One of the best primary sources for genealogical research is the birth certificate. The reason this is one of the best is because it contains information usually provided by a person who was actually there at the time of the event, like the birth mother or father. These are usually held at the state level and most states have an online application process for requesting copies for genealogical purposes. Costs range from $4 to $15, BUT…as I don’t usually need a certified copy for my purposes, sometimes an email to the town clerk (especially true for the small towns) where the birth occurred (provided I know the town where the birth occurred) will result in a correspondence that provides the information I need without cost.
Lots of good tidbits can be gleaned from a birth certificate, like the occupation and birthplace of the parents, which will lead one to finding the next generation on one’s tree.
B is for Brandolyn, my firstborn and lovely daughter. When Brandolyn was 5 years old we lived in Belgium (hey! Another B word!), on assignment with the US Army. Brandolyn was in a French pre-school, where the teachers only spoke French, so she was of necessity, acquiring some French vocabulary. One day we were at the checkout in the local market and Brandolyn turned to her father and said, “Let me handle this, Dad; I speak French!” Rich gave her the item and the money, both of which she handed to the clerk. The clerk handed her the change, which Brandolyn gave to her father, beaming a big smile. Rich said, “You didn’t say anything…I could have done that!” Brandolyn turned to the clerk, said a pert, “Merci!” and we left.