Obtain and Search the Records

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Step 4: Obtain and search the records. If you have effectively completed earlier steps, you are now ready for the most exciting and rewarding step of finding and searching the records. By the end of this step you should have: *(1) your research findings recorded in your research log and *(2) photocopies (or notes) of the records found. You may be able to obtain most records from several different repositories or online resources. Also, understanding different search tactics can help increase your choices of success.

Table of Contents for Step 4. Obtain and Search the Records[edit | edit source]

1 Obtain the Records

1.1 Internet Resources
1.2 Family History Library
1.3 Family History Centers
1.4 Other Research Libraries
1.5 Local Libraries
1.5.1 Interlibrary Loan
1.6 Original Record Holder
1.6.1 Courthouses and Government Offices
1.7 Archives
1.8 Societies
1.9 Publishers and Booksellers
1.10 Periodicals
1.11 E-mail and Correspondence

2 View the Records

2.1 Format and Equipment
2.2 Read and Interpret the Records
2.2.1 Formats of Records

3 Search the Records

3.1 Look for Indexes
3.2 Search for the Whole Family
3.3 Surname Searches
3.4 Establish Search Ranges
3.5 Be Thorough
3.6 Know Limitations
3.7 Multiple Families

4 Record the Results

4.1 If the Search Result Is Negative
4.2 If the Search Result Is Positive