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Monday, December 3, 2012

Delving into your history - Using the Genealogy Collection

Guest post by EPL patron and long-time Madison Genealogy Society member Elsie W.

This month is the second part of a series on genealogical research.  As mentioned in our first post, the Madison County Genealogy Collection is housed here at the Edwardsville Public Library.  We have many resources, including family histories, an indexed obituary file, printed census records, marriage records through 1882, some cemetery records, and quarterlies from genealogical societies within Illinois.  If you are thinking of starting a family history, the library is a great place to begin.  But where do you start?  Last month, we provided some tips; this month we continue the list.

8. WILLS AND PROBATE RECORDS.  These can show proof positive of a relationship.  Even when there is no will, records of estate settlements may show heirs and relationships, sometimes their location.

9. LAND TRANSACTIONS.  Land records have been made with great care throughout this nation.  Records of deeds may show not only owners, but heirs and relationships on both sides.  Tax lists help, when available, too.  Look at the neighbors as they might be relatives.

10. PENSION PAPERS.  They are full of dates and places.  If your ancestor served in any war, it’s on record and you can get a copy.

11. CHECK THE CHURCHES.  Some denominations kept baptismal, marriage and burial records; others didn’t.  Some who did not may have adjacent cemeteries with data carved in stone.  Check their membership lists.

12. LIBRARIES.  It may be that much of the research you need has already been done and is waiting for you tight in your local or nearby library.  It may be in printed form or on microfilm.

13. DENDEALOGICAL SOCIETIES.  Join a local Society or perhaps a Society in the area of your search.  You can learn, through them, the local history of the area, tips from fellow genealogists on where to look for elusive records, plus early county records or township records.

14. LOCAL AND STATE SOCIETIES.  Check the records of the local historical societies.  Check at State Archives and State Historical Societies for what records they may have on your ancestor.

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