Have you tried putting together a family tree and come to a dead end? Maybe you have a few family members you just can’t find or relatives that belong on your tree but you’re not sure where. We offer help for those looking for birth and death records and those who want to know where they can find all types of public records on the web.
Any type of record that you can access without submitting an official request is an example of a public record. Many of the records you need for genealogical research are civil records. Those records can include:
The federal government conducts a census once every 10 years. This allows workers to create records that help the government keep track of its citizens. These records go back decades and can help you find out where your family lived. The reports also show you the names of anyone who lived at the same address and both their ages and occupations. You can use those records to see how your family moved from one decade to the next and how their relatives moved at the same time.
Birth and death certificates are equally helpful. With birth certificates, you can see when a loved one was born and the names of his or her parents. You may even find an original birth certificate and a second certificate that lists the names of any adoptive parents. Death certificates provide similar information about someone who passed away. A death certificate may even list the individual’s occupation and the cause(s) of death.
It’s helpful to look at marriage and divorce records also. Many of these certificates are available online or from government agencies and departments. While marriage records show the names of the married couples and the names of their officiant and witnesses, those records will also show when the marriage occurred and where. You can use divorce records to see when a couple ended their marriage.
If any member of your family served in the Army or any other branch of the military, you can find lots of information in military records. While some of this info is available online, you can also submit an official request and get a full copy of the individual’s military records. Those records may come with some black marks to hide any confidential information.
Though you might want to think of your loved ones in glowing and positive ways, you can find out more about them and whether they have a dark side through criminal records. Not only can you view arrest reports, but you can also see what happened after that arrest. Those convicted of sex crimes will often appear on the sex offender registry. This registry lists the exact crimes the person committed and how much time he or she spent in jail/prison. It will also show you how long that individual needs to register, which can range from 10 years for less severe crimes to lifetime registration for more serious crimes.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can start building your family tree and finding some great information online. The public records and information that we link to can also help you learn about a property you’re thinking of buying or check on the history of people you want to date. We tracked down the best public records searches that you can use and ranked them to help you find the best ones. These records will provide you with more information than you ever thought you could find on the web.
Our #1 choice for the best background search site on the web is Archives.com. This service lets you search billions of records within seconds.