AND NEBRASKA HISTORY
by Cindy Steinhoff Drake, Library Curator, Nebraska
State Historical Society, October
Genealogy and family
history are concerned with tracing one's ancestors in order to compile a
lineage or "family tree." This can be an extremely
time-consuming process and because of that, it is one that patrons must
undertake for themselves. We don't have the time to compile a genealogy
for a patron, but we are able to give references to good guidebooks, to
suggest logical approaches, to help find local sources of help, and to
provide interlibrary loan services and referrals.
GENEALOGY FOR BEGINNERS:
Patrons doing genealogical
research for the first time should be asked the following reference
What family names are you researching?
Where did the family live and during what time-period?
Do you have family documents such as obituaries, family bibles,
photographs, or letters which give dates, locations, etc. about your
Once this is established,
it may be helpful to have copies of ancestry charts (also known as lineage
charts, pedigree charts) available to give the patron the basis of
collecting information on his family (See "Genealogy Charts and Forms"
in next section). An address list is available from the Nebraska State
Historical Society which provides genealogical resource suppliers locally
and nationwide. It also includes the addresses for companies that supply
A good point to make to a
patron is that in genealogical research, he/she is number one and they
must start with themselves and work back through the generations. Patrons
must work from the known to the unknown. Prominent individuals with the
same surname may not necessarily be an ancestor.
Compiled Family Histories
Computers and the Internet
Newspapers and Periodicals
Lists and Naturalization Records
Local History, Vital Records and Census Records
Maps, Cemetery and Court Records