Research suggestions from Lisa H., SC4 library staff member
“Genealogy without documentation is mythology” - Anonymous. Family stories do not mean anything; documentation is proof.
Start with yourself and work backwards.
Organize your findings in a genealogy program such as Legacy family Tree. (Free Edition: http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ You will never have to upgrade to the paid version because the free version does not expire.)
Do not be concerned about spelling changes/errors. For example, Schultz may have been recorded by census takers as Shultz, Schults, or Chultz.
Church records are best. Look for baptismal, marriage, or death records. They often list the name of parents, siblings, etc.
Check newspapers for obituaries.
Look for military draft records.
While online visit the public library of a city and see what resources are available. Sometimes emailing a specific request will get you the document you want in digital format.
While online visit the county historical society and see what resources are available.
Don’t forget to research the siblings of your ancestor! You might find that missing elderly parent living with a sibling, etc.
Record and cite your sources! (As you progress, you will find you cannot remember where you found that birthdate.)
Nearly all records from the 1890 U.S. Census were destroyed in a fire and flood.
Records to check
Census (1790-1940 - the 1890 census was ruined in a fire) Each census asks different questions.
City Directory (similar to a phone book it lists the person, their occupation and residence – came out yearly)
Vital Records (birth, marriage, death)
Newspapers (brings your family to life with news stories and obituaries)
Cemetery Records (you may discover other family members in the section)
CastleGarden.org is an educational project of The Battery Conservancy. This free site offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. More than 100 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period.
The BHC is both a repository of records of the past and a workshop of historical activity in the present, with emphasis on the history of Detroit and Michigan from the time of settlement in the 17th century to the present.
Genealogical materials in the BHC include federal census population schedules, family histories, cemetery inscriptions, church records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, military records, hereditary society indexes, heraldry books, immigration records, probate indexes and records, vital records, obituaries, and land records.
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.
A popular history magazine geared toward professionals and enthusiasts alike, Michigan History offers a wide variety of subject matter, time frames, and perspectives while inspiring, educating, and entertaining its readers.
The Michigan Room is a local history collection housed on the lower level of the Library Headquarters in Port Huron. This collection, of particular interest to historians and genealogists, includes materials about St. Clair County and the Thumb Region such as plat atlases, out-of-print texts on Michigan history, directories, Civil War records, and High School Year Books. None of the Michigan Room materials may be checked out, and must be used in the library with the assistance of a Reference Librarian.
Using the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System, you can access and search some of the National Archives' holdings of databases and other electronic or computerized records. These include many military records, such as Enlistment Records, Casualty Reports, Prisoner of War Data, and other records that may be of interest to anyone doing veterans or military research.
The mission of this project is to coordinate a United States census transcription effort by recruiting, guiding, and helping volunteer transcribers. Our goal is to provide free access to Online Research Data for everyone.