful to future generations and current distant relatives alike — is rooted in verification. While online family trees, message boards and digital databases might give you valuable names and dates, only official records, photographs and other authenticated sources are trustworthy enough to inspire real progress on your family tree.
Some of the most valuable and accurate information about your family tree could be waiting just a few feet away. As you comb through your closets, attic, basement, crawl space and storage shed for more information about your relatives, keep an eye out for these authentic genealogy gems...