Traditional Genealogy Records

Traditional Genealogy Records

Death records are important in adding information to our Individual Profile (IP). Today more and more of these can be found online. Our main goal here is to find an obituary or death notice, which contains valuable information about someone in the family circle. These notices generally include names of all immediate family members—including married names of daughters, name of funeral home, and possibly the name of cemetery. The following are useful in searching for death information. Death certificates have been required in most locales since early in the 20th century. The key information shown often includes parents’ names, name of cemetery and funeral home, as well as date of death. VitalChek lists where to send for vital records including (birth, marriage, and death) in the USA.

Social Security Death Index (SSDI) lists over 70M individuals whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the United States. It mostly lists individuals who died after 1962 and who had a social security number (i.e. who were in the work force) and allows searches by name or another field. The database gives the individual’s Social Security Number, birth date (as reported to the SSA by the applicant), the date of death (usually just the month and year), where his or her last benefit was sent (not the place where the death occurred), and the state where the original application to the SSA was made (not where the person was born). Once you know the month of death you can search elsewhere for the death notice or obituary. You can search the SSDI at FamilySearch™.

Obits and death notices can be found in the local newspaper where the death occurred or where the person lived. These newspapers are usually found on microfilm in your local library. You can call the library directly and ask the reference librarian for help in finding what you need. Alternatively, you can ask your own local library to see if they can obtain the specific microfilm via inter-library loan. There are many newspapers that now have online indices, which also can be searched. You can either talk to the local librarian or search Cyndi’s List for a current list.

Another option is a group of volunteers who do obituary lookups. Check the Obituary Lookup Volunteers website. Once you know the name of the cemetery, you can contact it and ask for any records on file on the deceased and for the name of next of kin. Generally, in an effort to protect the family, they will not provide this information. They will, however, often be willing to forward a letter from you to that individual. Similarly, funeral homes maintain records that have information about the next of kin, sometimes even with addresses and phone numbers.

While we have focused only on a narrow set of records here, many additional ‘traditional’ genealogical records can add clues to our search. These records include marriage, birth, census, city directories, property, and many others. Again, as you do more of your family research and discover more of these documents, you will be able to go back to your search for more living relatives.

Family Records

Family Records

Search all of your family storage areas, in and out, from top to bottom of the home. Include the attic, storage closets, basements, garage, trunks, safe, deposit boxes, and so forth. Encourage your relatives to make similar searches in their storage areas.

Your second cousin, great-aunt, or other relative may already have gathered some family information. Most families have at least one relative who keeps track of cousins’ birthdays, anniversaries, or deaths. Learn who that relative is. When information is found, offer to pay for the cost of photocopying and postage.

We can gather the family history information others in our family have already prepared by:
• Asking our family members if they have any written information about the family, including ancestral maps, ancestral books, letters, stories, family group records, pedigree charts, school records, certificates, pictures, and artifacts such as wood carvings, tapa designs, etc.
• Ask if you may have a copy of what they have.

Be sure to ask your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, other relatives and friends of the family for help in finding. If there have been multiple marriages, be sure to ask members or descendants of those unions. They just might have the very letter, document, book, or story for which you are searching.

Official Documents

  • Certificates of birth, marriage, and death
  • Wills, deeds, and property records
  • Military service and pension documents
  • Passports
  • Naturalization documents
  • Medical records
  • Licenses (business, marriage, fishing, driving)
  • School records
  • Insurance policies

Books and Albums

  • Family Bibles
  • Scrapbooks and albums
  • Baby and wedding books
  • Books of Remembrance
  • Photograph Albums

Personal Writings

  • Journals and diaries
  • Personal histories and biographies
  • Letters and cards

Printed Notices and Announcements

  • Newspaper clippings and obituaries
  • Announcements of births, weddings, and anniversaries
  • Programs (award ceremonies, funerals)
  • Family reunion notices and records


  • Religious records
  • Fraternal or society records
  • Occupational awards

Types of Family Structures

Types of Family Structures


Family Structures

The following types of families exist today, with some families naturally falling into multiple categories. For example, a single parent family who lives in a larger, extended family. While these types of families are distinct in definition, in practice the lines are less clear.

Nuclear Family

The nuclear family is the traditional type of family structure. This family type consists of two parents and children. The nuclear family was long held in esteem by society as being the ideal in which to raise children. Children in nuclear families receive strength and stability from the two-parent structure and generally have more opportunities due to the financial ease of two adults. According to U.S. Census data, almost 70 percent of children live in a nuclear family unit.

SingleParent Family 

The single parent family consists of one parent raising one or more children on his own. Often, a single parent family is a mother with her children, although there are single fathers as well. The single parent family is the biggest change society has seen in terms of the changes in family structures. One in four children is born to a single mother. Single parent families are generally close and find ways to work together to solve problems, such as dividing up household chores. When only one parent is at home, it may be a struggle to find childcare, as there is only one parent working. This limits income and opportunities in many cases, although many single parent families have help from relatives and friends.

