ROOTS-L Resources: Info and Tips for Beginning Genealogy
Whether you're just starting out or
you've been doing genealogy forever, here are some
useful general information files.
An overview of the records you'll want to access as you begin. Later on,
Searching Your Family Tree, by Richard Pence. An excellent article on how to
do genealogy, with sections on getting started, interview pointers, family
traditions (should you believe them or not?), how to keep records, places to
do research such as libraries and the National Archives, and the main types
of records that are used, such as census records, military records, vital
records, passenger records, land records, etc.
It just came in the mail, your unique chance to buy a copy of
"[Your surname] since the Civil War" or "[Your surname] across America".
Is it a scam? Might be. Some of the more common ones are discussed
here, so you can decide before you buy. (Even if it is a scam, it's
possible you may still want the book.)
A guide or checklist of resources for doing genealogy reseach at home, at
a Family History Center, and elsewhere.
A list of genealogy reference books, written in 1985. While many good
genealogy books have subsequently been written, many of the books listed
here remain unsurpassed.
What is an oral history? What are the advantages of collecting an oral
history as opposed to relying on, say, letter writing? How does one best
go about creating one?
Besides Family History Centers, an excellent place to do genealogical
research in the USA is at the regional branches of the National Archives.
This file gives their locations, phone numbers, and hours as of 1991.
Some of the information (for instance, that discussing the New York
branch) is no longer valid.
A lot of your research time will be spent reading microfilm. Why is it
so hard to read? Here are some suggestions to make it easier to read.
As of December 1991, where to write for U.S. vitals records and how to get
them. Vital records are birth, marriage, and death records, and often
contain information vital to genealogy. For more detailed information on
obtaining vital records, don't miss
our page for regional resources with separate files
for each state and many nations on where to write for vital records.