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Getting started with United States research
Numerous articles are available on FamilySearch Wiki to help you get started in family history. This portal will provide links to articles about general research topics.
- Identify What You Know
- Decide What You Want to Learn
- Select Records to Search
- Obtain and Search the Records
- Use the Information
Click on a state to go to that state's page:
- Principles of Family History Research
- How to Locate Your Ancestor in the United States
- How to Recognize your United States Ancestor
- United States Record Selection Table
- Listing of all records collections for the U.S. available on FamilySearch.org.
- Printable Maps from the National Atlas of the United States -- The Reference and Outline Maps of the United States and of the individual states are of most value to a genealogist. Other types of maps are also available from this site.
- Tracing Immigrant Origins
- United States Census Bureau State and County Map. This map will allow you to zoom in on any State or County in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring Counties. This makes it easy to see close by locations where other relatives might have lived. This map shows current Counties, consult the individual State Maps section to find out about historical maps. You can even type in a county name in the search box to locate the county on the map.
- A complete descriptive and statistical gazetteer of the United States of America ...: with an abstract of the census and statistics for 1840 (Compiled by Daniel Haskel, John Calvin Smith pub 1843)
- BYU United States Research Outline largely duplicates these Wiki pages. Includes some bibliographic lists from BYU Library, 2001.
- Online State Archives are an often-overlooked resource that can include very useful family history information such as state census and voter rolls, military pensions, slave records, court cases, and much more.
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- United States Census Mortality Schedules, 1850 through 1880 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- United States Census Slave Schedule, 1850 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- United States Index to General Correspondance of the Records and Pension Office (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- United States, Remarried Widows Index to Pension Applications (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Territories and Federal District
Interested in editing or adding to the Wiki? The United States page, the state pages, and the cohttps://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/extensions/FCKeditor/fckeditor/editor/images/spacer.gifunty pages need you! Here are some simple ways you can add information other researchers need!
- Add links to the David Rumsey Map Collection for the state or county in question. For an example, see the Pennsylvania.
- Volunteer to be a moderator for the United States portal, or one of the unclaimed states. Contact us to express your interest in this role.
- Add each state or county's creation date and parent states/counties. This information can be found using the Place Search in the Family History Library Catalog.
- Add links to digitized state and county histories. A large collection of such histories is Brigham Young University's Family History Archives. A shortcut to searching it for local histories is on the BYU-FHL Digital Books Collection page.
- The Research Wiki is also available in ten other languages. You can help by translating pages into one of the other languages.
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