Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Quick And Easy Research

Do you have a genealogical brick wall? A Smith or Jones line that drives you crazy?

If you haven't done ALL of the following yet, do it today.

1. Search for your individual on Google Books. If you find them listed in a book that is not free or viewable, copy down the information and BORROW the book through your local library (interlibrary loan system).

2. Post (even if you've done it before) a QUERY or QUESTION about your family or surname on Rootsweb message boards, both under the correct SURNAME, and the LOCATION where they lived. Make the subject line the entire name of the person, plus their birth/death dates and where they primarily lived. Include as much as you know in the body of your request. 99% of those that are left unanswered were just too vague.

3. Contact both the local and the county historical society for information about your problem person or family. Many times researchers will donate a copy of their research to a local historical society. Just remember to donate a copy of YOUR work to them if you get a breakthrough.

4. Contact both the local and county library for the same information found in #3. Libraries are often the most under-utilized sources for genealogical material.

5. Visit your local library. Most libraries now routinely carry both HeritageQuest AND Ancestry.com as free services to their library patrons.