Published information on your family could appear in four types of resources: biographies,
genealogies, local histories, and published original records. These resources
are published as periodicals, books, and computer databases. Let's take
a closer look at these publications and how to obtain access to them.
To find articles about kin and their home towns published in magazines,
journals and newsletters use the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Published
by the Allen County Public Library Foundation in Fort Wayne, Indiana,
PERSI can be found in many public and academic libraries' reference
collections and is normally available in LDS Family History Centers.
PERSI appears in both book and microfiche format. The name and locality
indexes of this series make it easy to identify articles about your
family and the localities in which they lived published in journals,
magazines and newsletters. About 200 periodicals that appeared between
1847 and 1985 and 2000, published from 1986 to the present, are included
in the indexes. The annual volumes of both the 1847-1985 and post-1986
indexes add hundreds of articles each year as they are discovered by
staff and volunteers at the Allen County Public Library.
If you want a copy of an article found in the indexes, talk with the
interlibrary loan librarian at your local public or college library.
He or she will know how to find the nearest library with a copy of the
magazine containing the article. If you have difficulty finding a library
with the needed journal or newsletter, contact the state or county historical
society in the area in which your family lived. These institutions normally
collect periodicals that focus on the people and places of the state
Dozens of books about your family and the towns and counties in which
they lived can be found in libraries. Computer library catalogs make
it possible to search for information in thousands of libraries in one
Many public and college libraries subscribe to Worldcat and RLIN Zephyr.
These computer utilities permit author, title, subject and keyword searches
of library holdings in thousands of libraries, including the Library
of Congress. You can search for your family name as a subject, or enter
the name of the locality where your family lived. Ask your local librarian
about the availability of Worldcat and RLIN Zephyr in your area. You
may find that local libraries have additional computer links to libraries
in the state or region where your family lived.
Today, the Internet and products on disk and CD-ROM provide valuable
links to genealogical databases and persons seeking ancestors. A recent
search under "German Genealogy Posen" on the Internet, for example,
turned up 34,387 matches. In seconds I had contact with scores of persons
who, like me, were tracing ancestors in this area. You can simply search
under your ancestor's name or tie into the many databases and home pages
that provide names as well as instruction on how to find ancestors.
Two journals will introduce you to this and many other aspects of computer
genealogy: Genealogical Computing from Ancestry; and the NGS Newsletter
containing the NGS/CIG Digest published by the National Genealogical
Society's Computer Interest Group.
With the suggestions above, you can find valuable information on your
family in print. Periodicals, books and computer databases make it easy
to enhance your research efforts, so be sure to tap these important