Professional genealogists say you start your family tree with YOU. You find the records for YOUR birth, for YOUR education, YOUR travels, YOUR relationships and family AND your photos.
Do you need a copy of your birth certificate? a marriage or divorce record? a death record? If you were born in the United States or one of our territories, you can find the sources for these records at Where to Write for Vital Records.
When you are doing genealogy on other people in your family, if the event (the birth, marriage, divorce, death) occurred in the U.S., this will help you find out where the information you need may be found (and costs associated with obtaining it.)
As you look through your papers, the family file cabinet, the attic or other storage places for your records, keep an eye open for documents that will help you know where and when the important life events for other family members occurred.
If you find information for other family members, ask their permission to copy it. You will be able to use it as you move on to research the generations before you.
As you gather together this holiday season, why not set aside time to talk with close relatives about diseases and conditions that run in the family? Having a record of your family’s health history can be a valuable tool in helping to lower their risk for disease.
Use these print and online tools to help you collect and organize this valuable information.
Also, take this short quiz to learn why it’s important to know your family’s health history.
You may have heard of Polk's city directories, but there are other companies that published city AND rural directories. These are commercial products, so were developed to help businesses.
The earliest Portland City Directory was published by S.J. McCormick in 1863. It included information on new buildings and newcomers, on fires, city improvements, locations of fire stations and alarms. It also included the names of the men who lived in the city -- and the names of some women. (Primarily those who owned a business, had an occupation, or were unmarried, living outside of the parental home.)
Businesses paid to be listed in the Directory; some purchased highly detailed advertisements, while other smaller businesses like neighborhood general stores simply listed their name and location.
Another important value to business beyond advertising, was the list of residents in the city. If someone wanted to rent or buy services from a business, the Directory could be checked to find out if the person lived locally, and where; in later years a check of earlier directories under the name, would let the business know how long they lived in the City, what their occupation was, and whether they moved often. All information that helped a business decide whether to extend credit to a customer, to hire someone to do a job, to lease or sell to a person.
The best way to find these kind of directories in the library catalog is to search using the name of the city or the county and the word "Directories" as a subject keyword search; eg, Wasco Directories. Eugene Directories, Baker Directories.