Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Family History Through the Alphabet – Research Guidance


For 26 weeks I will take you on a family history journey through the alphabet, one letter at a time.  I have decided that each post will be educational in nature, focusing on topics related to resources, methodology, tools, etc.  Although the challenge is complete, there are still some people who are finishing up and Alona, the host, is encouraging others to participate anyway.  Additional information on the challenge, can be found at Take the ‘Family History Through the Alphabet’ Challenge

rA lot of times we learn how to do genealogy research by trial and error.  We eventually seek out resources to help us learn more about how to research and how to use certain record types.  When we are really stuck, or exploring a locality that is new to us, we may look for resources to help us with research in a particular country or state.  Below is a list of references that you may find useful in guiding your genealogy research adventure.

General Genealogy How-To

Record-Specific and Topic-Specific

Locality-Specific (Countries)

Locality-Specific (States)

This list is by no means all-inclusive.  If you are looking for something about a topic I did not mention, you might try to search for books using one of the following websites.  They are all good places to start to see if books exist for a particular topic.  When you find a particular book title, you can either see if a library near you has it among their collection, ask your local library to borrow it through inter-library loan, or, if still in print, look for places to purchase the book.

  • WorldCat – This is a massive online catalog showing the collections of participating libraries.  The book’s detail page lists what libraries have a particular book.
  • Google Books – Even though you probably think of digitized out-of-copyright books when you think of Google Books, it’s important to note that they do include other books in their “catalog,” including those published recently. 
  • Genealogical Publishing Company – Publishes tons of genealogy-related books including how-to books.  Browse the General Reference and Guides and Manuals categories for how-to books.
  • Amazon – This is a major online book retailer, but they often include listings of out-of-print books.  You may be able to purchase a used copy through individual sellers through their website.


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