What do we mean by this? We mean primary resources and secondary sources. As an amateur genealogist, these are the main types of resources you will be dealing with throughout your ancestry journey. You’d want to be looking for as many primary resources as you can as these are far more trustworthy. It may take some verification on any secondary resources that you have obtained but if they are legitimate then they will be equally as important.
Primary Genealogy Resources
There is a huge amount of primary resources just waiting to be discovered. Most people think of primary resources as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates. However, there is a lot more than you think. Church registers and censuses are credible pieces of information for discovering where your ancestors lived. Some indexes and transcriptions of the primary resources can be subject to errors and omissions. So try and find any secondary resources that can verify the information in the primary resource.
Secondary Resources used by Genealogists
Now secondary resources are a lot easier to come by. However, as common sense may tell you, these can be a lot less credible and trustworthy. As you gain more experiences, you will be able to get better at telling what’s a good source of information and what is a bad source of information. It all comes with experience. If you are still new to the genealogy lifestyle, a good tip would be to try and find another record with the same information, or a resource that can verify that piece of information. Secondary resources can come in the shape of transcriptions of original documents, indexes of original books and documents or the family history research has been performed by someone else. All of these need to be checked against the original primary resource. Be careful though, as transcripts and indexes are prone to having errors in them.
Unreliable Genealogy Resources
Unfortunately, one of the most common places to find unreliable resources for your family history is on other researcher’s pages. The amount of researchers that haven’t checked the credibility of those unreliable transcripts and indexes is far too many. This means that a substantial amount of information on the web may not be reliable. It is important to try and keep an eye out for any of these sites and pieces of information as it may hinder your progress, or throw you off of your track completely.
How we can help you
As you gather more experience on your genealogical journey, you will train yourself to depict good resources from bad ones. But sometimes you do hit a wall and don’t know where to go next. https://www.british-genealogy.com/ has a forum, which is free to sign up for, and you can ask thousands of people at the same time for any advice that you need. They can help get you on your journey again.