Extended Family

The extended family structure consists of two or more adults who are related, either by blood or marriage, living in the same home. This family includes many relatives living together and working toward common goals, such as raising the children and keeping up with the household duties. Many extended families include cousins, aunts or uncles and grandparents living together. This type of family structure may form due to financial difficulties or because older relatives are unable to care for themselves alone. Extended families are becoming increasingly common all over the world.

Childless Family

While most people think of family as including children, there are couples who either cannot or choose not to have children. The childless family is sometimes the “forgotten family,” as it does not meet the traditional standards set by society. Childless families consist of a husband and wife living and working together. Many childless families take on the responsibility of pet ownership or have extensive contact with their nieces and nephews as a substitute for having their own children.


Over half of all marriages end in divorce, and many of these individuals choose to get remarried. This creates the stepfamily which involves two separate families merging into one new unit. It consists of a new husband and wife and their children from previous marriages or relationships. Stepfamilies are about as common as the nuclear family, although they tend to have more problems, such as adjustment periods and discipline issues. Stepfamilies need to learn to work together and also work with their exes to ensure these family units run smoothly.

Grandparent Family

Many grandparents today are raising their grandchildren for a variety of reasons. One in fourteen children is raised by his grandparents, and the parents are not present in the child’s life. This could be due to parents’ death, addiction, abandonment or being unfit parents. Many grandparents need to go back to work or find additional sources of income to help raise their grandchildren.

Average percent DNA shared between relatives

Average percent DNA shared between relatives


To help in interpreting your DNA Relatives results, the following summarizes the average percent DNA shared for different types of relationships according to our simulations. You may notice that several relationships share the same average percent DNA.

Relationship Average % DNA Shared Range
Identical Twin 100% N/A
Parent / Child
Full Sibling
50% Varies by specific relationship
Grandparent / Grandchild
Aunt / Uncle
Niece / Nephew
Half Sibling
25% Varies by specific relationship
1st Cousin 12.5% 7.31% – 13.8%
1st Cousin once removed 6.25% 3.3% – 8.51%
2nd Cousin 3.13% 2.85% – 5.04%
2nd Cousin once removed 1.5% 0.57% – 2.54%
3rd Cousin 0.78% 0.3% – 2.0%
4th Cousin 0.20% 0.07% – 0.5%
5th Cousin 0.05% Variable
6th Cousin 0.01% Variable

Editable Family Group Record


Submit your information directly to Telly.  You can add family information here or you can download a editable Family Group Record pdf form by clicking here.

All information on this form is OPTIONAL.

When you had added as much information that you want, please send it back so I can update our tree.

Your Family Record


Your Father\\\'s Information


Your Mother\\\'s Information


Your Information


Your Sibling #1 Information


Your Sibling #2 Information


Your Sibling #3 Information


Your Sibling #4 Information


Your Partner\\\'s Information


Your Child #1 Information


Your Child #2 Information


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Additional information about this family record you want to add. The Information will be submitted directly to a que for review by Telly and will not be transmitted no where else.

what does the word kin mean


one’s family and relations.
“many elderly people have no kin to turn to for assistance”
synonyms: relatives, relations, family, family members, kindred, connections, clan, tribe, kith and kin, one’s own flesh and blood, nearest and dearest; More
(of a person) related.
“he was kin to the brothers”
synonyms: related, akin, allied, close, connected with, cognate with; More

kinship meaning

blood relationship.
synonyms: relationship, relatedness, being related, family ties, family connections, blood relationship, blood ties, common ancestry, common lineage, kindred, connection; More
a sharing of characteristics or origins.
plural noun: kinships
“they felt a kinship with architects”
synonyms: affinity, sympathy, kindred, rapport, harmony, understanding, alliance, association, empathy, closeness, fellow feeling, bond, community, communion, compatibility, link, accord, friendship, togetherness; More

difference between family and kin

What is the difference between kinship and family?


Family refers to two or more people interrelated through blood, marriage, fostering or adoption. Normally, a family is perceived to live together in the same household, albeit for varying duration’s. On the other hand, kinship refers to the system by which a given culture defines, determines and recognizes family roles, interactions and relationships. Kinship also defines and describes peoples’ rights, roles, powers and responsibilities in a family or clan setup.

Whereas kinship and family may both be viewed with respect to genetic origins and relationships, slight differences exist between these concepts. For instance, kinship may be attained through genetic relations, adoption and forms of ritualized practices such as marriage and household economies. Kinship could also be extended across tribes. Kinship falls in different sizes ranging from nuclear and extended family size to clan or tribal kinship. However, family is more restricted and does not extend to tribe or clan levels. A family is also composed of all the descendants of a common ancestor and is normally considered to include couples, children, single parents and other dependents. The main types of family are couple families, single parent families and parent-child relations. Compared to kinship, family is more about people with the same origin, history and character traits.

Why Grandparents Are Important

Why Grandparents Are Important

Blessed to know my paternal and maternal grandmothers, I have come to understand the great value of having a grandparent in my life. That value was greatly enriched for me when my paternal grandmother, Verneil Parker, passed away in 1995. With her passing I learned early that grandparents are precious jewels that should never be taken for granted. Grandparents serve an important role in both the family and community at large.

