Background Information

FamilySearch wiki

Genealogy at


Organizing Your Research

Barry Ewell’s video “Color-Coded Genealogy Research Filing System” also available at

Barry Ewell’s handout for “Color-Coded Genealogy Research Filing System”

Family Search Guide “Organizing Your Paper Files Using File Folders”

Printable charts:

RootsWeb Family Group Sheet 

Misbach Data Entry Family Group sheet

BYU 4-generation pedigree chart

Bailey Family Timeline

BYU Research Question Log


Organizing Digital Files

Kay’s handout Hierarchy for Organizing Digital Genealogy Files

Kay’s handout Organizing Files with Windows Explorer

Tips for Mac users: 

What’s The Mac Equivalent Of File Properties?

How to Tag Files and Create Spotlight Comments on a Mac

10 Tips for a Better Finder Experience

Mac Tip: Add the Path button to Finder’s toolbar

Hands-on with OS X Mavericks: Finder tabs and tagging

Check out the rest of “Cult of Mac’s” tips for Mac users

Tips for Windows users:

Windows Explorer (Vista) Guide

Searching in Windows Vista, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Windows Explorer (7) Guide

Advanced tips for searching in Windows

File Explorer (8) Guide

File Explorer (8.1) Guide

How to work with files and folders in Windows 8.1

Search for files in File Explorer (Windows 8.1)


Research Logs and Forms

Research Spreadsheets based on Thomas Macentee


Gathering Evidence

Federal Census Data Table for a summary of useful family history information in each US census population schedule  from 1850-1940.

Review the FamilySearch wiki article “United States Record Selection Table” for suggestions on which record types would be most useful in answering particular research questions.


Record Directories “Our records directory contains 603,054 record sources from 930 websites and archives [as of January 2017]. All sources have been organized by state, county, city, and record type. Only actual genealogy records are listed. Both online and archive sources are included.”

State and County resources:

  • US GenWeb (links to websites set up by state and county genealogical societies, many with unique datasets contributed by volunteers):
  • Genealogy Inc. (county maps, overview of state and county history and available records, links to online datasets):


State Archives

example: google Pennsylvania State Archives


County Archives

example: Cuyahoga (Ohio) County Archives


County Government Websites

example: Escambia County (Florida) Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller

example: Shelby County (Tennessee) Register of Deeds



Books: Search for surnames and/or localities to find published genealogies and local histories.

Google Books

Internet Archive 

Hathi Trust Digital Library


For tips on how to make the most use of the information in each census see Follow Your Family Using Census Records

Blank printable US census forms (from Midwest Genealogy Center):

1790             1800             1810             1820             1830

1840             1850             1860             1870             1880

1890             1900             1910             1920             1930



Census Crib Sheet courtesy of Jerry Merritt provides a quick chart to estimate ages of individuals in pre-1850 Censuses


For a handy chart that allows you to compare households across the federal censuses 1790 through 1840, see:
CensusMate – Census worksheet for genealogy and family history

Census Age Comparisons Chart



Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained: A great resource for writing citations, this is Elizabeth Shown Mills’ companion website to her reference book Evidence Explained. “Sample QuickCheck Models” and the Forums are terrific!

Common Citations

Family History Citation Templates


City Directories

City Directories of the United States of America

see also “Books” above



Family Tree Training: Resources to Get You Started includes How-To videos, Guides and Manuals. You will need to register for a free account with the Family Search website in order to access this link.

Spelling Substitution Tables for the United States and Canada

Eleven Powerful “Search” Features on FamilySearch



General Land Office Records at Bureau of Land Management

Earth Point

“Public Land Survey System” explained at  

Google Maps

Google Earth






Migration Routes Across the US:

The old geocities migration map: 




Historical Newspapers:

Identifying newspapers

Stanford Data Visualization: map of US with links to publications

Viewshare Historical Newspapers Online


Online Historical Newspapers by State Links for online newspapers organized by state

Major online newspaper collections:
World Vital Records free through Santa Rosa County Library

Passenger Lists (and SO much more!):

1-Step Webpages by  Stephen P. Morse, San Francisco at

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2 thoughts on “Links

  1. Ian says:

    Where’s the spreadsheet you promised?

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