Living at the end of the world, or so it seems, for the better part of my life, I have collected guides to the holdings of libraries and finding aids for records. Even those now dated are quite valuable–I use them for key words and references to check online catalogs and databases, as well as locating records on deposit across the country.
Let me share a few with you–
- American Genealogical Research at the DAR, Washington DC: NSDAR, 1997. The DAR Library 1776 D St NW, Washington DC 20006-5392. Written by Eric G. Grundset and Steven B. Rhodes. This guide is now 20 years old!. So libraries that have it, have pristine copies–hardly looked at. The section on Loyalists covers both the American Colonies and those settled in Canada after the Revolutionary War. Titles recommended to searching can be found in many other libraries and now those printed before 1900 are on Google Books.
- DAR Magazine Cumulative Index, 1892-1997. 3 vols. The Magazine includes new ancestors qualified by members in each issue. Articles that identify specific stories and biographies of Revolutionary soldiers and sailors are also indexed. This periodical is widely available in local libraries.
- A Guide to the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, by Maureen A. Taylor and Henry B. Hoff, editors. Boston: NEHGS, 2004. The chapters are written by genealogists who use the collections and are familiar with important contents and how to follow-up with other sources. Special services are described in detail and how you can take advantage of these from a distance. Research tips and guidance for every record category is also covered.
- Register of Chicago Vital Records: Births, Marriages, and Deaths. Compiled by the US/Canada Reference Staff of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: 2002. This is an inventory of sources with call numbers at the main library.
- Register of Vital Records at the Family History Library and Other Repositories: US/Canada. Compiled by the US/Canada Staff of the Family History Library, 2001. This register includes an extensive guide to New York City and its boroughs on spread sheets–a very useful guide to shorten the amount of time it takes to find the actual reel of microfilm. The Family History Library has compiled these registers over time to big collections and to those that are more complicated to search. Most of the Registers can now be found on the FamilySearch Wiki.
- Eric G. Grundset has compiled a series of Revolutionary War guides for research in specific states. They are available from the DAR book store in printed form or as an ebook. http://shoppingdar.org New York was the first, and Rhode Island, South Carolina, Georgia, and other states are being printed on a regular basis. I highly recommend these guides because they identify the early source material to trace a Revolutionary ancestor.
Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS With a good guide, you can locate just about what you need to trace your ancestors for about 200 years. Don’t give up or become impatient, the research guides will catch up. Check out the Family History Expos webinar program with over 400 classes and accompanying DVD’s. http://fhexpos.com These classes include my knowledge and expertise over the last 2 years.