TRACING TOOLS: 3 Data Sources Genealogists Use in Research Processes

Genealogy is the study of families, family histories, roots and everything else that falls under these matters. This is really an interesting field, being able to dig into deep backgrounds in order to unravel mysteries, answer long time questions and understand the present. That is why many people choose two study this. 

People who study genealogy are called genealogists. You can say that they really are patient, detailed, specific and full of perseverance because this and more outstanding qualities are required to succeed in all works that need their help. 

A day will not be enough for common people two fully comprehend and to get the same dedication that genealogists have with regards to everything they have to do, but this piece talks about some tools that genealogists chiefly use in their research and analysis and other processes. Knowing these will give you a glimpse of what they use as basis and how they do what they do.

[1] Oral Interviews

An in-depth research usually involves interviews with people involved, people who might be involved, people who are helpful and people who might be greatly helpful! Indeed there are many ways to do an interview, but one of the most effective, especially for genealogists is the oral interview. It could be through video calling or voice calling, but the best is a face-to-face interview. 

Through interviews, genealogists can get important information from respondents they themselves chose after research. Oral interviews are very helpful since genealogists can also obtain information from how their interviewees answer questions, speak statements and even ask questions.

Genealogists can also benefit from seeing the gestures of the respondents in a face-to-face interview. For example, a client needs to find a long lost relative, yet he or she only knows some of the people he or she heard know that relative the client has not seen that long lost relative before. 

A genealogist can help him or her, and one of the tools to use is an oral interview with those people that the client claims to be familiar with that long lost relative. They can get a lot of information, especially if they find the right people. Genealogists use oral interviews with prepared questions and follow-up if needed of course. They acquire a lot of relevant information and ideas from interviews. Actually all interviews are inevitable because asking and inquiring is really part of the work of genealogists. Obviously, they cannot just guess or assume without proper information from the right people to ask.

[2] Historical Records

Since the work of genealogists is mainly tracing history, one of the most important data sources is historical record or records of what they’re working on. If it is a family tree that they are working on, they could be looking into specific persons. The biography of those people are to be completed and understood. Historical biography of a valued person in that research is necessary.

For looking into a business history for a company client, historical records involving the company’s establishment, early beginnings, pioneer employees and starters, milestone events, challenges and significant changes are to be searched. Historical records could be in images, videos, voice recordings, but the most usual ones are paper records. 

Documents that contain information about certain plans made, proposals, contracts, employee lists, designation sheets and many more company related information are a part of those historical records crucial for genealogists to help businesses in whatever need they have. In terms of the company’s biography history and system historical records cannot be taken from any genealogical researchers list of tools tools

[3] Genetic Analysis

Genealogists also consider genetic analysis in many or most work they do. Family is the main subject being scrutinized in genealogy, thus, a genetic analysis is definitely a key data source. DNA test results, important to genetic analysis, are indispensable in gathering accurate information about a family and to show kinship,like if the client needs help with tracing his or her descendants or ancestors. Genetic analysis has a big and powerful role. 

Works like these are faced by genealogists from clients with family histories that were lost or forgotten or unknown. Some of the various reasons could be separation from family and the most often adoption, without being able to know and meet their biological parents. Even relatives’ genetic analysis is also used by genealogists for clients who want to discover where hereditary diseases come from in their family tree.



Without a doubt the work of genealogists is something that cannot be finished in one sitting. It takes more than a week usually, especially if the matter at hand is a family tree, a business history, a crime or any thing that needs a lot of time to research and study. The three things on the list above are just some of the many data sources that enable geologists to do and find something, even if it seems just a bit of detail that they discover. Because of these tracing tools, genealogists little by little are able to succeed with what they are working on in this field.


Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. She is a daytime writer for Worthington Clark, an expert genealogy research and asset firm. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.

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