Researching Coast to Coast

In our most recent podcast, we talk about research in the different regions of the United States. Some states we love and others not so much based on what is available online and at the local level.


Here are a few places to use for your research in the different regions.

New England has a great resource in the New England Historical Genealogical Society. You do have to pay for membership, but if you have research to do in that area (and they also have records from across the country as well) it might be worth the investment. Records in the New England states can be found at the town level so be sure and contact the Sexton at the town clerk’s office. One thing to remember in this region, New York is a restricted access state and this makes research difficult.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, state libraries and archives house most county records but not all are digitized or online. Be sure and check at the county level for your ancestor’s information and independent cities without county affiliation. West Virginia has a great site, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Virginia has the Library of Virginia, Maryland has the Maryland State Archives and New Jersey offers the Department of State.

Mid West research uses County and Circut Court Clerks and the State Archives and Historical Societies are very good resources also. In Ohio, you can join the Ohio Genealogical Society where they have a multitude of resources and check out the Ohio History Connection. If you are researching in Michigan be sure to look at Seeking Michigan for death records and guides on other research in Michigan. Don’t forget the Allen County Library in Indiana and the Indiana State Archives. We also talk a little about the MOMS, the Minnesota Official Marriage System, the Minnesota Historical Society and lastly, the Midwest Genealogy Center.

Headin’ out West we find that records are kept by Couty Clerk or Clerk-Recorders and Probates will be at the District Courts. The state archives are also a great resource. Check out the California State Library and the Montana State Genealogical Society.

Finally, the South. If you are researching in the south you need to remember that there were quite a few fires and many records have been lost at the county and town levels. Records here are located in county or county circuit courts. Birth and Death records are at the state level. State archives in the south can be very helpful. Be sure and check for Confederate Pension files which are full on information. If you are researching in North Carolina, check out Helen Leary’s North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History and in South Carolina be sure and try the South Carolina Archives and the South Carolinainana Library.

These are just a few of the many places to research in the different states and will give you a great start and get you thinking of all the other possibilities there are out there for research. Happy ancestor hunting!


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