Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
A birth record, for example contains primary information on the date and place of birth, the name of the child, and the name of the mother, as witnessed by the doctor or whomever was present at the time. Any information given that is not witness by those present is considered secondary information. A good example is a death record, which provides primary information on the name of the deceased, the date and place of death, the cause of death, as witnessed by the attending physician. The information about the deceased provided by an informant, however, is considered secondary information, unless personally witnessed. The ability to recognize the two types of information is important in analyzing genealogical information.