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Research: U.S. Records Using Ancestry
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An overview of the five essential groups of records to jumpstart your genealogy!

NOTE: Access to Ancestry is a requirement by the student to be able to complete this course.

The use of proper search techniques and Ancestry databases will assist you in obtaining your research goals. This course will introduce very important groups of records to the genealogist:

  • Census Records
  • Vital Records
  • Military Records
  • Newspaper & Publication Records
  • Immigration Records

    Each module will provide a brief description of the record group, describing how to search for the record, what information is contained within the document, recording the information and its genealogical importance. The last module will consist of three case studies, with exercises following a family through the various record groups.

    During your genealogical research project, no record group should stand alone! Although the modules can stand alone as learning tools, at the completion of this course, the researcher will be able to better understand how the various groups of records work together to provide the answers to your research quest. It is normal when researching that one record group leads you to another. The combination of the two record groups will then lead you to the third group of records, and so on. By reading the course materials, and completing the exercises and assignments, this course will teach you the importance of combining the vast amount of information available in various groups of records to develop a much more interesting family history.

    Remember, this course is only an introduction to census, vital, military, newspaper and immigration records that are available on Ancestry. Additional courses are available for a more in-depth study of each of these record groups. Online virtual meetings are also provided, enabling you to ask questions of your instructor.

    Ancestry has many tools that will assist the researcher in developing and recording their family history. You should have a good understanding of the tools prior to starting this course.


    Course Content

    Module 1
    Census Records
    Introduction
    Census Schedules
    Federal Census
    What to Expect...
    Starting At The Beginning
    Comparing and Analyzing Census Schedules
    Census Worksheet Method
    Another Possibility
    What To Look For?
    Census Searching at Ancestry
    Getting to the United States Census Screen
    Source Citation
    Evaluating the Schedules
    Clues for Further Research
    When The Search Becomes a Little More Difficult
    The Name
    Year of Birth
    Gender and Race
    Too Many Results
    Browse
    Summary
    Items to Remember and Review
    Conclusion
    Other Census Subjects
    Resources and References

    Module 2
    Vital Records
    Introduction
    Availability of Vital Records
    Evaluating the Document
    The Death Certificate
    Marriage Records
    Birth Records
    Delayed Birth Certificate
    Using Indexes
    Searching on Ancestry
    Ordering From the State of Oregon
    Ordering Through VitalChek
    More Resources at Ancestry
    Social Security Death Index
    The Process
    United States Obituary Collection
    Cemetery Indexes
    Conclusion
    Resources and References

    Module 3
    Military Records
    Introduction
    Did They Serve?
    Working with Family Stories and Traditions
    Census Schedules
    Other Resources to Find Clues to Military Service
    Using Military Records in Family History Research
    Pension and Bounty Land Application Files
    Searching for Pension Files at Ancestry
    Draft Registration
    Adding to Family History Research
    More and More Resources
    Military Family History Books, Stories, and Information
    Other Conflicts
    References and Resources

    Module 4
    Newspapers
    Introduction
    Small Town Newspapers Verses Large City Newspapers
    Adding to the Family History
    Looking for an Obituary
    Adding More To Family History Research...Working from the Newspapers
    Searching the Newspaper Database at Ancestry
    The Search Results
    The Refined Search of the Oakland Tribune
    The Strategy
    What to Do With the Image
    Other Publications
    Conclusion
    References and Resources

    Module 5
    Immigration & Emigration Records
    Introduction
    Ship Passenger Lists (Immigration Records)
    Using Ancestry Helps
    Before you begin...
    Finding the Gollnick Immigration - Using Family Stories & Census Schedules
    Finding Elizabeth Lee's Immigration Records
    Before 1820...
    Border Crossings
    Mexican Border Crossings 1903-1957
    Emigration Records
    Naturalization Records
    Finding the Records...
    U.S. Passport Records
    References and Resources

    Module 6
    The Ancestry Family of Websites
    Introduction
    Fold3
    Searching at Fold3.com
    Browse Records
    Newspapers.com
    Find A Grave
    Ancestry
    AncestryDNA
    Corrections and Collaboration
    Research Helps and Hints
    Ancestry Academy
    Conclusion
    Glossary
    Suggested Reading

    Module 7
    Researching Using Ancestry: Case Studies
    How This Module Will Work...
    Case Study #1
    Case Study #2
    Case Study #3
    Final Comments
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