Genealogy research, Jewish or non-Jewish, starts with today and with
what is known. It then becomes the process of collecting and
evaluating data and using that data to identify an ancestral town and
build a genealogical skeleton of a family. This article covers these
areas briefly and reviews some basic genealogical resources that are
relevant to individuals who immigrated to the United States at the turn
of this century. Non-U.S. researchers should apply the organizational
concepts and evaluation tools to resources that are relevant to their
own projects and countries.|
Additional resources that are not covered here and that can be extremely valuable are generally discussed in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, Revised Edition, edited by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking (hereinafter The Source). These resources include deeds; court, business, and military records; and various kinds of directories, etc. The Source also has chapters on census records, vital records, urban research, 20th-century research, and an overview of Jewish genealogical research.
Another useful book is Val Greenwood's The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. This general reference book focuses primarily on non-Jewish research, but can provide valuable insight into proper abstracting and transcribing, as well as how to evaluate evidence. Its information about deeds, probate records, and other early research resources may be especially valuable for genealogists researching German-Jewish families and others who immigrated to the U.S. in the early to mid-19th century.
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