I was going to entitle this post “Gathering the Documents”, but this title seems to work so much better(!).
I have started gathering the documents needed to prove my lineage and join the DAR. I need to prove the birth, marriage and death (if applicable) dates for each generation back to James Harward. That shouldn’t be too hard, the research has been done. It is a matter of printing the documents I need.
I discovered I was missing documents for those generations closest to me. I have/had them in person, I didn’t have their documents. I had to search for my own documents. Just where did I file my marriage certificate? After a thorough search of where it should be, I finally found it – in my wedding scrapbook. Not the best place for it, but that was in my pre-genealogy days. All has been properly filed this week.
I also discovered I did not have the needed documentation for my grandparents. I had bits and pieces, but had never pursued their birth certificates. I was not even sure they had birth certificates. Birth certificates were not issued until 1913. If a child was born at home, especially in rural communities, often the birth was not recorded in the early years of the law. Often a delayed birth certificate was filed.
James Lester Howard was born in 1915 in rural Lee County, NC. I called the register of deeds office for that county and spoke to a most helpful woman. She performed a quick look up and discovered that Granddaddy did have a delayed birth certificate on file. For 25 cents I could have a copy.
Cecile Clara White was born in 1917 in rural Surry County, NC. I spoke to a register of deeds office employee there as well and she, too, performed an “on the spot” look up. Grandmom also had a delayed birth certificate on file. Again, for 25 cents I could obtain a copy. I was instructed to tape a quarter to my request letter.
I promptly ordered both documents.
On a side note: These register of deeds employees could not have been more helpful. (Who knows, I might even be related to them.) I find some of the most helpful people to my research in small county courthouses and records offices. I think that’s why I enjoy on-site courthouse research so much.
Genealogy friends, Do you have the vital records documents on your closest generations?