Family Separation – Find long lost family - Genes Reunited
To find a family history or genealogy, you need to spend some time at a few libraries. Probably the best libraries in which to search are genealogy and public libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. In addition, you may want to check in larger libraries, such as state or university libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. If you are unable to go to those libraries in person, find out if they are part of an interlibrary loan system.
You can check the Family History Library catalog through your local Family History Center, and the Library of Congress staff will perform searches for books about a particular surname. However, many Family History Library books are on microfilm, and you can borrow those. Otherwise, you need to locate the book elsewhere or make a visit to the library.
For information about other libraries with a national focus, see the topic Libraries with a national focus, including LDS. When looking for pedigrees or genealogies, many people use computerized pedigree or genealogy indexes to help them find the pedigree or genealogy that they need.
Some libraries have computerized pedigree or genealogy indexes and you can also search online for family histories and genealogies on Ancestry. There are two other places to check for family histories and genealogies. Try genealogy lending libraries -- these are companies that have book catalogs and will lend books through the mail for a fee.
The addresses for three such libraries are listed below. If you have a modem, you can also search selected library catalogs through the Internet. For example, part of the Library of Congress catalog is accessible via modem.
American Genealogy Lending Library P. Box Bountiful, UT Telephone: To find the names of living relatives in a family history or genealogy, you must at least know the full name of your ancestor, and the approximate area state or county in which the family may have lived. Probate records are records disposing of a deceased individual's property and may include an individual's last will and testament if one was made. Probate records often include the names of living relatives and their relationship to the deceased.
You can usually find probate records in the county where the person lived at the time of their death.
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Of course, unless the deceased had young children, the individual cannot have died too many decades ago, or else the individuals named in the will will no longer be living. To get a copy of an individual's probate packet or probate estate papers, contact the county clerk, town clerk, or probate clerk where the individual lived at the time of death. For county courthouse phone numbers and addresses, see our Resources by county. The Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a large collection of probate records on microfilm, both from the United States and from foreign countries.
For more information about court records, see the topic Court records. To find the names of living relatives in probate records, you must at least know the individual's full name at time of death, the approximate date of the death, and the county or town in which the individual lived at the time of death.
Probate record indexes and abstracts have been created in many counties. These indexes can provide you with the information you need to access the record, even if you don't have the minimum information required to find the original records.
Check with libraries and genealogy societies in the area -- they may know if any indexes exist for the records that you need. An obituary often lists the names of the surviving relatives. Again, unless the deceased had young children, the obituary cannot be too many decades old, or the survivors will no longer be living. The directories listed below will help you find the current owners of old newspapers from the time and place when the obituary was published.
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