Thursday, January 14, 2010

52 Weeks of Genealogy Sources: Week 1, Archive Category in FamilySearch

This first resource is really one that leads you to more sources. It won’t provide you information about your ancestor by searching it.  Its purpose is to lead you to collections that will help you find information about your ancestor.

When searching the Family History Library Catalog,,  by a location, you will see a list of categories for records for that location. So for example, if you search on Arizona, you will see this,

It’s easy to scan the list and go straight for Vital Records or Court Records since that is something that we will need in our research. But don’t overlook one of the first categories, Archives and Libraries. This category contains information about the repository collections in the locality where you are researching.

So for Arizona, the category Archives and Libraries-inventories, registers and catalogs contains the following:

  • Guide to the manuscript collection of Arizona State University
  • Documents of Southwestern history : a guide to the manuscript collections of the Arizona Historical Society
  • A guide to public records in the Arizona State Archives

Each of these guides can be helpful as you search. Now in some cases the information might be readily available on the Internet but not in all cases.
When  I was researching my book, Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra, I was able to access an inventory of a local county archives that was taken many years prior. This list allowed me to know what had been available when the inventory was taken and it provided me a document that I could use when contacting the archives to let them know what I was interested in.

Don't forget that when searching on a state or a county in the Family History Library catalog,, once you are on the results page for that region, you can then click on the button View Related Places and search on a county or regional level.


Texicanwife said...

Fantastic post!
I am granting you the Happy 101 Award!

TCasteel said...

I used this "week 1" post as a prompt to follow through on the "week 3" geneabloggers prompt.

Thank you,
Theresa (Tangled Trees)