Monday, April 25, 2016

A Potentially Great Resource: County Histories & Biographical Records

For those researchers fortunate enough to have ancestors worthy of mention in a local history or biography collection, the county histories and biographical records can be a potential gold mine. These books [print and digital] have helped a great deal in my research.

Finds include arrival date of a given family in a county, occupations, church membership lists, vital records, biographical sketches of an individual or 2-3 generation of a family.

I was able to learn about my 4th great-grandfather, John Faucett, from two different bio sketches, one of his grandson who had moved to Kansas and the other, the husband of a granddaughter in Indianapolis. Both related the story of John's Indian captivity as a youth, as well as other details about the family.

Check for county or city histories and biographical collections in the areas where your ancestors lived. You may find a brief mention of the family or a biographical sketch about a family member. If you don't find mention of a family member, look for relatives or neighbors. You might get a clue as to where your family settled, etc.

The county histories can be found in libraries and online. If you need to, check Worldcat for the nearest library. Worldcat is an online library catalog that gives you a list of libraries where your book can be found, nearest one first.

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