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  • 1. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. GreenwoodPresented by Serena Snowfield
  • 2. Types of Compiled Sources• Family histories and genealogies• Local histories• Compiled lists (dictionaries, directories, etc.)• Biographical works• Genealogical and historical periodicals• Compendium genealogies• Special manuscript collections
  • 3. Family Histories & Genealogies• Bring together valuable data from many different sources.• Need to verify stated “facts” with primary sources.• Even inferior works might have helpful clues.
  • 4. Family Histories & GenealogiesKaminkow, Marion J., Genealogies in theLibrary of Congress: A Bibliography WithSupplements and the Complement toGenealogies in the Library of Congress(Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001).Also available as a Google eBookLibrary of Congress Local History &Genealogy Reading Room: TheCollections
  • 5. Local Histories• Include town, county, and regional histories.• Important feature: the biographical section (also called “mug books”).• Can’t find your ancestor? You might find an in-law or descendant instead.• Contain useful information about an area’s history.
  • 6. Local Histories“No genealogist knows all he shouldabout research in any given areauntil he knows something of thatarea’s history.” Greenwood, p. 187
  • 7. Local HistoriesFilby, P. William, A Bibliography ofAmerican County Histories (GenealogicalPublishing Co., 1985)Also available as a Google eBook.Library of Congress: Resources for LocalHistory and Genealogy by State County Histories, Biographies &Indexes
  • 8. Compiled Lists• Types include dictionaries, directories, lists, registers, etc.• Compiled from several (usually original) sources.• Considered reliable, though not always complete.
  • 9. Biographical Works• Found in almost every library.• Usually deal with people who achieved some degree of prominence.• Don’t pass up because your ancestors were “common folks.”• Most of the data are provided by the subjects themselves and are reliable.
  • 10. Biographical WorksSlocum, Robert B., Biographicaldictionaries and related works: aninternational bibliography of collectivebiographies, bio-bibliographies, collectionsof epitaphs (Detroit : Gale Research Co.,1967, with supplements, and vol. 2, 1986).
  • 11. Genealogical & HistoricalPeriodicals• Range from scholarly journals to low- budget family publications.• Many are published on a restricted basis.• Don’t overlook “general circulation” magazines that are not genealogical in nature.
  • 12. Genealogical & HistoricalPeriodicalsPERiodical Source Index (PERSI)Available online at ($) and Heritage Quest;hard copies in some libraries.Library of Congress – GenealogicalPeriodicals: A Guide for Research :Periodical Indexes, Donald Lines, Index toGenealogical PeriodicalsGenealogical Publishing Co., 2010 – reprint 3 vols
  • 13. Genealogical & HistoricalPeriodicalsGenealogical Periodical Annual Index(GPAI) – published annually since 1962.Many volumes available for purchase on CD
  • 14. Compendium Genealogies• Usually comprehensive treatises with abstracts of information.• Notoriously inaccurate; data usually not from original sources. “…to compress the lineages contained in thousands of individual family genealogies into a single volume.” Greenwood, p. 196
  • 15. Special Manuscript Collections• Unpublished materials found in libraries, historical societies, and archives.• Often difficult to locate.• Some are microfilmed.• Search the NUCMC under “genealogy,” as well as surnames of interest, localities, lawyer’s papers (esp. in “burned” counties), military commanding officers’ papers.
  • 16. Special Manuscript CollectionsLibrary of Congress: National UnionCatalog of Manuscript Collections(NUCMC) List of Participating Repositories:Fiscal Years 1959-present (replaces thegeographical guide) Library: Special Collections
  • 17. Newspapers• Useful source from the geographical area where your ancestor lived.• Did not always report “the facts,” especially older newspapers.• Details are sometimes sketchy.• Current newspapers are helpful for finding living relatives in locations where your ancestors lived.
  • 18. NewspapersTypes of information to look for: – Obituaries – Birth announcements – Marriage/engagement announcements – Legal/probate notices – Notes of thanks – “Who is visiting” notices – Other news items
  • 19. NewspapersBrigham, Clarence Saunders, History andbibliography of American newspapers,1690-1820 : including additions andcorrections, 1961 (Archon Books, 1962)Rowells & Ayers American NewspaperDirectory PDFs
  • 20. NewspapersChronicling America (26 states)http://chroniclingamerica.loc.govOnline Historical Newspapers (by Miriam J. Robbins) (connect through some libraries) (free for SCGS members)
  • 21. Limitations of Compiled Sources• Accessibility and availability – limited publication and lack of indexes make items difficult to find.• Reliability – scientific research methods seldom used; clerical errors in copied materials.• Completeness – Compiled without thorough research.• Documentation – Sources missing or from other compiled sources.
  • 22. Additional ResourcesFamilySearch Wiki: A Checklist ofCompiled Sources & Where to Find Them of Congress: Local History &Genealogy Reading Room The world’s largest network oflibrary content and services
  • 23. Additional ResourcesFamilySearch: Family History Archives County Public Library GenealogyCenter Catalog Book Loan Collection at the St. LouisCounty Library
  • 24. Additional ResourcesMeyerink, Kory L., Printed Sources: AGuide to Published Genealogical Records(Ancestry Publishing, 1998).Pfeiffer, Laura Szucs, Hidden Sources:Family History in Unlikely Places (AncestryPublishing, 2000).Google Books