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The term genealogy is used in this article and in the Family History Library Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information previously gathered by other researchers, societies, or archives. These records may include pedigree charts, compiled data on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These can be excellent sources of information that can save you time. Because they are secondary sources of information, however, they must be carefully evaluated for accuracy, and the original sources should be consulted whenever possible.
You will find information on the following important nationwide genealogical indexes in United States in the sections indicated.
- Ancestral File ("Genealogy" section. Also available on the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service.)
- FamilyFinder Index ("Census" section. Also on the Internet at: www.familytreemaker.com.)
- Family History Library Catalog Surname Search ("Introduction" and "Genealogy" sections. Also available on the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service.)
- Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library ("Genealogy" section.)
- Index to American Genealogies ("Genealogy" section.)
- Index to National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) ("Genealogy" section. Also available on the Internet at:http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/
- International Genealogical Index ("Genealogy" section. Also available on FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service.)
- Old Surname Index File ("Genealogy" section.)
- Periodical Source Index (PERSI) ("Periodicals" section. Also available on the Internet at www.Ancestry.com for a subscription fee.)
These indexes are available at the Family History Library and many libraries with family history collections.
Web Sites About Your Family
Search the Internet for family history web sites about your surname. Use the Records Search feature of the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service at FamilySearch to help you find such sites.
Minnesota Genealogy (Access Genealogy)
Minnesota Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
Minnestoa Genealogy (Genealogy Today)
Minnesota Genealogy (Linkpendium)
Minnesota Genealogy (Resources at RootsWeb)
Writing and Sharing Your Family History
Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:
- It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
- It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
- It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
- It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
- See also:
Statewide Collections and Publications
Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections and indexes of genealogical value. Usually these must be searched in person. Important manuscript collections of compiled Minnesota genealogies are:
- Daughters of the American Revolution (Minnesota). Genealogical Collection. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971. (Family History Library films 868493–96.) This collection consists of transcripts of Bible records, cemetery records, church records, records of marriages and deaths, obituaries, and wills. A partial surname index to these films is found in E. Kay Kirkham’s An Index to Some of the Bibles and Family Records of the United States (see Minnesota Bible Records). Another DAR collection is:
- Genealogical Collections of the Daughters of the American Revolution for the State of Minnesota: Church Records, Diary, Early Minnesota Wills, Family Genealogies, etc.[St. Paul, Minnesota] 1945, (Family History Library book 977.6 D2d; fiche 6051204.) The collection contains a variety of materials such as genealogies; a transcript of all the wills in Faribault, Minnesota, from 1858 to 1886; vital records from a church in Duluth, Minnesota; a diary of 1870; and material on the Indian Wars of 1864. It has an index.
- An every-name index of over 26,000 names found in a variety of genealogical, biographical, and historical sources is:
- Pope, Wiley R. Minnesota Genealogical Index. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Family Trees, 1984. (Family History Library book 977.6 D22p.) Some of the sources indexed in this record are:
- 1849 census;
- State laws, 1849–1857
- Naturalization records by the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1858–1910;
- Prison lists, 1853–1900
- Physicians’ and dentists’ lists for 1896.
A source for French Canadian ancestors who immigrated to Minnesota is:
- Laneau, Paul J., and Elmer Courteau, comp. French-Canadian Families of the North Central States: A Genealogical Dictionary. Eight Volumes. St. Paul, Minnesota: Northwest Territory French and Canadian Heritage Institute, 1980. (Family History Library book 973 D2la; 6010503-11}}.) Lists families or marriages in alphabetical order. The key to understanding the system is located on page iv.
Many genealogies have been compiled and published in sources such as:
Southwest State University (Minnesota); Southwest Minnesota Historical Center; Family History Group Sheets and Surname File, Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library films 1728928–30.) The surname file is an index for the family group record collection. It is on cards in alphabetical order and gives name, date and place of birth, spouse’s name, and location or name of file. Information is often incomplete, and no documentation is listed. Not all names found on the family group sheets are listed in the card file.
- Frasczak, Mary Jo. Ancestor Charts. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Genealogical Society, 1979. (Family History Library book 977.6 D2a.) These indexed pedigree charts combine names, dates, and places of ancestors as well as compiler’s name and address and the date submitted. They do not cite the sources of the information.
- Frasczak, Mary Jo. Family Group Sheets Submitted by Members of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Genealogical Society, 1982. (Family History Library book 977.6 D2f.) These indexed family group sheets give dates and places of many early Minnesota ancestors.
- Bible, Genealogical, Vital Records and Pioneer Stories of Minnesota. Two Volumes. Duluth, Minnesota: n.p, [1946–47]. (Family History Library book 977.6 D2da; fiche 6051211.) Includes Bible records, family genealogical records indexed by surname, early census records, deeds, wills, tombstones, vital statistics, church records, and indexed pioneer stories.