Bernice Myles was honored for chairing the annual Grandparents Day.

When founder, Marian McQuade, championed the cause for Grandparents Day in the late 1970s, she recognized the need to help elderly people in nursing homes balanced with the need to motivate grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage grandparents could provide. It is with this spirit that many have studied the role of the grandparent and have documented the sociological and psychological impact they have in society.

In an article by Sara Green entitled “Grandma’s Hands: Parental Perceptions of the Importance of Grandparents as Secondary Caregivers in families of Children With Disabilities,” she conducts a survey which describes the impact of grandparents.

Jimmie Roller, 42, was honored as the Youngest Grandparent, during the event. Pinkie Jefferson, age 82, was named “Oldest Grandparent.”

First, the survey found that grandparents are a common source of weekly assistance significantly more common than other relatives or friends and neighbors. Secondly, where grandparents participate, the number of other sources of support is also higher. Lastly, the article states that “help from grandparents has a positive, while the number of other sources of help has a negative, relationship to parental ability to maintain a positive emotional outlook and avoid physical exhaustion.” (Green) In other words, having help from a grandparent can be more beneficial and provide a much healthier and positive environment, than help from having a nanny or a babysitter.

In a study conducted by the Montana State University, the researchers identify four roles that grandparents play.  1) Family watchdog, 2) nurturer, 3) family historian, and 4) companion.  Although this list is not exhaustive, the research done by this university as well as other studies on confirm what most grandparents already know. They are not only important but are significant in the helping maintain the family and cultivate the generations coming up behind them. More than anything, some of these studies I believe, studies serve to confirm and validate the need for grandparents in our society and show that their role extends beyond the family setting.

Pearl Warren, 70, was honored for “Most Grandchildren” 64!

For the past two years I have had the opportunity to practice in the area of elder law as a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek. In that role, I have met so many wonderful seniors. In meeting these seniors, different from my non-senior clients, I occasionally find that although they are coming to me to seeking legal advice, I leave the meeting gaining a little knowledge or wisdom about life in general for myself.

What I have also gained in working with so many seniors is that the role of grandparent isn’t just limited to those biologically connected. I guess this is what Marian McQuade envisioned when advocating grandparents day.

As I reflect on my own life, while blessed to have a wonderful and supportive biological grandmother in Lois Key, there are some others, that I have no blood relation too, who have taken on the role of being a grandparent in my life. Having the helping hands of these surrogates has been just as instrumental and important in helping me to become the person I am today!

Shaping the lives of young people, being a positive influence and molding the next generations is probably the most significant role that grandparents play.  Beyond statistical data, the true evidence of the importance of grandparents lies in the countless stories of hope, encouragement and love that can be told by men, women and children from all walks of life.  I believe the late Alex Haley summed it up best when he said, “Grandparents do more for us than anyone else in the world; they sprinkle stardust in our eyes.” 

Happy Grandparents Day!


Kin – definition of kin by Family and Kin

Family and Kin

FamilyAndKin Google


a.  (used with a pl. verb) One’s relatives or family: visited my aunt and her kin.

b.  A relative or family member: Is she kin of yours?

2.  (used with a pl. verb) Organisms that are genetically related to another or others: cauliflower and its kin.

1.  Related genetically or in the same family.

2.  Related or similar; akin: “If he feels a wisp of longing for her … it is kin to what the serpent must have felt for Eve” (Barbara Klein Moss).



1. a person’s relatives collectively; kindred

2. a class or group with similar characteristics

3.  See next of kin

4.  (postpositive) related by blood

5.  a less common word for akin

[Old English cyn; related to Old Norse kyn family, Old High German kind child, Latin genus kind]



1.  all of a person’s relatives; kindred.

2.  a relative or kinsman.

3.  a group of persons tracing or claiming descent from a common ancestor, or constituting a family, clan, tribe, or race.

4.  someone or something of the same or similar kind.

5.  family relationship or kinship.
6.  of the same family; related; akin.

7.  of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
of kin, related; akin.

[before 900; Middle English; Old English cyn; c. Old Saxon, Old High German kunni, Old Norse kyn, Gothic kuni; akin to Latin genus, Greek génos, Skt jánas. compare gender1]

kin′less, adj.


a diminutive suffix of nouns: catkin.

[Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German -ken]


The family forms the basic unit of social organization and it is difficult to imagine how human society could function without it. The family has been seen as a universal social institution an inevitable part of human society. According to Burgess and Lock the family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting with each other in their respective social role of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister creating a common culture.G.P Murdock defines the family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults.

Nimkoff says that family is a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without child or of a man or woman alone with children. According to Maclver family is a group defined by sex relationships sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children.Kingsley Davis describes family as a group of persons whose relations to one another are based upon consanguinity and who are therefore kin to one another.Malinowski opined that the family is the institution within which the cultural traditions of a society is handed over to a newer generation. This indispensable function could not be filled unless the relations to parents and children were relations reciprocally of authority and respect. According to Talcott Parsons families are factories which produce human personalities.