United States For Further Reading
More detailed information for each state is included in the state research outlines available at the Family History Library and at each Family History Center.
The following are examples of some additional sources that can help you be more successful in your research. Most are available at public libraries. Other sources are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:
- UNITED STATES - GENEALOGY - HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC.
- [STATE] - GENEALOGY - HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC.
Basic Research Strategies
Crandall, Ralph. Shaking Your Family Tree: A Basic Guide to Tracing Your Family's Genealogy. Dublin, N.H.: Yankee Publishing, 1986. (FHL book 929.1 C85s; computer number 417275.) This is a beginner's guide to American sources and research strategies.
Cerny, Johni, and Arlene Eakle, eds. Ancestry's Guide to Research: Case Studies in American Genealogy. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1985. (FHL book 973 D27cj; computer number 311076.) This source for the intermediate researcher uses case studies and illustration to teach organization and the research process.
Rubincam, Milton. Pitfalls in Genealogical Research. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1987. (FHL book 929.1 R824p; computer number 446433.) This brief overview can help you avoid errors in your research, such as mistakes in interpreting names, terms, dates, and relationships. It includes many examples.
More Information about U.S. Records
American Society of Genealogists. Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources. 2 vols. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: American Society of Genealogists, 1980, 1983. (FHL book 973 D27gr; computer number 156293.) This source presents the expertise of specialists on many record types and state sources. It is of most use to the intermediate researcher and librarian.
Bentley, Elizabeth P. The Genealogist's Address Book. 1995 ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1995. (FHL book 973 D24ben 1995; computer number 583091.) This source includes addresses and telephone numbers of archives, libraries, societies, and periodicals.
Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1997. (FHL book 973 D27ts 1997; computer number 256653.) This provides in-depth treatment of records and unique research problems, including many illustrations of records. This source is for the advanced researcher and librarian.
Eichholz, Alice, ed. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992. (FHL book 973 D27rb 1992; computer number 594021.) Explains state-by-state history, vital records, census, background sources, periodicals, archives, libraries, societies, maps, land, probate, court, tax, cemetery, church, and military records. Includes county boundary map and table which shows when each county was created and the parent countiesLook this term up in the glossary..
Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1990. (FHL book 973 D27g 1990; computer number 551084.) An intermediate to advanced text, this is a standard source on research methodology and records. It includes instruction on pedigree analysis and especially helpful information on court and probate records.
Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives. 1982. Revised. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, 1985. (FHL book 973 A3usn 1985; computer number 464323; 1983 ed. fiche 6051414; computer number 182191.) This provides detailed information on the content and availability of census, immigration, military, land, and other records at the National Archives and its branches.
Wright, Norman E. Preserving Your American Heritage: A Guide to Family and Local History. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981. (FHL book 973 D27wne; fiche 6048632; computer number 110091.) The 1974 edition was published under the title, Building an American Pedigree. This discusses the basic record types and includes strategy and some illustrations. This is for the intermediate researcher.
Reading the Records
Kirkham, E. Kay. The Handwriting of American Records for a Period of 300 Years. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 1973. (FHL book 973 G3k; fiche 6010036-37; computer number 10150.) This has techniques for reading old handwritten documents. It includes styles of handwriting, common abbreviations, and many more examples than the Stryker-Rodda source below.
Stryker-Rodda, Harriet. Understanding Colonial Handwriting. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. (FHL book 973 A1 no. 220; computer number 419523.) This short booklet is a simple introduction on how to read colonial documents.
Guides to Additional Sources
Filby, P. William. American & British Genealogy & Heraldry: A Selected List of Books. 3d ed. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1983. (FHL book 016.9291 F472a; computer number 214900.) 1982-1985 Supplement, 1987. (FHL book 016.9291 FF472a 1982-1985 supp.; computer number 441544.) This bibliography and supplement lists over 12,800 titles of published genealogical sources. The primary emphasis is on United States sources.
Parker, J. Carlyle. Library Services for Genealogists. Detroit: Gale Research, 1981. (FHL book 026.9291 P226L; computer number 77346.) A primary emphasis of this book is to identify published reference tools and resources that are generally found at public and university libraries.
LDS Records Research Outline. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 1997. (FHL book 929.1 F21ro LDS no. 1 1997; 1992 ed. on fiche 6105292; computer number 719859.) Introduces the records and strategies to help locate Latter-day Saint family history sources.
Tracing Immigrant Origins Research Outline. Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 1992. (FHL special book 929.1 F21ro FHR no. 8; fiche 6105293; computer number 720227.) Introduces the records and strategies to help locate Latter-day Saint Family History sources.
U.S. Military Records Research Outline. Salt Lake City: Family Hsitory Library, 1993. (FHL Speciual book 929.1 F21ro U.S.; fiche 6105294; computer number 707970.) Describes the content, use, and availability of major sets of military records created by the federal government.
The research outlines available for each state and the District of Columbia are important sources describing additional unique records and strategies for individual states. The Family History Publications List (34083), available at no cost, lists the title, number of pages, cost and order number of each state outline. You can obtain the list, research outlines, and other Family History Library publications from:
- Salt Lake Distribution Center
- 1999 West 1700 South
- Salt Lake City, UT 84104-4233
- Telephone: 1-800-537-5950
State research outlines are also available at many Family History Centers.
For Ready Reference
Evans, Barbara Jean. The New A to Zax: A Comprehensive Genealogical Dictionary for Genealogists and Historians. 2nd ed. Champaign, Ill.: B.J. Evans, 1990. (FHL book 973 D26e; computer number 555905.) Gives archaic, occupational, and legal definitions. Includes a list of nicknames.
The Handy Book for Genealogists. 8th ed. Revised. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishing, 1991. (FHL book 973 D27e 1991; computer number 594019; 6th ed. on fiche 6010044-47; computer number 10557.) This is a popular source for its capsule summaries of state and county histories and some of the records available in each county.