Monday, September 7, 2015

Paula's advice on records and periodicals...

What record set do you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?

Many people ignore manuscript collections that are in libraries, historical societies, and archives all around the United States. The personal, business, and organizational papers hold family history details that are often not found since most are not online. Some personal papers include extensive genealogical research done by others, vital records, family relationships, and so much more. Learn how to access any indexes and finding aids and if you can, visit the place where some family details are held in the millions of manuscript collection that are waiting for us eager researchers.

What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?

I suggest reading as many back issues of genealogy periodicals as you can for all your ancestral locations. The information found in these may not be described anywhere else. The cemetery or newspaper index may not be online or anywhere else. The first-hand account of researching in a specific library might only appear there. As for texts that are helpful I make great use of my guides to various repositories, the online guide to the National Archives (
) and guides that were published even ten or twenty years ago. The helpful information in these makes for good reading during breaks from research. I read several of the scholarly genealogical journals to be reminded of the research process in tough cases, of methodology to solve burning issues, and to gain insight into the minds of the authors. The footnotes often lead me to some exciting resource discoveries.

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