Pacific Region: Resources

We are happy that you are considering becoming accredited in the Pacific region. The Pacific states consist of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. 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 Pacific exam.

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

IMPORTANT RECORD TYPES

Pacific 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 Pacific 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
Military records
Naturalization records
Probate records
Vital records (birth, marriage, death)
Voting records

Record Types with Which You Should Have a Good Working Knowledge

Directories
Family histories and biographies
Immigration and migration records
Local and county histories
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

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

Maps and Gazetteers

Migration

Military

  • The FamilySearch Research Wiki, “United States Military Records” page has articles and links for research strategies and records for each war
  • Ancestry.com $ Has indexes and images, including the complete Revolutionary War Pension Files
  • Fold3.com $ Has a large collection of U.S. military indexes and images, including the complete Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records and Pension files

Native American/American Indian

Newspapers and obituaries

  • Chronicling America Library of Congress’ expanding digital newspaper project
  • GenDisasters: Events that Touched our Ancestors’ Lives Prairie fires, train wrecks, plagues, explosions, tornadoes, freezing, etc.
  • Obituary Search Links to resources in each state, many requiring subscriptions
  • Genealogy Bank $ Search newspapers, obituaries, and historical books and documents
  • Newspaper Archive $ Search historical newspapers of the world
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI)indexes many historical and genealogical magazines

USEFUL PRINTED AND CD/ROM REFERENCES:
ALL U.S. REGIONS

Andriot, Jay. Township Atlas of the United States. McLean, Virginia: Documents Index, 1991.

Eichholz, Alice, Editor. Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources. Third Edition. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004.

Freedman’s Bank Records. CD/ROM. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Dept., 2001. (Note that this is a more complete index than what’s available under the same title at a variety of online sites.)

Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000.

Hait, Michael, compiler. Online State Resources for Genealogy. 2011. This e-book, available as a paid download from www.lulu.com, is a directory for a variety of online records by government agencies, societies, and libraries.

The Handy Book for Genealogists: United States of America. Tenth edition. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishing, 2006.

Hone, E. Wade. Land and Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1997.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2009.

Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources, Colonial America to the Present. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1994.

Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures. San Jose, Calif.: CR Publications, 2004.

Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, editors. The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. Third edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, Inc., 2006.

USEFUL PRINTED AND CD/ROM REFERENCES:
PACIFIC STATES REGION

Alaska

Alaska Sources: A Guide to Historical Records and Information Resources
by Connie Malcolm Bradbury and David Albert Hales
Format: Books/Monographs
Language: English
Publication: North Salt Lake, Utah: Heritage Quest, c2001
Physical: xxiv, 442 p.: ill., map, ports.
ISBN: 094493188X
Subject Class: 979.8 H

California

1997 California Family Researcher's Directory
Authors: Edkin, Barbara (Main Author)
California State Genealogical Alliance (Danville, California) (Added Author)
Format: Books/Monographs
Language: English
Publication: Danville, California: California State Genealogical Alliance, c1997
Physical: [225] leaves.: map
Subject Class: 979.4 C44

The California Locator: A Directory of Public Records for Locating People Eead or Alive in California
Authors: Niklas, Laurie (Main Author)
Format: Books/Monographs
Language: English
Publication: Modesto, California: L. Niklas, c2000
Physical:174 p.: map.
Edition: 2000-2001 ed.
Subject Class: 979.4 D2

Researching Northern California: A Genealogical Resource; County Government Libraries, Historical Societies, Museums, Genealogical Societies and More
Statement of Responsibility: compiled for the San Francisco Bay Region of the California State Genealogical Alliance by Esther Kooliman ... [et al.]
Authors: Kooliman, Esther (Added Author)
California State Genealogical Alliance (San Francisco Bay Region) (Added Author)
Format: Books/Monographs/Book with Film
Language: English
Publication: [California]: California State Genealogical Alliance, 2003
Physical: 51, [2] p. :maps.
Subject Class:979.4 D27

The California Locator: A Directory of Public Records for Locating People Eead or Alive in California
Authors: Nicklas, Laurie (Main Author)
Format: Books/Monographs
Language: English
Publication: Modesto, California: L. Nicklas, c1998
Physical: 170 p.: map.
Edition: 1998-1999 ed.
Subject Class: 979.4 D2

Hawaii

Target your Hawaiian Genealogy and Others as Well: A Family Guide Provided by the Hawaii State Public Library System
Kaina, Maria (Main Author)
Hawaii. State Public Library System (Added Author)
Format: Books/Monographs/Book with Film
Language: English
Publication: [Honolulu, Hawaii]: Hawaii State Public Library System, [1991]
Physical: ii, 50 p.: ill.
Subject Class: 996.9 D27
Digital version available online: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE924792

Finding your Roots: Genealogy Manual (focus on Japanese resources)
Authors: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (Added Author)
Format: Books/Monographs
Language: English, Japanese
Publication: [S.l.]: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 2006
Physical: 151 p. : ill., maps.
Subject Class: 996.9 D27
Digital version available online: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE52206

REPOSITORIES AND LIBRARIES: ALL U.S. REGIONS

  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Its Regional Centers house collections specific to that region
  • Family History Library has an expanding collection of microfilms, images, printed material, and (in-house only) online database subscriptions for researching your ancestors in the U.S. and other localities around the world
  • Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has a large collection of periodicals as well as census records and local histories
  • National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library has biographies, histories, genealogies, directories, periodicals, and manuscripts
  • The Library of Congress’ digital offerings include newspapers, maps, photographs, histories, and documents
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society $ has a wide online collection, including regions outside of New England
  • Godfrey Memorial Library $ Membership provides access to a variety of indexes, local and family histories, military databases, newspapers, and other genealogical collections

    EDUCATION

    CONFERENCES AND INSTITUTES

  • ICAPGen frequently offers instruction on regional research and methodologies at its annual conference, normally held in Utah in November. The syllabus materials for the 2010 ICAPGen conference can be ordered from the ICAPGen Store.
  • Brigham Young University (BYU) Genealogy and Family History Conference, Provo, Utah, normally held in July or August.
  • Family History Expos offers events in a variety of locations throughout the year
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, locations vary, normally held in August or September
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Samford University, Birmigham, Alabama, normally held in June
  • National Genealogical Society (NGS):
  • National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), National Archives in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland, normally held in July
  • RootsTech, Salt Lake City, Utah, normally held in February
  • Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank, California, normally held in June
  • Utah Genealogical Society’sSalt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Salt Lake City, Utah, normally held in January
  • 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
  • Contributors to this web page: Tristan L. Tolman, AG.

    Monday September 01, 2014

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