Roots and Branches |

Roots and Branches


I am planning a research trip. What do I need to know?


The main thing is to be prepared. Know what information and documents you already have and make a list of what you don’t. Make a priority list in case time runs out. Be familiar with the names that marry into the families you are planning to research.

Take pedigree charts and group sheets for the families. You may want to take extra copies of your pedigree charts and leave them at libraries in the area they lived.

Many small libraries have files by surnames that you or others may look through to find who is researching your name.

When you will be visiting libraries and county offices, be sure and check ahead for hours and days they are open. The Handy Book is a good reference for addresses or phone numbers for county offices.

Check for any local holidays. You don’t want to plan a day somewhere and find out you cannot do any research. You can do this on the Internet.

If you are not online, go to one of the local libraries, sign up for a period of time, and do it there for no charge.

You may find directions to small cemeteries on the Internet for your county. Be sure and have good maps, also.

Take plenty of change for copy machines. In your brief case or bag, have pencils, lead, folders, sheet protectors and scratch paper. Try to have a folder for each surname you are planning on researching.

You may end up in basements, so dress casual, preferably not in white. Many records have not been used in a long time. Sometimes the staff are very helpful and sometimes not, but at all times be polite.

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