County Genealogical Resource Page Online (Page Two)

How to build one for your favorite county

This article will explain how to select and organize the genealogical resources for a county in order to build an online web page.


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State government repositories
The state wanted it's share of taxes, even though these were collected by the county.  So copies of the counties tax collection information were filed with the state as well.  If a county courthouse has "burned", you may still find it's tax records in the state archives.  Many of these have also been microfilmed by the LDS and are available through them to rent for viewing at one of their local facilities.  Tax records can show you whether a man paid a poll tax, what land he paid taxes on, what sort of equipment he had, what sort of stock he was raising, or what sort of crop he had.  Sometimes they are separated into resident and non-resident sections.

After the Civil War, the federal government awarded pensions to disabled soldiers or widows of Union soldiers only.  Some states, following the Civil War, decided to award pensions to their Confederate soldiers or widows as well.  These records are in the state archives of each state, not in the federal archives.

Make sure that, on your county genealogical resource page, you list the address, phone number, email, and online website for the state archives in your target state.  Don't assume your readers know how to find that.

County government repositories
For genealogical purposes, the county is far more important than the town in which a person resided.  Marriages are county records, as are divorces.  Births and deaths are county records.  Other county records useful for genealogy include: Land transfers, taxes collected, probate, coroner's inquests, and county court records.  All states began requiring the filing of birth and death records in the latter part of the 19th century or early in the 20th century, but these are always collected at the county level, and then copies are sent on to the state for filing.  Some counties destroy the records after they are sent to the state.

List the address, phone number and hours for the government offices like the Registrar, Tax Collector or Land Records Office.  You might also specify what they charge for items like birth certificates, land deeds, photocopying divorce proceedings.

Family History Library Catalog
The Church of Latter Day Saints has a particular fascination with genealogy, tied to their religious beliefs.  Because of that, they have what is most likely the largest genealogy library in the world.  Their library is not solely about Mormons, it is about everyone, with an emphasis on the United States.  The library has 2.5 million rolls of microfilm and over 200,000 volumes.  The card catalog can be searched online at this link.  For a U.S. county you would enter the county name in the "Place" field and then the state name in the "Part Of" field.  So for example Los Angeles is part of California.  The search will then display all the various categories of items, that the LDS library has on that place.  Click on each category one by one and examine what's available.  List or at least summarize this information for your site.  Unless you are planning to go to the library in Salt Lake, you want to focus on the microfiche and microfilm offerings, as these can be ordered to come to you.  The print volumes do not circulate.

Does your target county have a local LDS Family History Center for receiving these microforms?  If so, list the address, phone number, email and online website if any for that center.  If you yourself are a regular visitor there, you might also list the days and hours it's open.

Google Books
Google Books has altered the landscape in medieval genealogy.  Suddenly volumes which were hard-to-locate are easily found.  That is also true of rare volumes on local history.  Perhaps your county had a Goodspeed's biography or similar work published last century?  Check Google Books for any items which detail your county history and genealogy and put links up on your site.

Yet to write up
State and county libraries, local funeral homes, local churches,, local genealogy societies, newspaper archives, online lists of county resources, online family trees and online forums.

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