Genealogical Research Methods

University of Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning course – Fall 2005

Class Page:


These Links:




A) Cyndi’s List:

Over 241,000 links, categorized & cross-referenced, over 150 categories

Search for keyword(s) or just scroll down list of topics: e.g. wagon train; Bavaria, Talleyville



B) U.S. GenWeb :

Links to individual State pages & links to each County within that state. You can post queries on many County Sites.

The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone.

Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties. The USGenWeb Project also sponsors important Special Projects at the national level and this website provides an entry point to all of those pages, as well.

            This is the best place to find out about the place where your ancestor lived and what resources are available (databases, history, queries, libraries, etc.).  Each county is different.



State pages from U.S. map:



Research Help:

calendars, forms, getting started, wars, census, maps, dictionaries, epidemics


C) World GenWeb:

The WorldGenWeb Project was created in 1996 by Dale Schneider in an effort to answer the growing needs of genealogists world-wide who were trying to research their ancestors online. Dale's original goal (as is ours today!) was to have every country in the world represented by an online website and hosted by researchers who either live in their own country or who are familiar with their country's resources.  The WorldGenWeb Project is divided into 11 World Regions. Each region is divided up by countries and each country is divided into individual provinces, states, or counties (terms vary depending on administrative divisions).


D) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


1) Library

- Contains more than 2.2 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records, 742,000 microfiche, 300,000 books, and 4,500 periodicals. The collection of family history books is housed in Salt Lake City. - Includes United States and world records - Census, Courts, Military, Cultural and Religious groups, Family histories, Research help, Deeds, Vital Records


2. Search for a name:

- Includes the Ancestral File database, which contains approximately 35.6 million lineage-linked names and the International Genealogical Index (IGI) database, which contains approximately 600 million individual names.

3) Research Help:

Gives you choice of searching by place, title, subject, document type

4)   Research Help sorted by document type - LDS

- gives you a list of forms - you can click on form needed & print or save:

5)  Family group record form - LDS  You may have to download Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader (free) to see actual form


E. University of Delaware Library:

University of Delaware – Genealogy

Subject guide/Genealogy/Guide to Internet Resources (research, publishers, foreign sites, etc.)


F. Charts & Forms (downloadable)



3) 4-generation on-line pedigree chart

4) 4-generation PBS pedigree chart

5) Misbach Ent.



1)  - Learn/Getting Started

First steps- organizing information, etiquette, ethics, computers in genealogy, legal considerations

2) Search tab:

4)   Record tab:


H. Delaware Genealogical Society:

   Delaware Genealogical Society, a nonprofit volunteer organization which encourages and supports genealogical research, was founded in 1977 with about 40 charter members and now has over 500 active memberships.  It has monthly meetings in the Wilmington area, trips and workshops, The DGS site has many links to other genealogical websites.  The primary focus is on Delaware ancestry but general educational programs assist members with all their family research.


Direct links to Delaware genealogical sites:

- concentrates on Delaware and surrounding counties, but some genealogical resources worldwide


I. State of Delaware Home Page:

[General State format where xx = state abbreviation

Delaware Public Archives

1. Identify, collect, and preserve public records of enduring historical and evidential value.

2. Ensure access to public records for present and future generations of Delawareans and promote the availability and use of public records as a unique and invaluable source of information.

3.Advise and educate in the creation, management, use and preservation of public records.


Probate records at the Public Archives

Choose the county and enter the name

You can identify what records you want to view before you visit probate


Digital Library of the First State - Click on “Genealogy” under “Subject”


J. Historical Society of Delaware Choose: Library


K. More Surname Searching

1)Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

To appear in the index, the death must have been reported to the Social Security Administration. Generally, this has been done by families when filing for benefits, or by the funeral home/mortuary. If the death was not reported, it will not appear in the index.

     If they did not participate in the Social Security Program, their name will not appear in the index.    If you do not find a listing in the index, it does not mean the person is still living. It simply means that there was no report filed with the Social Security Administration.

    The Death Index includes a few pre-1962 entries. The majority of the records begin in 1962, when the Social Security began maintaining the file electronically, and continues through today.

2)  Rootsweb homepage Search engines, databases, family trees,

3)  International Genealogical Index of LDS searches IGI, SSDI, Ancestral file data bases

4)  Family History Library Catalog - LDS*,180,0

- the largest genealogy library in the world. Search by region.

5)  Rootsweb NewsGroups:


L. Newspapers

1)  Cyndi’s List

2)  Cyndi’s List Example

3)  Wilmington News Journal - essentials/obituaries…

4)  University of Delaware

     - old Delaware newspapers on microfilm (at UD,HSD,DSA), dates published, film numbers

5)  Godfrey Library - many other databases including ProQuest


M. Conducting Interviews

Questionnaires and tips to help you get started recording the life experiences of a family member. The information you record will become an important link between you and your descendants.
1) Guide for Interviewing a Relative
2) Oral History Questions: (now a book for sale)
3) Youth Questions:
4) Interview Tips:


N.  U.S. Government

1) National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Research Room ( in bar at top): NARA's nationwide holdings, family history/genealogy research, veterans' service records, learn how to order copies, search the NARA Archival Information Locator (NAIL) database, locate Government documents, and more.

2) The Library of Congress:

nearly 121 million items in collection, 2/3 in media other than books, such as the largest map, film and television collections in the world. the Library has 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.  Web Site Map (lower right of home page) - excellent links!

2 Sep 2005