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Search For Your Ancestors: A Genealogy Research Guide
Genealogy research is an amazing pastime. Growing in popularity thanks to the online resources available, many are learning more about their family histories than they ever thought possible. If you're just making your way down the path, this research guide will give you get the information you need.Find your Ancestors Through Census Records at the National Archives
A good place to look for family names is the National Archives Census Records. In the United States, there are National Archive buildings located in several major cities. You can choose to visit one in person. The buildings can be found in Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Laguna Niguel, CA, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsfield, MA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Or, you can start your search online at the National Archives site found at http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/research.html. You can order copies of either microfilm or paper copies of census records or request records such as Immigration and Naturalization Records, Native American Records, Passenger Lists, Land Files and Military Service and Draft Registration Records.Retrieving Vital Records from State Public Health Departments
Every state in the U.S. has its own office of Vital Records and Public Health. You can contact your state's (or the state where the person you are looking for resided) department and order birth certificates, death certificates, marriage and divorce documents. Type in an online search term like "Connecticut Vital Records Office" and you should be able to easily find contact info for the state you are looking for. Most states have a link to genealogy questions. There you can find out more about locating specific birth, death, marriage and/or divorce documents. Fees will vary depending on how far back you are asking them to search. You should be able to find records up to 100 years back, depending on the state.Looking Up Ancestors In Newspapers
If you have a good idea where your family member resided and have some pretty solid dates, you can easily find microfilmed copies of newspapers dating back to the 1800s. You can request these at your local library. The librarian should be able to help you make an interlibrary loan request to any participating library in the U.S. You can also search via the Library of Congress which keeps over 9,000 newspapers on microfilm. The more information you have going in, the better. Knowing the correct spellings of first and last names, birth, marriage, and death dates will all help you be successful at your search.Find Information On the Deceased In Obituaries and Cemetery Records
With the internet, it's quick and easy to search obituaries and cemetery records that otherwise you might never have had access to. Sites like Obituaries Links Page at www.obitlinkspage.com will allow you to search cemetery and obituary records by state. They will give you details on how to send for an official death certificate. You may want to try to locate free resources first. You should be able to find all the information you need on where your family member died and where they are buried.
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