Select Records to Search

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See also United States, How to Find Genealogy Records

Lg stack of books.jpg

Step 3: Select records to search.

Selecting a record to search is the most complex part of the research process. You will need to—

  • Identify a category of sources.
  • Choose a record type.
  • Select specific records.
  • Describe the record on a research log.

This is called a record selection strategy—an orderly approach for identifying the records most helpful for your research objective.

At the end of this step you will have a research log with descriptions of records you will search to meet your objective.

You may want to view the tutorial at FamilySearch Learning Center:"Ancestors Season 1: The Paper Trail".

Table of Contents for Step 3. Select Records to Search [edit | edit source]

1 Creation of Records

2 Identify a Category of Sources

2.1 Genealogical Records
2.1.1 Compiled Records
2.1.2 Original Records
2.2 Reference Tools
2.2.1 Background Information
2.2.2 Finding Aids

3 Choose a Record Type

3.1 Sources Useful to Genealogists
3.1.1 Compiled Records: Choices
3.1.2 Original Records Choices
3.1.3 Background Information Choices
3.1.4 Finding Aids Choices
3.2 Other Tools for Choosing a Record Type

4 Select Specific Records

4.1 Helpful Guessing Skills
4.2 Catalogs and Record Lists
4.2.1 FamilySearch Catalog
4.2.2 Other Internet Sites
4.2.3 Other Library Catalogs and Record Lists
4.3 Selection Criteria
4.3.1 Record Content
4.3.2 Record Access
4.3.3 Interest, Inspiration, and Intuition
4.3.4 Selecting More Than One Record
4.4 Jurisdictions
4.4.1 Some Modern Government Jurisdictions

5 Describe the Records on a Research Log