Home Who am I? projects hobbies links


This table can help you decide which records to search. It is most helpful for post-1800 research.
1. In column 1 find the goal you selected.
2. In column 2 find the types of records most likely to have the information you need.
3. In column 3 find additional record types that may be useful.
4. Then look for the record type you need in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog.

*Note: Records of previous research (Genealogy, Biography, History, Periodicals, and Societies) are useful for most goals, but are not listed unless they are especially helpful.

1. If You Need 2. Look First In 3. Then Search
Age Census, Vital Records, Cemeteries Military Records, Taxation
Birth date Vital Records, Church Records, Bible Records Cemeteries, Obituaries, Census
Birthplace Vital Records, Church Records, Census Newspapers, Obituaries
City or parish of foreign birth Church Records, Genealogy, Biography, Naturalization and Citizenship, Societies Vital Records, Obituaries, History, Emigration and Immigration
Country of foreign birth Emigration and Immigration, Census, Naturalization and Citizenship, Church Records Military Records, Vital Records, Newspapers, Obituaries
County origins and boundaries History, Maps, Historical Geography Gazetteers
Death Vital Records, Cemeteries, Probate Records, Church Records, Obituaries, Societies Newspapers, Bible Records, Military Records, Town Records
Ethnicity Minorities, Native Races, Societies Church Records, Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Periodicals
Historical background History, Periodicals Minorities
Immigration date Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Genealogy, Societies Census, Newspapers, Biography
Living relatives (and adoptions) Genealogy, Directories, Court Records, Obituaries, Internet Census, Biography, Societies, Church Records, Probate Records
Maiden name Vital Records, Church Records, Newspapers, Bible Records Cemeteries, Military Records, Probate Records, Obituaries
Marriage Vital Records, Church Records, Census, Newspapers, Bible Records, Town Records Cemeteries, Military Records, Probate Records, Naturalization and Citizenship, Land and Property
Occupation Census, Directories, Emigration and Immigration Newspapers, Court Records, Biography
Parents, children, and other family members Vital Records, Church Records, Census, Phone Disc, Probate Records, Obituaries, Genealogy Bible Records, Newspapers, Emigration and Immigration
Physical description Military Records, Biography Naturalization and Citizenship, Vital Records, Emigration and Immigration, Genealogy
Place-finding aids Gazetteers, Maps, Historical Geography History, Periodicals
Place (town) of residence when you know only the state Census (indexed), Genealogy, Military Records, Vital Records, and other records with a statewide index, Soundex Biography, Probate Records, History, Directories, Societies, Taxation
Places family has lived Census, Land and Property, History, Directories Military Records, Taxation, Obituaries
Previous research (compiled genealogy) Genealogy, Periodicals, Societies History, Biography
Record-finding aids Archives and Libraries, Societies Periodicals
Religion Church Records, History, Biography Bible Records, Cemeteries, Genealogy
Social activities History, Biography Newspapers, Societies Town Records, Court, Records, Cemeteries, Directories, Obituaries