Advanced Research Techniques

for the Southern States

by Barbara Renick 'Copyright 2007

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        A. History:

                  1. dig deeper

example: Friedman, Lawrence M. History of American Law. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985.

example: Norton, Herman A. Religion in Tennessee: 1777-1945. Knoxville, Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Press, 1981.

example: 'An Introduction to the History of Tennessee's Confusing Land Laws' by Billie R. McNamara posted on the Tennessee Genealogy & History Web Ring (NOTE: is currently not found on the Web. Go to and enter this URL in the WayBack Machine box to see this site. Go back to December 2003.)

2. search longer & wider


B. Geography: Search engine searches for historical map or historical gazetteer Topographic maps and photos of over 1.25 million water, land and man-made landmarks in the United States. Subject Categories' Geography/History

1. rivers

example: Schweitzer, George K. Tennessee Genealogical Research. Knoxville, TN : G.K. Schweitzer, c1981.

example: TopoZone Maps

2. mountains

3. circular searches

example: Everton, George B. The Handy Book for Genealogists : United States of America. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 1999.

4. migratory patterns

example: (another company may be taking over the retail sales of these tapes. Check at Willowbend Books.)

example: Pulaski County Migration Page

C. Time Period:

1. gaps in records

example: Genealogical 'Fact Sheets' of Each Tennessee County from the TN State Library & Archives. Enter genealogical fact sheets in the search field.

2. boundary changes

example: AniMap software at

example: Montgomery County, Kentucky Boundary Changes

3. judicial changes

example: "Tennessee Court System Prior to 1870" by Charles A. Sherrill in Tennessee State GenWeb Project Research Helps

4. changing governments

5. life span



 A. Family Traditions

1. fact & fiction

2. supporting evidence

example: Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

B. Family Sources

1. immediate family

2. extended family

3. repetitive requests

4. interview techniques

C. Extended Family Branches

1. how they can find you

example: Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File at

example: Roots(Web) Surname List

2. how you can find them

example: from their queries placed in local genealogical or historical society publications for the places where your ancestors resided

example: message boards at

example: almost every search engine online has a link to white pages or an initially free people finder search tool

example: "Locating Living People"

D. Published Biographies

1. biographical indices

example: databases at and Heritage Quest Online

example: Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File at

example: Godfrey Memorial Library at

2. local histories

example: Heritage Quest Online

example: BYU Family History Archives

3. manuscript sources 



E. Genealogical & Historical Societies

1. local

2. regional

3. state

4. ethnic

5. religious

 F. Genealogy Publications

1. general

2. surname specific

3. electronic

example: Research Guidance and Research Helps section at

PERSI at or Heritage Quest Online



 A. Government Sources

1. federal

example: Carroll, Roy and Raymond H. Pulley. Historic Structures Report Little Cataloochee, North Carolina: Jim Hannah Cabin, Will Messer Barn, Dan Cook Cabin and Apple House, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, 1976.

2. state


Each state page has links to that state's library and archives' Web pages. There you can find many useful files, finding aids, and references.

3. county

a. on location research in the county courthouse

example: lookup offers listed on many County GenWeb Project Web pages or at the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Web site at

b. seeking out other levels of record sources

B. Church Sources

1. church records

example: Church of the Brethren Network--History & Genealogy

2. biographies

example: Biography of John Hanna of Barton, Tioga Co., NY

3. newspapers

4. publications

 C. Family Sources

1. repetitive requests

2. you gotta give to get

3. family psychology

D. Miscellaneous Sources



A.  Small City Libraries

example: Carlsbad [CA] City Library

B.  Large City Libraries

example: Los Angeles Public Library

C.  Regional Resources

example: McClung Collection for East Tennessee

D.  State Libraries & Archives

example: Library of Virginia

E.   National Libraries & Archives

example: Library of Congress

F.   Supraregional Library Resources

example: California Digital Library (access all the UC library catalogs via the Melvyl system)

G.  Genealogical Society Libraries

example: The Orange County CA Genealogical Society's Collection is housed at the Huntington Beach Public Library

example: The National Genealogical Society's collection was moved from their Glebe House to St. Louis  (

H.  Historical Society Libraries

example: Wisconsin Historical Society

example: Filson Historical Society

I.     University Libraries (many campuses have more than one library)

example: UCBerkeley has the Bancroft and Doe Libraries on campus

J.    Patriotic and Lineage Society Libraries

example: DAR Library in Washington, D.C.

K. Libraries of Religious Organizations

example: The Family History Library in Salt Lake City

example: Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies

See the definition of "library" at the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia to expand the types of libraries and resources.



A.  Using to find the hours for the Pulaski County, KY Historical Society's Collection at the Pulaski Co. Public Library in Somerset, KY.

B.  Specialty search engines like Yahoo! or

C.  Using and choose 'World Search Engines' to find search engines for specific countries or languages

D.  LIBDEX (18,000 links to libraries) (


F.   LibrarySpot (

G.  State Libraries List (



[To be completed later.]


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