This handout should be used in conjunction with the FLP handout titled Biographies, Autobiographies, and Diaries. Genealogical information can be found in biographies and vice versa. Using these two handouts together will increase the probability of finding what you are looking for.
For one or more related families, see:
Once a published genealogy of interest is found, try to find it in the FLP online catalog. If the item is not part of the FLP collection, ask a librarian about how to use the Interlibrary Loan System.
For numerous UNRELATED families in a specific geographic area or for UNRELATED families of a particular ethnic or religious group, look in collective genealogies like Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania. SSH 929 C71. Also see Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families. SSH 929.2097 G286o. Look for collective genealogies in libraries located in the geographical area of interest or in special collection libraries; e.g., the Free Library of Philadelphia or the library of the Mennonite Historical Society. Collective genealogies are usually, but not always, displayed in a prominent place in the browsing area of a library collection.
Most local histories have biographical sections that contain detailed genealogical information. To find lists of local histories, look in:
Once a local history of interest is found, try to find it in the FLP online catalog. If the item is not part of the FLP collection, ask a librarian about interlibrary loan.
Use these subject headings to locate genealogies and local histories:
|"Surname" Family||Howell Family|
|"City (St.)" - History||Philadelphia (Pa.) - History|
|"City (St.)" - Genealogy||Philadelphia (Pa.) - Genealogy|
|"State" - History||Pennsylvania - History|
|"State" - Genealogy||Pennsylvania - Genealogy|
See these published catalogs of libraries with extensive genealogical holdings:
Try OCLC. OCLC is a national catalog used for interlibrary loan purposes among other things. Use OCLC to find hard-to-locate books, to borrow them, or to determine which libraries own them. Staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department will make these searches for you.
Think about genealogical periodicals in geographical terms, then review those that cover the area of interest.
Local (city, county, or region of a state). E.g., Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society. SSH 974.815 L221j.
State. E.g., Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. SSH A929 G28.
National Region. E.g., New England Historical and Genealogical Register. SSH 929 N42.
To become familiar with the overall structure of genealogical periodical literature, see An Index to Genealogical Periodical Literature, 1960-1977. SSH 016.9291 Sp37i. Also see A Survey of American Genealogical Periodicals and Periodical Indexes. SSH 016.9291 Sp37s.
There are few manuscript and pamphlet holdings of genealogical interest at FLP. When at other libraries and archives, however, always ask about manuscript and pamphlet holdings. There are ALWAYS some manuscript and pamphlet holdings that are not accessible via catalogs. Some published manuscript catalogs at FLP are:
The HSP is a great place to find genealogical information on early Pennsylvanians.
The GSP has many published genealogies. The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and a 100 year index to the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine are available on CD at the GSP.
All Family History Centers of the Mormon Church have a catalog that lists many of their holdings in Utah. Many family histories and genealogies not available elsewhere can be found here. However, if the material has not been microfilmed, it cannot be borrowed. You can go to Utah yourself, have a professional genealogist in Utah review it for you, or have a friend visiting Utah look at the document for you.
Many of the records held by the Mormons have the submitter's name or some other source associated with the record. Learn how to identify and contact these submitters.
For each of the 50 states, the Mormons have published State Research Outlines. Use these excellent outlines to identify statewide collective genealogies and biographies. They are available on the Internet at http://www.familysearch.org.
Look for published indexes to application papers of hereditary societies. E.g., Register of the General Society of the War of 1812 and suppls. SSH 369.13 So139r. To locate these indexes make a keyword search in the FLP catalog using the most significant words in the name of the hereditary society. Most of these societies are listed in The Hereditary Register of the United States of America. SSH 369.1 H42r.
Visit hereditary societies. E. g., The office of The Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution is in Philadelphia.
Most genealogical societies have a 3x5 card file or some other device that lists researchers interested in particular surnames. Ask about them.
Become familiar with books that list family or surname organizations. E.g., Directory of Family Associations. SSH 929.2025 D628o.
Read periodicals that list persons interested in particular surnames. E.g., Genealogical Helper, 929.105 G286h, and Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, A929 G28. Both are in SSH.
Try a mass mail-out to persons in a geographical area who have the surname of interest.
Many genealogists are publishing their research results on the Internet. Look at all of the items under "Find Content" at http://www.genpa.org/genealogy.html.