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Welcome to our brief guide intended to get you started on your genealogy research. Above are the library’s online sources available for genealogical research. Below you will find helpful hints as well as major sources of information for general family research.
A Brief Guide to Beginning Genealogy
Researching a family history can be complicated and time consuming. Some people work on their Family trees for decades! It is helpful to read or skim a “how-to” book to get the general idea of the process involved. Way Library has plenty of these in the general collection in the Genealogy subject category and in Local History under the call numbers 929 and 929.1.
Before anything else, gather things you may already have at home. Diaries, scrapbooks, letters, wills, birth, marriage, and death certificates. Often, a family bible will contain important information. Simply interviewing relatives will save a lot of guessing and footwork later. Someone in the family may have written a book or already has started to gather things. Always check the library in the “hometown.”
You will likely find newspaper articles, city directories, and atlases which may show land ownership. If you are lucky, you may find a family book that an ancestor wrote.
Filling in the blank spaces on a family tree is one final goal. Each event should be backed up by certificates and records. (The census record is usually the baseline. It’s a good idea to start all searches with census records.) Keep track of what you searched, what you found, and what you didn’t find. Try to work on one family line at a time.
There are many genealogy sites on the Internet; however only a few have actual names, records, data or indexes. One place to start is cyndislist.com. It categorizes many of the best sites including special sources for Civil War, immigrant ships, free forms and many other topics.
Way Library subscribes to several genealogy databases that will be helpful to you. The links are at the top of this page.
- Ancestry Library This database is limited to in-building use. The gold standard of genealogy research. http://ancestrylibrary.proquest.com/
- HeritageQuest General records database, including entire books online. - http://www.heritagequestonline.com/
- fold3: Military Service Records - http://ohioweblibrary.org/db/fold3
- African American Heritage - http://ohioweblibrary.org/db/africanamericanheritage
- Sanborn Fire Maps: Insurance maps of Ohio cities drawn between 1882 and 1962. - http://ohioweblibrary.org/db/sanborn
There are also two local genealogy databases:
Finding clues and pieces of the puzzle is very satisfying. The nature of genealogy research is that as time goes by you keep finding new information. Your final goal may never happen. It might be mentioned that Wood County has a genealogical society and they are always happy to help people.
Working on your family history can be a lifelong hobby or a quick project you finish in a few months.
In any case, it is an exciting activity that can bring your extended family closer together.
If your ancestor is from Perrysburg or the vicinity, below is a list of print local history genealogy sources. You will be sure to find information on your ancestor(s) among these records.
- Family Histories
- Federal Census Index of Ohio 1820 and 1830
- Local Cemetery Records
- Local Church Records
- Local History Obituary File
- Local Print Photo Collection
- Military Indexes, Including Photos of Local Veterans
- Perrysburg and Wood County Directories
- Perrysburg High School Yearbooks
- Various Books on Wood County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records