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Help for Genealogy Researchers

This is a work in progress. There is SO much information to give on how to do research and more will be added as time permits. For most people, getting started on their family genealogy is a daunting task. "WHERE do I start" is the most common question that a new researcher asks. Most people have NO idea how to even begin to research their family tree. The purpose of these pages is to make getting started a lot simpler and to answer the questions of what to do first and how to do it. Here you will also find some more advanced advice and links to sites that can help with more specialized research. So, once you get started, you know where to go next. Hopefully the information on these pages can help even the seasoned researcher with some hints and links to sites that will help get over the inevitable brick walls that we all hit.

Getting Started
How to start researching your family tree. You will find links to other "Getting Started" sites on this page. Also included on the Getting Started page are links to Genealogical Forms for keeping track of what you learn, The Most Common Mistakes Made in Genealogical Research and much more to help you begin the search!
Primary & Secondary Resources
Understand what the difference is between a Primary and a Secondary Resource can be hard. This page explains it all.
Calendar Information and Date Formats
Here you will find a lot of information on old calendars, date changes, double dating, more. There is a section on determining birthdates. We also have provided links to sites where you can look up dates to find out what important events occured on those days.
Finding Names
Finding maiden names can sometimes be a problem and family histories often use nicknames. The English had certain patterns that were used to name sons and daughters. Hopefully you can find some help in the links below.
Census Records
Census Records are definitely going to a part of your research. This can be done in a lot of different ways. Here is a list of good online Census Resources.




Land Patent Records
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has a great web site, The Official Federal Land Patent Records Site . They provide live database access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Image access is provided to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908.
Immigration and Passenger Arrival Records
There can be a lot of information available to you if you can find the immigration papers of your ancestor. Here are some "how tos" and links to site with actual lists online.
Old Occupations Explained
A list of what those old occupation really were.
Care of old Documents
The care of old, fragile documents can be hard to figure out. This problem extends to Bibles, photographs, newspaper articles and books. Some links to professional restorers.
Photographic Preservation
Just a few of the many sites that do professional restoration of old photos.
Geographical Information & Maps
Maps can be a valuable genealogical tool. Some geographical research will probably become necessary in your search as early county lines were in flux, towns and townships changed names and other geographical changes occurred. You might need to know what was located near to a certain river and other things like that. This page also includes terms used in old land measurements.
How to Write and Use Queries
Queries can be a big help to you in your online research. Find out what they are, how to write them and how to make them more effective.
Computer Programs for Genealogy
If you really want to say with this hobby, there will probably come a point when you will want to purchase a computer program to make keeping track of all that paper a whole lot easier. Read up on the programs available.
Miscellaneous Information for Researchers
Here you will find: Information on English Common Law in 18th Century Virginia, Relationships of Cousins Explained, Definitions of Some Unusual Death Items and a Guide to Reading Old Handwriting (with some links).
Links
Here are links to other pages that will help you either get started or get over the brick wall. We have also provided links to specialty sites like document preservation, old photograph preservation, bible preservation, passenger & ships records, special ethnic sites and much, much more. Good luck and happy researching!

 

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The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy Online

Help for Researchers


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