Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs

Collection Information

Tracing your family history is a continuous learning experience. In order to find our ancestors, we must learn about many record types—why they were kept, what they contain, and where to find them. We learn history, geography, legal, medical and antiquated terms; and possibly even a foreign language or two. We learn about libraries, archives, courthouses, online resources, and any place that may house the slightest clue to our ancestry. Fortunately, the information age has been good to family historians. Collections like those in this category bring a huge variety of reference materials to our computer screen.

Similar to the reference collections in your library, these records include guides to history, geography, and surname origins, as well as finding aids that can lead you to records that might otherwise be difficult to access.

Sample Images

Search Tips

  • Because these records are so diverse, they are best searched on an individual basis. Use the Card Catalog to determine which collections best search your needs and then search them directly using the search form on that page.
  • These records can be searched by name. If you are looking for more generic information on a particular surname, leave the given name field blank.
  • Search for place names alone to locate collections that reference the place where your ancestor lived.