Ohio Township Central Library News

Searching Our Roots

Written By: Candy - Jul• 05•11

We’ve both been researching our family histories and want to share some of the tips that we’ve come across.  Explore and let us know how your search is progressing!  We’d love to hear from you………………….Candy and Leslie


Now genealogical research is not a walk in the park because you aren’t just going to sit down one day to type in your great-great grandfather’s name and automatically find all the information you want.  That did not happen with either of us.  In fact, it was almost two months since I started looking diligently before hitting a gold mine.  Now not discrediting the power of Google, in fact, if you know more than their name such as a birth date or state they lived in, it could pay off big time.  I have been able to go back about seven generations as has Candy.

Below are some free databases that you can start searching or further your searches through.  Whether you are a newbie to finding your roots or a pro at figuring out where to look, hopefully these resources will help. Give them a try and see what you can find!


ancestry.com (Available free through our library website, www.ohio.lib.in.us)

heritagequest.com (Available free through our library website with home access also)

More suggestions:


Family Search is a website that is free to use and searches through the U.S. social security index, census records, and marriage records.  In some cases, you can find a whole branch of your family tree through this database.  We both have had great luck here.



You can search by state using Find a Grave, which is super helpful especially for distant relatives.  In some cases there are pictures of the grave, and if you are really lucky, you can find old family pictures.  This database can be a treasure trove of information, as in most cases, you can add in your family’s information once you have found the right grave.



Roots Web is a database that has a lot of links to other databases that you can access.  This gives a person new avenues to explore.  The database also supports message boards that you can post queries in order to help on your quest to finding your ancestors.



Cyndi’s List is a database with many links to other databases. This database is nice to have to find new places to search when you hit a dead end.



On the Ellis Island website, there is nifty information available for genealogy hunters.  If you know where your ancestors came from, you can search through the passenger lists that are available.  All you need to do is sign up with your email address, and you can access a lot of information.



This is a collection of information divided by state.  You can click on the state you are searching, and it will pull up links to sites to further your search, archives, and census records.



This website is a work in progress in some cases.  You can click on which state you would like to further your search in, and then if you know more information, narrow the process even further by county.


Remember, the information that you gather is important not only for your immediate family but for its distant members as well.  We don’t keep records of our lives like generations in the past, and it is great to contribute the history of our families.  Try to build your history and save it.  You can save it in a scrapbook as Leslie is doing or save all of the information on a flash drive…just save all of your hard work!


It may seem like a lot of hard work, but in reality, this is a lot of fun and something you can do in your spare time.  Personally, we like finding out about all the family names hanging on our trees.  Finding pictures to put with the names is always a nice bonus.  This is truly a fun and rewarding experience!



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