Sponsored By GenealogyBank

22 September 2012

There May Not Be Records

Occasionally I get emails from readers telling me that there simply "have to be records" and comments indicating that "someone, somewhere has 'them.'"

While a church might have kept records sometimes pastors keep the records of their church and they eventually end up lost or destroyed. The records of some cemeteries, particularly smaller ones, end up in private hands and sometimes those too end up being accidentally destroyed.

This does not mean that one should not look for records. What it does mean is that one cannot always insist that they "have to be around somewhere." Sometimes they are--but sometimes they are not.


  1. This is very true. In Napa there are a few years that births are missing from their one birth record book. So far there is no reason either for these years missing and I have had to use other sources as proof of birth.

  2. The biggest problems are a fire and a flood. The biggest question is why they aren't there....My husbands ancestors were Baptized by a Traveling preacher. I think the records were lost when he forded a stream and they got wet.

  3. Many times the records aren't lost, they just aren't where you'd expect them to be. At times you'll find some of the old ledgers and clerk books listed on ebay.