Finding Your Roots: How to Trace Your Ancestors at Home and Abroad

Finding Your Roots: How to Trace Your Ancestors at Home and Abroad

by Jeane Eddy Westin

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Finding Your Roots offers a step-by-step guide into the world of personal genealogical research, beginning with something you already know -- your own name.

There are more than 1,500,000 family names (surnames) in the U.S. today. Although enormous numbers of European, Asian, Mexican, and other immigrants brought their surnames to this country during the last two centuries, the predominant family names are still very close to what they were in Revolutionary times. And because most Western countries formed family names in four ways (place names, patronymics (son of, e.g., Johnson), occupation, and nicknames), your surname can be a clue to where you came from and what your ancestors did.

Next, find out what's already known about your family history, by interviewing older relatives -- grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc. Westin shows you how to conduct interviews by phone, letter or in person, gives tips on taking notes and transcribing recordings, and perhaps most important, describes how to keep and organize your records. Simply getting back in touch with a long lost family member on a project of such mutual interest can be immensely rewarding in itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312905392
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/01/1988
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 4.26(w) x 6.73(h) x 0.95(d)

Table of Contents

Journey to Your Pastxiii
Chapter 1Genealogy--Your Greatest Adventure1
Chapter 2What's in a Name? A First Clue to Your Roots7
Chapter 3The American Family History: How Our Ancestors Got Here25
Chapter 4First Step Backward: How to Take a Family History and Gather Family Records41
Chapter 5Finding Your Roots with the Help of the World's Greatest Genealogy Collection61
Chapter 6Finding Your Roots with the Help of Public Libraries, Specialty Libraries, and Genealogical Societies70
Chapter 7Finding Your Roots Through Local Public Records84
Chapter 8Finding Your Roots Through Federal Records104
Chapter 9Finding Your Roots Abroad: Sources in Your Ancestral Homeland135
Chapter 10Finding Your Roots in Cyberspace197
Chapter 11Does Your Family Have a Coat of Arms?219
Chapter 12Your Family Health History237
Chapter 13Family Gathering: How to Unite Your Newfound Family246
Chapter 14How to Write and Publish a Family History252
Appendix IState-by-State Family History Help List262
Appendix IIGenealogical Publishers and Bookstores311
Appendix IIIMap Sources for Genealogists315
Appendix IVSpecial Immigrant Passenger Lists317
Appendix VMajor Ports of Entry for Immigrants319
Appendix VIList of Mayflower Passengers321

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