Step 7 Where and How to Locate the Records You Need

Now that you know the kinds of records that may be useful in doing your research, you will need to know how to obtain these documents for each particular event in your ancestor’s life. You need to have an understanding about where these documents might be kept.

  • Are they in the courthouse, church, or other institution in the town where your ancestor lived?
  • Were they collected at the state level of government? The federal?
  • Were they published in the local hometown newspaper at the time of the event?
  • Are they in a family Bible or the personal collection of a family member?
  • Are they in the special collections of your ancestor’s hometown library?
  • Perhaps they are in the special collections of the nearest university library?
  • Are they located in one of the fifty state archives? Perhaps in a regional library?
  • Are they in the National Archives or one of their many regional facilities?
  • Is the information in a book at the Library of Congress or a genealogy library in another state?
  • Is it at the Daughters’ of the American Revolution library in Washington?
  • Do you know where the largest genealogy libraries are located?
  • Is the information on the Internet? If so, is it reliable and documented?

These are a few of the questions that Genealogy One-on-One can answer for you. You can ask any of the above questions or others by going to our Help Me! form.

After you have culled information from your home and your family, there are basically eight avenues by which you may find the records you need to complete your genealogy. Do not overlook any of them.