Midwestern Region: Resources

We are happy that you are considering becoming accredited in the Midwestern region. The Midwestern states consist of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This resource page contains a list of important record types that you should be familiar with before applying for accreditation. It also contains links to important record collections, resources, and repositories that will be helpful to you as you prepare for the Midwestern accreditation exam.

Although this list is not comprehensive, it will provide a starting point for you as you learn what is available to Midwestern researchers. If you would like to contribute additional resources to this page, please contact the moderator: Tristan L. Tolman, AG.

IMPORTANT RECORD TYPES

Midwestern researchers should have a good working knowledge of many important record types, including (but not limited to) those listed below. Gain experience using these records. Learn to recognize them by sight, become familiar with their content, and know how to use them in genealogical research. Understand the unique aspects and differences of these records in the Midwestern region from other regions of the United States.

Record Types You Must Know Very Well

Cemetery records
Census records (federal, state, and special censuses)
Church records (baptism or christening, marriage, burial, membership)
Land and property records (county & federal)
Local and county histories
Military records
Naturalization records
Probate records
Vital records (birth, marriage, death)

Record Types with Which You Should Have a Good Working Knowledge

Directories
Family histories and biographies
Immigration and migration records
Maps, gazetteers, and historical geography
Obituaries
Tax records
Town records
Periodicals

Record Types with Which You Should Have Some Familiarity

Adoption records
Bible records
Business/commerce records
Court records
Ethnic, minority, and native races records
Funeral home records
Guardianship records
Manuscript collections
Newspapers
Voting records

ONLINE RECORDS AND RESOURCES: ALL U.S. REGIONS

Free sites:

Fee sites:

  • Ancestry.com $ Search indexes and images by person’s name, by record type, or by specific locality
  • Fold3.com $ Search indexes and images by person’s name, by historical era, or by collection
  • World Vital Records $ Search indexes and images by person’s name or by collection
  • Godfrey Memorial Library Some records are free without a subscription
The following websites provide major records important to U.S. research:

Land

  • General Land Office Records Index to patents (original title from the government) issued for homesteads, land grants, pre-emption claims, and cash sales for the federal land states
  • Public Records Search maps, photos and documents by property description or address within each county

Cemeteries

OTHER

  • ICAPGen’s Mentoring Classes
  • Clifford, Karen. Becoming an Accredited Genealogist. Revised edition. Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 1998.
  • FamilySearch.org’s “Learn” tab offers:
  • Brigham Young University’s Online Genealogy Tutorial
  • Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
  • In order to pass a U.S. regional exam, you will be expected to accurately transcribe documents of genealogical significance. The FamilySearch Wiki “United States Handwriting” page provides a list of resources and other online links for understanding early American handwriting
  • STATE-SPECIFIC WEBSITES

    Illinois

    Michigan

    Minnesota

    Missouri

    Wisconsin


    STATE-SPECIFIC MAPS & GAZETTEERS

    Illinois

    Michigan

    Minnesota

    Missouri

    Wisconsin


    RESEARCH OUTLINES

  • Illinois Research Outline
  • Michigan Research Outline
  • Minnesota Research Outline
  • Wisconsin Research Outline
  • TIMELINES

    Illinois

    Michigan

    Minnesota

    Wisconsin

    Contributors to this page: Diane Rogers, C. Lynn Andersen, AG, Charlene Pipkin, AG, Tristan L. Tolman, AG.

    Friday October 31, 2014

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