Who Gets in the Record?

When using any sort of record for genealogical research, ask yourself–who gets in this record? Is it just landowners? Is it everyone who was alive in a certain place on a certain date? Is it just men of a certain age? Is it anyone who dies in a certain location? Is it just people who can vote? Is it people who have sufficient assets? Is it members in good-standing of a certain denomination?

How people get into a record matters when you are interpreting the information you find in that record and how you go forward when someone is not located in that record.