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Introduction to Genealogy

Best General Research sites: - 86,000 links to genealogy resources; well categorized; invaluable tools - Online course in Genealogy (first lesson free)

Surname searching (samples): LDS site: IGI; Ancestral Files; Genealogy library Search over 700 million names Affiliated with Family Tree Maker; CD ROM index Subscription database; free Index and SSDI

Researching US ancestors:

Vital Records (Birth, Marriage, Deaths)

Maintained in County where event occured. State Repositories listed at and in The Handybookfor Genealogists, published Everton; Ancestry’s Red Book (now as CDROM); FTM CDROM; International Vital Records Handbook (includes state application forms). Kentucky is only state online. Use Family History Centers or commercial look-up services - VitalChek Network, Inc (800-255-2424).

Social Security Death Index

Available on-line and on CDROM

US Census Records

Federal Census’ every 10 years from 1790 - some local and state returns in addition. 1880 - 1920 uses Soundex System. A few 1920 scanned images on-line at FTM CDROMs have indexes. 1880, 1900 & 1910 on microfilm from National Archives (

Land Records

Public domain records East of Mississippi; western states at

Several state sites offer interactive search. Property records at local (County) level only.

Military Records (Service & Pensions)

National Archives and Records administration


Obits - several statewide indexes - check

Biographical Indexes and Search Engines

Biography and Genealogy Master Index CDROM; family books at LDS Library and Rootsweb; try search engines such as Alta Vista & Excite; recommend Copernic (download from

Court Records & Cemetary Records

Usually very local - check USGenWeb or cyndislist for local history societies for lookups.


Fully discussed in Lesson 4.

This page was last updated on 08/22/02