This is the part of your research that take some time to learn. However, over time you will get better at it. After you have made your list of genealogical records, how do you know which ones to search?
Fortunately for us, FamilySearch has published a record finder for the United States. This table will help you select which records to search. Bookmark the link so that you have an easy way to get to it.
Let’s say you are looking for someone’s age. The Record Finder will tell you to first look in the census, vital records and cemeteries. After that, you should look in military records and taxation records. Handy dandy. See how easy?
Don’t forget our rule of thumb: look in the indexes first and then look for the original records. This will speed up your search greatly and keep you from wasting time.
Also don’t forget the holy trinity of sources to study:
- Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records
- Hidden Sources: Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places
- The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, 3rd ed.
Keep these nearby as you select the records you want to search. Have them on your nightstand for bedtime reading. The more you learn about records, the better your research will be.