Primary sources are the preferable sources. They include the following:
• Vital Records (births, deaths, marriages; permits and licenses issued; census data; etc.)
• Diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters, memos, manuscripts and other papers in which individuals describe events in which they were participants or observers.
• Signed affidavits of memoirs and autobiographies. These may be less reliable than diaries or letters since they are usually written long after events occurred and may be distorted by bias, dimming memory or the revised perspective that may come with hindsight. On the other hand, they are sometimes the only source for certain information.
• Records of organizations (minutes, reports, correspondence, etc.)
• Published materials (books, magazine and journal articles, newspaper articles, county histories) written at the time about a particular event. While these are sometimes accounts by participants, in most cases they are written by journalists or other observers. The important thing is to distinguish between material written at the time of an event as a kind of report, and material written much later, as historical analysis.
• Photographs of Tombstones (include name and location of cemetery).
• Obituaries (include masthead of newspaper, with name, date published, and page).
Published materials citing primary source material for the assertions made therein. The following books are recommended, and in most circumstances and in the most recent editions, are considered authoritative.
o Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. (4 vols., 2011)
o Richardson, Douglas. Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. (3 vols., 2011)
o Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry (5 vols., 2013)
o Roberts, Gary Boyd. Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants… (2004 and 2008 editions)
o Weis, Frederick Lewis. Ancestral Roots… (7th and 8th editions)
o Weis, Frederick Lewis, The Magna Charta Sureties. (5th edition).
o Faris, David. Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists. (GPC, 1996)
o Multiple authors. Mayflower Families through Five Generations. (23 vols.)
o Dorman, John Frederick. Adventures of Purse and Person. (3 vols., 4th edition)
o Cockayne, G. E. The Complete Peerage. (12 vols.)
o Paul, Sir James Balfour. The Scots' Peerage. (10 vols.)
o Douglas, Sir Robert. The Peerage of Scotland.
o Douglas, Sir Robert. The Baronage of Scotland.