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City, County & Town Histories

Published histories might include paragraphs or data on your ancestors, especially if they were first citizens of an area or prominent in some way. Even if your ancestors weren't mentioned by name, histories can provide excellent pictures of the development of the area, social history, information on major events, and have sections on churches and other organizations important to your ancestors.

A history may have been written about your county, city, or region. Many states have history periodicals. Churches often have a history booklet. Businesses, social organizations, military groups, historical societies, and immigrant groups publish memorials. Newspapers might issue an edition on the anniversary of the town with the towns history and historic photographs.

Authors vary in quality. Nevertheless, the information contained is useful to genealogists. Some histories, called "mug books" were written by professional publishers who generated sales by asking people to write their own biographies for insertion into the book. (Curious how all the people were upstanding citizens!). Genealogical periodicals are full of local history. Family histories and manuscripts may be written by amateurs or scholars. Graduate students going for a history degree are required to write theses on historical areas, people, or events.

Help Me!  Find out if a local history has been published for my research area.

Help Me!  Find out if an article has been published about my ancestors or research area.

Help Me!  Find out if a dissertation, thesis has been published.

Help Me!  Find out if a manuscript exists and is available.

Help Me!  Find out if a genealogy has been written about my family.

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.