I FOUND MY ANCESTOR'S NAME IN THE INDEX! NOW HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?
Further information on entries listed in each Every Name Index will be found in the corresponding book the index was compiled from. Each
entry in the alphabetical index refers to the person's name then the page number where they are mentioned in the original text. For
instance, an entry listed as Smith, John, 123, would indicate that his name would be found on page 123 of the original text.
Can you do a look-up for me?
All of the original texts I use for indexing are borrowed from university libraries or have been obtained through the inter-library loan system. I
do not own a copy of any of the original texts. Once the Every Name Index is completed and available this website, the original text has
been returned to the lender. Therefore, I cannot do a look-up for you.
Each index page contains a link to the original text online if it is available. If you find your ancestor's name, look for the link to do your own
look-up. If no online source is available for the original text, please continue reading below for suggestions to help locate the original text.
If the original text is not available online, how do I locate a copy of it?
INTER-LIBRARY LOAN. Browse your local library catalog or use the inter-library loan system to try and locate a copy of the original text.
Some of these books may be out of print but a few libraries usually offer them by inter-library loan.
If you do not live in the area or county you are researching you may also consult the online WorldCat Catalog which connects you to the
collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. Be aware that sometimes when you borrow an original text, they may send
it to your local library but you may be required to use it in-house only. Many of these texts are very old and in a fragile state or it may be
one of only a few copies still available, so libraries will not let them leave their facility and care.
SEARCH FOR ONLINE SCANS. You may wish to do an online search for scans of the original text pages that may have been uploaded to
websites such as Google Books or Heritage Quest - Search Books. My local library allows free remote access to Heritage Quest through
the library website using my library card number. Perhaps your local library would offer the same service.
REQUEST A LOOK-UP FROM A GENEALOGY VOLUNTEER. Make a request of online genealogy look-up volunteers. Often times you can
find a list of genealogy volunteers for a specific county on the county's GenWeb page. I have requested the services of genealogy
volunteers and received copies of documents and information from look-ups, and even photographs of tombstones. I have been very
pleased and grateful for their generous help. If you receive help from a volunteer, consider paying the kindness forward and offer to do a
look-up for someone that cannot travel to your county.
FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS. Check with the LDS Family History Library to see if a copy of the original text is available on microfilm. The
Family History Library Catalog is available online, and on CD or microfiche at a LDS Family History Center in your community. If a microfilm
or microfiche copy of the text is available it can be ordered for a small fee from Salt Lake City and sent to the LDS Center near you for your
EBAY. Another way you may be able to secure a copy of the original text is a search of the bookshop on eBay Many new and gently used
county history books are sold on eBay at reasonable prices. I do not endorse or guarantee the reliability of any eBay seller however I have
had good experiences purchasing items on eBay.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!
Locating your ancestor in an old county history book can be exciting and a valuable tool that provides excellent clues to expand your
research. You may find him listed as a soldier or a member of the business community. He may have been a founding or prominent
member of his church. The stories about the founding of the county and other settlers may give you clues about where your ancestor lived
before residing in that county.
Using genealogical information found in an old county history can be a big help, but you need to keep in mind that documenting the facts
with primary sources is very important. There are no doubt errors in these texts because publishers did not take the time to verify the
accuracy of the family information provided. Sometimes people liked to stretch the truth or make the story more interesting by adding little
embellishments here and there. Getting as many supporting documents as you can will help sort out the fact from fiction.
Don't be discouraged if you do not find a mention of your ancestor. Publishers often charged a small fee to include a family's biographical
sketch. Information was often submitted by anyone in the county that could afford to pay the cost therefore you may find only the most
prominent and wealthy families included in the book. Keep in mind that It does not mean your ancestor did not live in that county, rather it
may simply be the family could not afford to pay the cost to be included in the text.
"I can't thank you
enough for all the hard
work you put in on your
Every Name Indexes.
Your indexes have saved
me a lot of time and have
helped me take my family
back one more
generation. With a small
clue in the county history
book I was able to get my
ancestor's Civil War
Pension file. In that file I
found the names of his
parents, his siblings, and
where he was married. I
hit the jackpot! I just
wanted you to know your
hard work is appreciated
and is really helping
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