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This table can help you decide which records to search using the following steps:

Step 1. In column 1, find your goal.

Step 2. In column 2, find the types of records most likely to have the information you need.

Step 3. In column 3, find additional records that may be useful.

1. What you are looking for: 2. Try these records first: 3. Other useful records
Age Census, Civil Registration, Church Records Cemeteries, Obituaries, Military Records
Birth date Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Military Records, Occupations
Birthplace Census, Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Occupations, Military Records
Place of foreign birth (not England) Church Records, Census Emigration and Immigration, Military Records
Boundaries (parish, district, or county) Gazetteers Maps, History
Death information Civil Registration, Church Records, Obituaries, Newspapers, Cemeteries Probate Records, Court Records, Land and Property, Military Records
Emigration information See the FamilySearch Wiki article for the country to which the ancestor immigrated. Emigration and Immigration, Church Records
Historical background History, Genealogy Church History
Language helps Language and Languages
Living relatives Directories, Civil Registration Societies, Newspapers, Periodicals
Maiden name Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Cemeteries
Marriage information Church Records, Civil Registration, Genealogy, Periodicals Newspapers, Biography, Nobility, Cemeteries
Naming customs Names (Personal)
Noble families Heraldry, Nobility
Occupation Church Records, Census, Directories, Civil Registration, Occupations, Probate Records Court Records, Obituaries, Officials and Employees, Military Records, Taxation
Parents, children, and other family members Census, Obituaries, Probate Records Church Records, Newspapers, Civil Registration
Physical description Military Records, Court Records Church Records, Newspapers, Civil Registration
Place-finding aids Gazetteers, Directories, Maps History, Taxation, Land and Property, Periodicals
Places of residence Census, Church Records, Directories Land and Property, Probate Records, Taxation
Place of residence when you know only the county Directories, Census, Probate Records, Civil Registration Church Records, Taxation
Previous research (compiled genealogy) Biography, Genealogy, Societies Nobility, Periodicals
Record-finding aids Archives and Libraries, Genealogy Societies, Periodicals
Religion Church Records, Biography, Obituaries, Civil Registration Cemeteries, Genealogy, History, Probate Records
Social activities Social Life and Customs, History Societies