Searching Genealogy Names

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If you came to the Research Wiki wanting to search for your ancestor's names the wiki provides this quick guide   to point you in the right direction and hopefully enhance your genealogy experience. This wiki has tables available with most of the relevant links to websites and databases specifically designed to search names. The Research Wiki wants to help you search for the names you have collected as well as the names you will collect in the future through your research efforts.

Our goal is to make your genealogy quest as efficient and enjoyable as possible by helping you to learn how to locate and search the records for various locations, to learn the basics of a family history project, and to learn about well established procedures involving the genealogical research process.

Putting a "face" to the names (for other help options click here)
Whether you are just starting to look for your ancestor's names, trying to find those last few names giving you trouble, or you want to dig deeper to find more names, using the wiki can be as easy as

One   -   Two   -   Three

After all, names are what it is all about so this article is a guide to getting you to the right pages quickly and easily so you can complete your online genealogy searches.


You may have come to the Research Wiki hoping to search for your great grandfather’s name but that is not what this wiki was designed for but the Research Wiki can help locate many of the websites where you can search for your ancestor’s names. These websites are compiled in pages called the Online Genealogy Records which may also be referred to as the Online Resources.

This wiki has collected a comprehensive list of the online resource links you should thoroughly check out first to see if your ancestor’s names are already available. Then, if you do not find what you are looking for, you should come back to the Research Wiki for more help in finding the locations of records that are not yet online. The wiki also provides a knowledge base for both beginners learning to get organized and for experienced researchers looking for proven methodologies for uncovering the distant past.

Step ONE

WikiMainPage.jpg
  • 1. Enter the topic [1] or country [2]
    (for example, United States) or a particular state name of interest into the search box, click on the map, or click the "Countries" link at the bottom of the map.
  • 2. Once you are on the page for the location you are investigating you can jump to the list of links for the online resources that are available.
  • 3. Investigate all the various websites for a variety of record types for each of the names you have collected.


Step TWO

  • As an example, go to a state page such as Illinois where you will notice a blue tab that says Online Resources (see image below). In some of the older format pages you will see a bright green colored box that says (state name) Online Genealogy Records.   Where it is possible, the links found on these pages will direct you to a search of the database specifically for the state you are currently on.
UI ORP.png


   Watch for similarly colored boxes on state pages.

   Check out this active link to see a records table.


Note that these consolidated lists of links are currently available on all states in the US and Washington DC, with the exception being the other US territories. For now the US territories and many other countries have similar links which would have to be found on the various pages associated with each of those other locations.


  • Clicking either of these links (the blue tab or the green box) will bring you to a page showing a table that gives a comprehensive list of links that you should work your way through when searching for your ancestor's names. See the image below (right) or click the green box above.
  • Again, you should be able to find one of these tables associated with every US state and the District of Columbia, as well as Canadian provinces and territories, and a few other countries (see footnotes below).
Illinois HomePage.jpg
Records Tables.jpg


Step THREE

  • If you are confident that you are looking in the correct location (for example, a US state) based on your research, you can evaluate all the provided online links for each ancestor you are searching for. Many of these links will also allow you to broaden your search to multiple states or an entire country.
  • The wiki's Online Genealogy Records cover a wide variety of information such as, vital records (births, marriages, and deaths), biographies, cemetery or census records, various social groups records, history links, land records, military or naturalization records, newspapers, obituaries, probate and tax records, and websites for other state databases that may be useful.
Note that although the "state" records tables do not include "immigration" there is also a link to the United States immigration online records page (shown above in the green box) which lists websites that deal with online immigration records for the country as a whole.

  • For Your Information: The dollar sign ($) may appear behind some of these links which means that a paid subscription is required to access that particular database. In the case of Ancestry.com your local family history center (FHC) does have free access to this website (available to the public) and the volunteers at these centers will gladly assist you.   See the FHC introduction article to get some background information and to find a center near you.


Step Four, come back for more


  • Once you have totally exhausted all these search avenues in relation to the names that you have available, you should return to this wiki to get additional help in finding the location of records and archives that are not currently available online.
  • Furthermore, the Research Wiki can also help in your search for more names, by providing a continuing education for both beginners and experts.
  • New to Genealogy - The wiki can show you or someone you know how to get off to the best possible start toward building your family history by providing knowledge that is based on years of experience.
  • New to the Wiki - The wiki has extensive articles and help pages to get you up and running in the use of the wiki; from enhancing your searching methods to contributing to the wiki.
  • Research Methods - The wiki can help you learn from the successes and mistakes of others (see Rookie mistakes) and teaches you how to use time honored and well established methodologies that were born from years and years of experience.


more help options

That is it in a nutshell, so we wish you the Best of Luck with your online searches for your family names and please come back to see if the Research Wiki can help you in other ways that will further your research.


The FamilySearch Research Wiki also wants to ensure that you have access to the best knowledge base available in the form of these wiki articles which are a collaborative effort based on the research experiences of many genealogists, family historians, the Historical Records staff, and which someday may include your own experiences.


Return to the Research Wiki Home Page to get started !




Footnotes

  1. The following topics have an Online Resource table associated with them: USA immigration, USA naturalization, American Indians, African Americans, and LDS
  2. The following countries currently have Online Resources tables: United States (individual states plus the District of Columbia), Canada (individual provinces and territories), France, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, and Slovakia