Now that I’ve told you a little about how important locations are in genealogy, I can give you more details on my focus and experience from the perspective of locations.
Much of my research has been in the Nutmeg State, particularly Litchfield & New Haven counties, from time of European settlement through the 20th century. To date, I’ve traced my family back to two founders of towns in New Haven Colony. I have researched soldiers who served in the American Revolution and the Civil War for Connecticut. I have used the Barbour and Hale Collections, as well as other special collections. I am familiar with the collections at the Connecticut State Library and Archives, though I have yet to visit this vast repository personally. I am a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. In my efforts to get certification, Connecticut will likely be my primary area of expertise, despite living on the opposite coast.
The only other contender for an area specialist in my work is the Golden State. I am a third generation Californian. One branch of my family has been here for over a century, migrating first to Southern California, and reaching farther north every generation. I have worked with the California Birth and Marriage indexes, as well as a long list of smaller specialized resources. Having traveled extensively throughout the state, I am personally familiar with many small towns and large cities from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Repositories which are readily accessible for lookups include genealogical, academic, and public libraries and archives in San Francisco (including Sutro Library), Oakland (including California Genealogical Society where I am a member and volunteer), San Bruno (including NARA Pacific Region) and UC Berkeley (Bancroft Library). Other nearby repositories include the California State Library in Sacramento as well as historical and genealogy societies throughout the Bay Area and as far south as Fresno. Courthouse research is also within reach in any of these areas. Research trips to Southern California can be arranged. I am also a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society, giving me access to their collection.
Research in Mexico can seem more intimidating than US research, primarily due to the different language, naming structure, and fewer censuses. Yet much of the research is similar, albeit with a heavier reliance on un-indexed church records and civil registration, making it more time-consuming. My experience has focused on the northern states of Durango, Chihuahua, and Sonora, a particular difficult region due to the historical migration patterns of residents. While travel to the region isn’t possible due to current events, I am familiar with relevant techniques and records available in the US. Yet this region is more of a continued learning experience than others, probably because there is so much to learn and so few sources addressing it.
Other US Areas:
- Arizona (20th C.)
- New York (19th & 20th C., primarily New York City, including all boroughs)
- New Jersey (19th & 20th C., primarily Hudson, Union & Essex counties)
- Ohio (19th C., primarily Knox & Madison Counties)
- Texas (20th C.)
Though I’ve tried to be specific in this list, families have a way of stretching out over larger and larger areas than any one city, county, or state. I follow clues to trace people’s movements and migration, be it across the street or around the globe. I am always eager to learn about other areas in my search for the stories of our ancestors’ lives.
Where can I help you?
2 thoughts on “Where Can I Help You?”
I am quite familiar with the Barbour collection- love it! There is a great collection of books called Families of Ancient New Haven, which is also available on Ancestry, that traces the founding families up to about 1800.
Thanks for visiting, Eliza! That is quite a set of books. I must admit I have fun (yes, FUN!) reading through the books on Ancient this-town and that-town. I’m particularly partial to Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury Connecticut, primarily due to the vital records in Volume III. It’s searchable on Ancestry as well, but thumbing through the 1872 edition is a treat I would not trade for the world.
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