The Crawfordsville District Public Library’s genealogist, Dellie Craig, has been hard at work creating a new section in the Marian Morrison Local History collection. Dellie has organized a collection of genealogy and local history books, magazines and DVDs that you can check out and take home. You can also place holds on these items if they are checked out to another user. These materials will help you learn how to research your family history and organize your findings.
A great way to start is “Practical Genealogy: 50 Simple Steps to Research Your Diverse Family History” by Brian Sheffey (GEN 929 She). Following the 50 steps laid out in the book will help you break down the complex task of researching your family into manageable steps and preserve your research for future generations. Another great title is “Genealogy for Beginners” by Katherine Pennavaria (GEN 929.1 Pen), which covers the hows and whys of research and finding primary and secondary sources of information. Pennavaria covers collecting and scanning documents as well as setting up an organization system so you will be able to locate information quickly. Creating a family tree without errors and ensuring accuracy is very important.
Once you have compiled the easily accessible information, you may hit a roadblock and not know where to go next. Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer have you covered in their book “Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide” (GEN 929.1 Eld). Scale the brick wall using research tricks and tips that professionals use to solve difficult cases. Using real-world examples, learn ways to take your research to the next level. Templates and samples are included and will help you stay focused and organized while researching your family tree.
The most used resources for genealogy research at the Crawfordsville library are the online databases, Ancestry and FamilySearch. There is a learning curve to use these to their fullest potential but we have two great books that will explain the timesaving and powerful ways Ancestry and FamilySearch can help you. “The Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com: How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website” by Nancy Hendrickson (GEN 929.1 Hen) covers creating and managing a family tree and connecting with other users and family members. Ancestry also has extensive Census and vital records in scanned images and transcripted copies. Access to Fold3, a military records database is also included. FamilySearch, the world’s largest free genealogy website, is covered in the “Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, 2nd Edition” by Dana McCullough (GEN 929.1072 McC). FamilySearch’s records span the globe. Research worksheets, charts and checklists are located in Appendix C and are helpful. One of the most popular features of FamilySearch is the generational fan charts you can print of your family tree. The book also includes step-by-step strategies for creating search queries that will help you find ancestors quickly and correctly.
The Crawfordsville District Public Library staff is ready to help you get started on researching your family tree. Visit us on the second floor or call 765-362-2242, ext. 119, to make an appointment with our genealogy specialist. CDPL is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridayand Saturday and 1-5 p.m .Sunday.
Dellie Craig is a local history specialist and Michelle Ogden is a library assistant. You can find them in the Reference and Local History Department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.
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