Records, Forms and Applications

Where can I find information about a family member if I don’t have any family records available?

Family records such as birth, baptism, marriage and death are very important records to have but they are not the only records that contain valuable information about the family member.

Today I read a piece from the author of Among My Branches blog and she tells us about two documents; Declaration of Intention and Petition for Naturalization. On those documents (records) the applicant has to describe in detail how he/she happened to be in the United States. I was not aware of the detail that had to be submitted. In the past I had only seen records that said the person arrived on such and such a date and they came by ship or plane and the transportation company name was listed.

On these two documents, which are shown in the blog piece, there is a wealth of information not just a date and method of arrival. Maybe it’s time to go back to those records and see what other information we might have missed.

So we can add these two documents to the list of “other” data filled documents which will give us a better history of our family members, not just birth, baptism, marriage and death.

The list so far has these:

Obvious places to get information are: family bibles, census records, city directories, school records and church records.

Other documents that contain family information are:


Application for Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) –

Application for Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) –

Application for United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) –

Draft Records – WWI and WWII

Military Records

Declaration of Intention for Naturalization

Petition for Naturalization

All these applications to various organizations and official government records contain other information about the person not just name and date of birth.

I am sure, you the reader, will be able to provide more examples of records that can be added to this list.

If you have a copy of some obscure record or know about a record that is not on the list, please let us know, so that we can add it to this list.

Thank You.

Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

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