Secrets of Tracing Your Ancestors

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There is no better book to get beginners started in America's top hobby: genealogy!

This new 7th edition is an easy-to-read guide to beginning genealogy. Quillen teaches the basics of getting started and guides readers through the tricks and techniques of professional genealogists, and best of all the book is filled with real-life examples from Dan's own searches over the years. Readers are pointed to the most current web sites and government records where information can be ...

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There is no better book to get beginners started in America's top hobby: genealogy!

This new 7th edition is an easy-to-read guide to beginning genealogy. Quillen teaches the basics of getting started and guides readers through the tricks and techniques of professional genealogists, and best of all the book is filled with real-life examples from Dan's own searches over the years. Readers are pointed to the most current web sites and government records where information can be gleaned. Overlooked resources – such as military, family and church records – are identified and instructions for procuring and using them are included. Readers will also be treated to detailed suggestions on how to write an effective and interesting life history that will be treasured by the budding genealogist’s descendants. This revised edition has a new section on the Soundex system; new topics in Internet research, including new web sites; and more on immigration, naturalization, census and military records.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593601973
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2014
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 365,394
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

For 29 years, W. Daniel Quillen has been a professional writer specializing in travel and technical subjects. He teaches beginning genealogy courses to university students and working adults, and is a frequent lecturer in genealogy classes in the greater Denver area. He is also the author of "The Troubleshooter's Guide to Do-It-Yourself Genealogy" and Quillen's Essentials of Genealogy series, with six titles in this line now in print and more to come (all published by Cold Spring Press).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 11
2 Why Genealogy? 13
3 Get Started 16
Baptismal or Confirmation Certificates 16
Graduation Diplomas 17
Newspaper Articles 17
Photographs 18
Government Documents 19
Memorabilia 19
Miscelleaneous 19
Shifting Gears 19
Caution! 22
Other Records 23
Old Letters 23
Old Budgets/Ledgers 24
Family Bibles 24
Photos 26
Old Legal Papers 26
Family Histories/Genealogies 27
More Than a Coin Collection 27
Getting Started Checklist 28
Additional Resources 29
4 Get Organized 30
Information You Have Found 30
Birth, Death and Marriage Records 31
Correspondence 32
Other Records 32
Photographs 32
Information For Which You Are Searching 33
Forms 33
Research Log 34
Family Group Sheet 34
Pedigree Charts 37
Get Organized Checklist 41
Additional Resources 41
5 What's in a Name? 42
Physical Characteristics 42
An Animal Connection 42
Patronymics 43
Occupations 44
Geographic Locations 45
Mother's Maiden Names 45
Don't Assume... 45
Spelling Woes 46
What's in a Name? Checklist 47
Additional Resources 48
6 Vital Records 49
Where to Look? 50
What Do I Say? 51
What Do the Records Cost? 52
Friendly Caution 52
Vital Records Checklist 53
Additional Resources 53
7 Genealogical Societies 54
Genealogical Societies Checklist 58
Additional Resources 58
8 Genealogical Collections in Libraries 59
Family History Library 59
State Libraries 59
County Libraries 60
Genealogical and Historical Society Libraries 61
University Libraries 61
National Archives 61
The Hunt Begins! 66
Vital Statistics Records 66
Census Records 66
Biographies 67
Obituaries 67
Old Newspapers 68
Land Records 69
City Telephone Directories 69
Histories 69
Cemetery Indexes 69
Befriend the Librarian! 70
Collections and Libraries Checklist 70
Additional Resources 71
9 Computers and the Internet 72
The Internet 72
Genealogy Websites 73
Genealogy Software 87
Computer and Internet Checklist 93
Additional Resources 93
10 Using the LDS Church 94
The Family History Library 94
Getting Around Salt Lake City 96
Family History Centers 97
Getting the Most Out of Your Local Family History Center 99
Prepare 99
Call Ahead 99
Have Patience 99
Share Your Success 100
FamilySearch 100
Ancestral File 101
Family History Library Catalog 101
International Genealogical Index 101
Other Resources 102
A Practical Lesson on FamilySearch 102
LDS Church Checklist 105
Additional Resources 106
11 Census Records 107
Who, What, When, Where, Why & How... 107
Questions, Questions, Questions 109
Soundex 115
Soundex Coding Rules 116
Soundex Cards 119
The Census 120
Write it Down! 120
What Next? 121
Finding the Censuses 124
Mortality Schedules 125
Census Records Checklist 125
Additional Resources 126
12 Military Records 127
Motivation 127
American Wars 127
Where to Begin 128
The National Archives 129
Enlistment Records 129
Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) 129
Pension Records 130
Record of Events 131
Confederate Records 131
Bounty Land Warrants 131
Other Resources 132
OK-So Where Do I Find These Wonderful Records 132
The Internet and Military Records 133
Military Records Search Checklist 134
Additional Resources 134
13 Ethnic Research 135
African-American Research 135
Native American Research 139
German Research 142
Jewish Research 155
Hispanic Research 160
Irish Research 163
Other Ethnic-Specific Research 167
Traveling to Unearth Your Roots 168
Ethnic Research Checklist 170
Additional Resources 171
14 Who Am I? 172
The Genealogical Dilemma of Adoption 172
Where to Start? 173
Registries 176
Other Resources 178
After You've Found a Name 178
Locality-Specific Adoption Help 179
Should I pay someone to search for me? 179
Who Am I? Checklist 180
Additional Resources 180
15 Using DNA as a Research Tool 181
Using DNA as a Research Tool Checklist 184
Additional Resources 185
16 Is Anyone Out There? 186
The Internet 187
Message Boards 188
Magazine Queries 188
Be a Detective! 188
Is Anyone Out There? Checklist 189
17 Professional Genealogists 190
Is Now the Time? 190
OK - It's Time 191
The Board of Certification of Genealogists (BCG) 191
The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGEN) 192
The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) 193
What Will it Cost? 194
Professional Genealogists Checklist 194
18 Help Your Descendants! 195
Writing a Personal History 195
Chapters 196
Set a Regular Time 198
Additional Help 198
Keep a Journal 198
What Do I Do Now? 199
Help Your Descendants! Checklist 200
Additional Resources 200
19 In Summary 201
20 Appendix 203
Glossary of Terms 203
State Libraries and Archives 207
State Departments of Vital Statistics 221
Index 233
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