Why Is It So Hard to Confirm a Ghost's Identity? Ghost Hunting Tip No.3
By Dr. Mark Farley
A lot of ghost hunters think that the county courthouse is the best spot for information. In our modern, more transient society, people are very seldom born in the same county where they spent their lives and usually pass away in a hospital that is in a neighboring county or state. This means the county courthouse in which they lived will have neither their birth nor death certificates. The primary purpose of County governments is land registration. Again, it isn't easy to find information about a property that dates back more than ten years unless specified in the deed.
People usually go to a church close to where they live. If their church maintains records and they will allow you access. Their church is usually the best place to start. Also, the cemetery in which they're buried is an excellent place to look for information. The cemetery will have information on which funeral parlor interned the body. The funeral home will have information on where they received the body and the name of the family member who arranged the funeral. The funeral home will most likely be able to give you a clue to which county the death certificate is located.
From the death certificate, you can find their birthplace, their parents' names, and how they passed.
Nowadays, it's very rare, but a family bible is a wealth of information. In the past, families wrote important events such as births, deaths, and marriages inside their bibles. Sometimes you can find pictures of family members placed between the pages. The family bible was usually passed down from generation to generation and is considered a primary source for research. If a family bible contains such information, it's still accepted as proof of birth by most governmental agencies.