Genealogy research is employed for various purposes, including to trace missing persons or assets, to map and validate family history, to learn more about ancestors, to prove kinship, to establish entitlements to an intestate estate, and to identify parties interested in estate proceedings. Genealogy research is also useful in medical contexts to investigate inherited conditions through DNA testing.
Ancient genealogy research can provide deep insight into family history and lineages. By studying ancient genealogy, researchers can access valuable information about historical communities and kinship.
What is genealogy research?
Genealogy is the study of families and family history. Using a range of historical and forensic sources, genealogy specialists can reveal important information about an individual or a family. These sources range widely from vital records (birth records, death certificates, marriage certificates etc.) to family sources (credit statements, family heirlooms, ancestral writings, employment records, income tax forms, passports etc.) to published sources (state libraries, city directories, newspapers, genealogical periodicals etc.).
An individual or a family may enlist professional genealogy services to help gather evidence for intestacy and other estate matters across all Australian jurisdictions, navigate and interpret disparate state and national unclaimed property regulations and legislation, and reunite lost account holders and owners with unclaimed assets.
Genealogy vs genealogies
The term ‘genealogy’ comprises three components. Firstly, the descent of an individual, family or group from a common ancestor; secondly, the written or visual account of these ancestral relationships; and thirdly, the study of family pedigrees, which is closely intertwined with anthropology and the study of kinship.
Genealogies refer to written records of a group of people who are related to each other via one or more common ancestors. These records cover extended periods of time and are not restricted to a particular geographical area of residence. Genealogies play a vital role in the study of family history and ancient genealogy. By analysing genealogical records, researchers can gain insights into past demographic processes and population changes.
Family trees, also known as genealogies or pedigree charts, are used by archaeologists, anthropologists, historical researchers and genealogy specialists across the world to document and present family histories that span multiple generations, cultures, and geographical locations. Family trees are typically depicted with the oldest generations at the top of the chart and the younger generations toward the bottom in the fashion of one tree with many branches. Visual aids such as time scales may be used to represent ancestry and descent over the passage of time.
Ancient genealogy studies
A recent study revealed the world’s oldest family tree, allowing researchers to gain valuable insight into kinship and burial practises in Neolithic times. The advances in DNA recovery and ancient genealogy research made it possible to not only uncover the oldest family tree that has ever been constructed but also to learn about the cultural context of the genetic data.
By analysing ancient DNA found in a preserved tomb in the United Kingdom, the archaeology and genealogy research team behind this study was able to map the biological relations between people from five continuous generations of a single extended family who lived almost 6,000 years ago. This is the first study to deliver such detailed data about ancient family structures. The ancient DNA results revealed information related to marriage and burial customs along with culturally significant insights into gender roles and extended family dynamics in terms of stepchildren and in-laws.
Professional genealogy research in Australia
When working with a professional genealogy research team to locate a missing person or asset, or to learn more about your lineage and family history, it is important to construct clear objectives and establish realistic expectations. Provide all the relevant information and sources to your genealogy research team.
Worthington Clark is a specialist genealogy and asset research firm in Sydney, equipped with an established network of international institutions and experienced genealogists with a proven capability of delivering on a range of genealogy research services. By using a range of state-wide, nationwide and international sources, Worthington Clark undertakes genealogy investigations, location research and family tree verification projects for clients across Australia.
In addition to historical research services for individuals, families, and schools and organisations, the genealogy specialists from Worthington Clark provide clients with assistance in locating and claiming unclaimed assets. The no-win-no-fee policy means that no fee will be charged unless the assets are successfully located and returned to the rightful owner.
Worthington Clark is a boutique family-owned and operated professional genealogy and asset research firm in Sydney with over 40 years of specialist experience in genealogy research for lawyers, trustees, companies, executors and beneficiaries. Request a quote for genealogy research services from your genealogy specialists today.