|Card Index File at Los Angeles Public Library|
Should you use indexes? Yes! They are an important finding aid when you need to know where to find something in the original record or when you need to order a record. Just remember to always follow-up with the original record.
Indexes are great for finding information about an ancestor when you lack a date or are unsure of a place. Indexes help you order a Social Security Application or a court record, find a burial place or learn about a group that your ancestor was part of.
There are indexes that include women and those that are specific to women. A search on a genealogy website, a catalog like the FamilySearch Catalog, or the internet will help reveal these. Some indexes to consider include:
GenealogyBank - Social Security Death Index
Ancestry.com - US Craftsperson Files, 1600-1995
Ancestry.com - Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
FamilySearch - Index to References to American Women in Colonial Newspapers through 1800
The Quilt Index
Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records
GenealogyBank Blog - Genealogy 101: Indexes, An Important Part of Genealogy Research