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JUST GETTING STARTED IN GENEALOGY?

1

SET GOALS

Why are you doing this? Curiosity? You like to solve problems? You want to join a society like the DAR or SAR? You want to meet distant cousins? Your children and/or grandchildren are asking you questions you can't answer? Whatever the motivation, some planning is necessary. You have to determine how much time and money you are willing to invest. Will you use a computer? Do you live in or near a city that has a genealogical society, public library, family history center, etc.?

2

ORGANIZE Set up a system that you can use and that others can understand such as a good computer program. Record what you know. Show all your sources. A space set aside for research can be as simple as a desk small file cabinet or as complete as a room with computer, legal size file cabinets, book shelves, desk, copy machine, etc.

3

START WITH YOURSELF

Prove that you exist (Birth Certificate, Bible record, Census record, etc.).Try to find family Bibles, old photographs letters, yearbooks, etc. Then prove your parents, grandparents, etc. If possible, talk to your closest older relatives. Don't forget your distant cousins. Ask questions that will jog people's memories. Utilize old photographs family heirlooms. Ask older relatives what they remember about their parents and grandparents. Write letters to others who share your surname if it's not too common (resource: white pages on the Internet or software of the same).

4

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Work with others. Enroll in a genealogy class. Join a genealogical society. Network with others via the computer, telephone or mail. Visit cemeteries, libraries and archives with other researchers. Have fun!

5

UTILIZE AVAILABLE RESOURCES

Access to computers and the internet is as close as the public library if you don't have your own system. Find a website that you are comfortable with. Cyndi's List is a good place to start. Visit your public library and see if it has the materials you need. Even a library that claims not to have a genealogy section will have many reference works such as city directories, local regional history books, biographies, etc. that will help you in your research.

Local resources Jacksonville - Duval County

SGES Library, 6215 Sauterne Dr., Jacksonville, FL.
The New Jacksonville Main Library (Genealogy Dept.), Downtown Square across from City Hall
LDS Family History Centers, 7665 Ft Caroline Rd and at 461 Blanding Blvd.
Museum of Southern History, 4304 Herschel St., Jacksonville, FL 32210 904-388-3574
Jacksonville Historical Society, 317 A Philip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32202, 904-665-0064

One's Day Drive

Orlando Public Library Orlando, FL
Florida Archives Tallahassee, FL
Huxford Genealogical Society Library Homerville, GA
Ellen Payne Odom Library Moultrie, GA
Ladson Library Vidalia, GA
Washington Public Library Macon, GA
Georgia Historical Society Savannah, GA
US Archives SE East Point, GA
Georgia Archives Atlanta, GA
Elmer’s Genealogy Library, 203 S. Range St., Madison, FL 32340-2437. Phone 850-973-3282, FAX: 850-929-2970 • Web: elmerslibrary • Email: elmerslibrary
Over 20,000 volumes, including census, family & county histories, directories, phone books, microfilm and much more. Largest collections: Ohio (a specialty), Florida and Georgia, but has material from all states. One hour and a half away, off I-10, 60 miles east of Tallahassee.

South East States

Libraries with good genealogical collections

Birmingham, Chattanooga, South Carolina (Columbia SC), Knoxville, Louisville Public Library, The Filson Club in Louisville, The SAR Library in Louisville, Lexington Public library. Several university libraries contain excellent historical collections including Duke and the University of North Carolina. The North Carolina Archives in Raleigh is one of the finest in the nation.

Washington DC area

The National Archives
The Library of Congress
The Daughters of the American Revolution
Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA
Enoch Pratt Public Library Baltimore,MD
Peabody Library
Maryland Historical Society
Maryland Hall of Records Annapolis

Other noteworthy libraries archives

LDS Family History Center Salt Lake City, UT
Allen County Public Library Ft Wayne,IN
New England Historical Genealogical Society Boston, MA
New York Public Library 5th Avenue New York City
Cincinnati Public Library
Pennsylvania Archives Harrisburg, PA (One of the best)
Ohio Genealogical Society
Newberry Library Chicago, IL

   
Tip When visiting libraries where your ancestors came from, ask if they have files on local history and families. Also check for local genealogical historical societies.