United States For Further Reading

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  For Further Reading

More detailed information for each state is included in the Wiki pages for each state.

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 Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:


Basic Research Strategies

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) 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) 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) 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) 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 counties.
  • Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1990. (FHL book 973 D27g 1990) 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; 1983 ed. fiche 6051414) 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) 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) 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) 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) 1982-1985 Supplement, 1987. (FHL book 016.9291 FF472a 1982-1985 supp.) 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) 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) 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) 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) 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) 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; 6th ed. on fiche 6010044-47) This is a popular source for its capsule summaries of state and county histories and some of the records available in each county.