Sunday, November 9, 2008

Genealogy Research from Home

Besides using the free, subscription and library databases on the Internet, there are other options to research from home, or near to home.

[1] You can search all of the genealogy and local history periodicals at the Allen County Public Library with PERSI.  The PERiodical Source Index is the largest subject index to genealogical and historical periodical articles in the world.  It covers articles written in English and French (Canada) since 1800.  The time period of the articles ranges from the 1700s to the present. More than 1.8 million index entries from nearly ten thousand titles are covered by PERSI.  PERSI was created and is maintained by the foundation and department staff of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne IN.  You can access PERSI through HeritageQuestOnline to conduct your research of articles of interest to you.  Once you find articles of interest, you can order copies of the articles from the ACPL.  The Article Request Form and current rates are found on the ACPL website

[2] The Midwest Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence MO will do limited research and provide copies of materials in their library following their Genealogy Research Policy.  For example, if you use the index from The History of Appanoose County Iowa - 1986 on the Iowa GenWeb site to find persons/families in which you are interested, you can then order copies of those articles (up to three at a time) from the Midwest Genealogy Center.  Or, if you own a copy of the Probate Index 1852-1988 or the Probate Heirs & Others Index published by the Appanoose County Genealogical Society, you can order copies of the probate files in which you are interested (up to three at a time) from the Midwest Genealogy Center which has all of the probate files microfilmed by the ACGS.  

[3]  Using the Interlibrary Loan services of your local library, you can borrow books not in your local library from another library. It is best to know which libraries have the book you want to borrow before you visit your local library. You can find those libraries by using WorldCat which searches most of the libraries in the USA for the book you want.  Also, check the Interlibrary Loan policies of your local library on their web site. 

[4]  The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has a huge collection of microfilm and microfiche containing lots of original records and other documents.  You can order these through your local Family History Center for a nominal fee.  They need to be used at your Family History Center, but you can make hard or digital copies for a fee to take with you.  You can search the Family History Library catalog from home.  For example, a search for Jerome in Iowa produces one category of records "Iowa, Appanoose - Church Records."  Select "Iowa, Appanoose - Church Records."  Then, you will see "Church Records 1905-1954 Jerome United Methodist Church (Appanoose Couty, Iowa).  If you cleck on Church Records, you will get a detailed explanation of the records.  If your original search were for Appanoose in Iowa, you get a long list of categories which you can follow. 

[5]  "Ask the Libarian" is a feature of most library websites.  I've found that if you ask the libarian about an obituary or other specific data, ofter they will look it up and send it to you. 

These are some of the strategies I use in my genealogical research from home.

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