Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Historical Societies are Rich Sources

Local historical societies can offer rich resources for family historians. Be sure to check out the holdings and services of such organizations in any locale where your ancestors lived. Their collections and service vary so much it will be necessary for you to explore each as you encounter them. Some are merely museums. Others sell detailed local histories and offer access to carefully created files such as obituaries, cemetery lists, etc. Since most of the societies are dependent on the efforts of volunteers--they do what the volunteers are interested in and able to do.

You may be surprised about how many such societies exist. One might expect states, counties and large cities to have historical societies. However, small towns may have them as well. For example, there are at least ten such organizations just in the northern part of San Luis Obispo County, CA. Nine of them are sponsoring a treasure hunt this month. Check out what is available where you live and also in any communities in which your ancestors lived. You never know what tidbit/treasure you may find about your ancestors until you look!

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