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AncestryThe creation of a genogram (a family health tree), is essential for understanding family traits. Its creation is described, along with key symbols and tips for zeroing in on what is most critical. Primary sources that should contain information directly related to health issues are briefly discussed. They include federal mortality censuses, official certificates, obituaries, and detail from funeral homes and cemeteries.
Medical records such as hospital, doctors', and life insurance are also explained along with confidentiality concerns and other restrictions. A "Crash Course in Genetics" gives simple explanations of chromosomes, dominant and recessive genes, and multifactorial inheritance (the role of nature in the development of disease). A glossary of genetic diseases is followed by addresses for libraries and archives and genealogical and historical societies. The reader will learn how to get professional help and where to contact national genetic volunteer organizations.
This is a basic look at a complex subject that should concern everyone, not just genealogists.