I love the library and will take any reason to make a visit to the local spots. Imagine my surprise when I told the librarian that I was using a free family tree tool to make my own genealogy and family tree, and he pointed to what looked like a closet and said "have you checked out the state room?"
State room? What I learned from him was that a lot of libraries, historical societies, and genealogy groups develop local resources with TONS of information, i.e. the room of state history at my local library. The downside is that you usually have to physically visit them to peruse the records. On the "plus" side, however, is that a lot of these places are attempting to at least make their catalogs electronic or make phone consults available.
So, do I have any specific suggestions for those who are seeking details about relatives who have passed away in order to add a few glimmers to the history or family tree? Yes, I will repeatedly advocate a "location visit", a day or two at the local libraries, and a family reunion.
Okay, the family reunion was just wishful thinking, but if you are "in town" why not arrange at least a meal with family - even if it is very extended or distant?
Anyway, back to the location visit and library resources...I found that the best steps for researching the family chart is to start with a USGenWeb search (it is a free genealogy and family tree site). This can help you find any local links to your family. This is also often the place where the search for family tree data can yield obituaries, newspaper articles and more. This is a way to get a good idea of "where" the family lived and was located. You will also find notes and forums (which we get to shortly) from others who are also on the search for family tree data too.
This sort of search will give you cemetery and library information too, and sometimes this is entirely electronic data. You might find a genealogy or family tree website with free search tools right in the town in which your family once lived! If you know that a trip is out of the question, you can often request some texts via interlibrary loan or make arrangements for copy services by calling the library in question.
Okay, we mentioned "message boards" a few moments ago, and we need to spotlight these as a primary tool for any making a family tree pedigree. This is the subject of the next blog.
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