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Female Ancestors: Finding Women in Local History and Genealogy

Genealogy Go-To Records

We begin with the genealogy go-to records that we usually consult in the course of research. We look for the women in these records, but even more importantly, we make sure to pull every possible clue from these records.

A selection of record sets are featured in this guide, but by no means is this list exhaustive. Each category has the potential to provide unique information, as well as point to further records. Imagine your ancestor's circumstances at the time each document was created. What other steps were required? Where else might she have left related paperwork?

Here are just a few of the possibilities to get you brainstorming:

  • Cemetery records and Tombstones
  • Census records
  • Church records
  • City directories
  • Courthouse records
  • Employment records
  • Personal papers
  • Photographs
  • Genealogical and Historical Society collections
  • Immigration and Naturalization records
  • Library collections
  • Military records
  • Newspapers
  • Prison records
  • School records
  • State archives
  • Taxes
  • Vital records

Female Ancestors: Images Among the Library of Congress Collections