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Switching Search Directions

Genealogists frequently hit a brickwall when they don't reason through their research problems, they give up prematurely, or they are in a rut with their research. The same old plan of action and the same routine can provide negative results, even if the answer is not that difficult to locate.

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Type: Article
Resource: Tracing Lines
Prepared by: Ruby Coleman
Word Count: 575 (approx.)
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Genealogists frequently hit a brickwall when they don't reason through their research problems, they give up prematurely, or they are in a rut with their research. The same old plan of action and the same routine can provide negative results, even if the answer is not that difficult to locate.

It is easy to get in a rut doing research on Internet. Many times we direct our search to the large databases, such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. They are great, but there is much more on Internet. Search engines, such as Google, do not do a deep search, so it is up to you, the researcher, to dig deeper.

Many libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and genealogical societies have databases, collections and digital images that can be searched. They should be checked often as they are areas that are developing and growing on Internet.

A good example of local information supplied by a library can be found at the Campbell County Public Library System of Gillette and Wright, Wyoming, Campbell County Public Library. By clicking on Research and then Local Genealogy, you will locate a list to their extensive indexing to births, deaths and marriages published in the Campbell Co., Wyoming newspapers. Once an item is located, you can contact the library for a copy to be sent by e-mail.

Moving across the country, be sure to check out the Williamson County Public Library of Franklin, Tennessee at Williamson County Public Library. Click on Special Collections Genealogy and Local History Database and Williamson County Obituaries Database. If you ancestors lived in Williamson County, this will most certainly interest you.

The Carroll County Historical Museum in Delphi, Indiana, http://www.carrollcountymuseum.org/index.html, has links to their genealogy library, manuscripts, photo archives, old settlers, plus access to thirty-one genealogy databases. It might be worth a look!

The Mississippi Digital Library received funding by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and in partnership with other Mississippi Institutions to provide primary sources for researchers. Their collection can be searched at http://cdm.lib.usm.edu/cdm4/index.php. Be sure to check links and learn more about digital resources in the state of Mississippi.

Washington State Digital Archives has a massive collection of images online. They have over 62 million records that can be searched at Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed Digital Archives. These include marriages, plats, surveys, deaths and more. Coming soon is their index 1910-1919 to Washington State deaths.

Indiana University provides numerous digital collections of the IUPUI University Library at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/digitalcollections/collections.html. Among the many are Indiana maps, electronic atlas of Central Indiana, historic atlases of Indiana, Indiana plat books and the Indianapolis City Directory Collection, 1858-1980.

If research takes you to colonial Connecticut, be sure to check out the University of Connecticut Library web page of public records of the Colony of connecticut, 1636-1776. It is at http://www.colonialct.uconn.edu/. You can browse the index and also search the records.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, offers a photograph and image search at http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/index.php. You can order copies of the any that interest you.

One of my favorite digital web sites is the University of Missouri Digital Library at http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/. Be sure to check all of their links, such as to Missouri Historic Newspapers.

Look at your research problem. Determine the area of your research, such as a state and/or county. Then start looking on Internet for what is available in that area. You may be surprised to learn your ancestor is lurking on a digital database on Internet ... and not just on the big ones.

Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2008.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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