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Visiting LDS Family History Centers & State Archives

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Can anyone tell me if they have visited either (or both) of these types of centers and what kind of information you can access there that you can't online?  Also, any advice on what to do before you go and what to bring to gather your info?  Thanks.

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM
Replies (11-15):
.3xBlessed.
by Genealogist on Mar. 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM
You wouldn't know it was your family without details. That's why I recommend starting more local to them, then branching out from there. Get vital records, church records, cemetery records, etc. If you had someone living in an orphanage, prison, alms house, or asylum, there may be records out there for them.

Quoting LilyPondOasis:

Would you suggest that if some one's family is concentrated in one state, to try THAT states archives?

Would we have to travel there to get it?

My family is concentrated in Scott County,VA and a few other area's but I am in Florida. Guess I need to check this out as I know there are fees.

But with family names, how do I know I am not getting the copy of some one elses family and not mine without much info?

I would need to figure out a bunch of things first I guess.

Quoting .3xBlessed.:

The state archives here in pa has tons of info and databases that you can't find anywhere else! A truly invaluable resource.


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Raesreppilf
by Genealogist- GA on Mar. 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Oh I agree.  We got lucky on our timing.  Had we gone a month or 2 earlier we never would have known that information existed.   People are more apt to donate these items to their local genealogical society than to put them online.  Libraries and genealogical centers are most definitely better places to search than the Internet.  If you are unable to get to the location where your family lived, then you can still find things on the Internet.


Quoting .3xBlessed.:

That's great, but a very rare situation. I recommend local libraries over most other things every single time, but state archives are still really great.

Quoting Raesreppilf:

I think you would more likely find more info on your family if you went to the area in which they lived.  Years ago I took a trip to Winchester, Virginia and went to the Handley library to see if I could find any info on my Mom's great-grandfather who was born there.  About a month before we got there, some lady had just donated a box of genealogy from her family.  Old records, family bibles, original documents, family letters, and other stuff that you wouldn't find online.  The box of donated items was from the family of my Mom's great grandfather's 1st wife.  His marriage was mentioned in the family bible.



PamR
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I live within easy traveling distance to the state archives and the southeastern branch of the national archives, and I know there are a couple of pretty good size LDS centers here, too.  I was just wondering what I might be looking for there as  opposed to what I can find online.

LilyPondOasis
by Genealogist on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Thanks for this post/reply. Good to know.

It's a shame that when they were going for the Hale side, they stopped and did not search out the one daughter's husband which would have been my great grandfather and his family.

I was sent from that cousin A LOT of info on my Hale great great grandfather and his side she printed for me and gave me a copy of. I even have his will. Tough to read but interesting to read how he had all this money and then upon his death he split it between each child and grandchildren. 

I find it sad no one kept the house. 


Quoting .3xBlessed.:

I don't know how it works in Virginia, but here, the state archives holds tons of records that the counties or cities didn't have room for our want anymore.

For example, in our local library, there are microfilm of the main local newspapers, and a small local history room with very few resources and books.

Our local genealogy society is fully staffed, and has donated materials and books published on local families. There are microfilm from smaller and German newspapers, pastoral, church, and cemetery records, photos, local vital records, etc. Invaluable resource there, for sure.

Our local courthouse has vital records that were kept before they were required by the state, marriage records, and probate records.

Large cities have city archives, which include directories and government papers.

The state archives has all of the above, plus records at a state level (military records, census records, etc.) It also has coroner records, orphan home and prison records, asylum records, vital records from the earliest state requirement up to the 60s. Everything more recent than that, you have to get certified from somewhere else.

All of these repositories have been great sources for me, and I recommend getting to as many of them as you possibly can.

I recommend trying to find an RAOGK volunteer to see if they'll go for you, since you can't go yourself.


Quoting LilyPondOasis:

Would you suggest that if some one's family is concentrated in one state, to try THAT states archives?

Would we have to travel there to get it?

My family is concentrated in Scott County,VA and a few other area's but I am in Florida. Guess I need to check this out as I know there are fees.

But with family names, how do I know I am not getting the copy of some one elses family and not mine without much info?

I would need to figure out a bunch of things first I guess.

Quoting .3xBlessed.:

The state archives here in pa has tons of info and databases that you can't find anywhere else! A truly invaluable resource.



kidslovemom
by Genealogist on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM
1 mom liked this

I went to a LDS center.  The mistake I made was not leaving myself a lot of time.  You have to go there and order the films you want (you get the numbers off the website when you do a search and something comes up).  They contact u by email if I remember correctly to confirm when it's in.  On the FamilySearch.org website, you might get a hit for a church record of christening but that's a transcription.  When you get the record itself on microfilm, you can confirm it was transcripted correctly and also look around on the microfilm for other family members.  I found church records from Scotland which was really cool.  The negative of the experience was the microfilm flying by made me a little dizzy and they only had one machine that could print.  I was unable to get a copy of what I was looking at bc the line for that machine was backed up.  I did take a picture but it didn't come out well.  So save a lot of time when you go.  I am planning a trip to the NJ archives.  I printed out my front page of ancestry.com for each person I am hoping to get information on so I have all the facts.  My goal of the trip is birth and death certificates.  I know some of my older relatives were born at home so probably no birth records for them but hopefully death records.  I've been pretty much only behind the computer so far except for some cemetery trips and the one LDS trip so it's all new to me.

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