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Posted: August 11, 2012 5:58 p.m.

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Blakeslee: A resources checklist

Now that you know the basics for starting your genealogy search, let's learn what resources are available to you and whether you checked everything.

•Home Resources: family Bible, letters, interviews, photographs, birth certificates, baby books, prayer books, journals, heirlooms, farm records, medical/health records, memoirs, biographies.

•County Records: vital records such as birth, death, marriage, wills, estates, deeds, mortgages, other recorders records, naturalization records.

•Town Records and Libraries: city and county directories, cemetery records, graves, misc. or published histories, newspapers files, tax lists, voter records, public school records.

•Church: archives, local parish records, local church histories.

•State Records: vital records, land grants, state census, militia records, tax lists, archives, journals.

•National Records: censuses, mortality schedules, military records, pension records, passenger lists, immigration records, land records, passports and visa applications.

•Libraries: indexes, printed and misc. genealogies, printed histories, obituary collection/indexes, cemetery records, birth, death, divorce indexes.

•Newspapers: advertisements, announcements, obituaries, births, local, professional and trade.

You can find a complete printed check list at The checklist is for home and family genealogical resources and institutional resources.

Let's go over some of the state and national records found at the National Archives. We have a national archives in our backyard. The Archives is located at 5780 Jonesboro Road in Morrow. The following is some of the resources the Archives has:


•Naturalization records (records of the U.S. District Court): These records are of immigrants who applied for American citizenship in the U.S. District Courts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolinas and Tennessee. Complete and partial indexes are available for some of the courts.

•Slave Manifests: Masters of ships carrying slave cargo between domestic ports were required to submit a manifest of their human cargo. These generally included the slave's name (usually the given name not the surname), sex, age and height. Also, the name of the shipper and the to whom the slaves were shipped. The records come from customs houses for Mobile, Ala., 1820-1860 and Savannah, 1801-1860.

•Draft Registration Cards: The original World War I draft registration cards in all states.

•Military Service and Pension and Bounty Land Application Records: Microfilm copies of records for soldiers from all states for several wars. Selected applications and records of pension payments are available for veterans, their widows, and other heirs based on service in the Armed Forces of the U.S. between 1775 and 1916 excluding Civil War pension records.

•Microfilm Resources: census records, microfilm, commercially published indexes, print sources and online databases for 1790-1930 excluding 1890 which was destroyed in a fire in 1921 and the 1850 and 1860 slave censuses.

•Passenger Arrival manifests: Microfilm copies for the ports mainly along the eastern seaboard as well as the Canadian border points of entry.

These are just some of the records held at the National Archives. You can visit their website at for more information.

We all learn from each others genealogical experiences and journeys. If you have any genealogical questions, don't hesitate to contact Ellen at In Ellen's Chit Chat portion of this column, Ellen answers your genealogical questions.


Ellen Blakeslee is a professional genealogist living in Covington.



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