Do you know your family history? Where did they live? Did the family members serve in the military? What jobs did they have? What education? What were their experiences during the depression? Did they encounter the Spanish flu of 1918?
And if you are the person who knows the answers to family history questions, how do you share the information?
There are resources to help you research and document your family history. The National Archives and the local treasury of the Genealogy Center located in the Albuquerque Main Library can help you get started, help you discover your ancestry, and give you ideas for recording everything.
As the repository of federal government records deemed to have permanent value for historical purposes, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) houses records that may be useful to individuals wishing to trace their ancestry. NARA maintains records that are of great use to genealogical researchers. The U.S. Census, taken every 10 years since 1790, is a very important source, and through partnerships between NARA and other organizations, all censuses taken over 72 years ago have been made available to the public. on line. The 1950 census was released in April. NARA also holds records documenting military service, passenger arrival, naturalization, taxation, legal actions, land ownership and much more.
Here are some suggestions from the National Archives:
Start with what you know
Start with your immediate family. Write down names, dates of birth, marriages, deaths and other milestones. Ask other “branches” of the family to help you fill in the information. Find out where they lived. This will be important for searches in these city, county, and state records.
Look for records you or family members may have.
The family Bible may contain birth, marriage and death records. Find the box of family clippings, military records, certificates, immigration papers, and other memorabilia. Research and ask loved ones if they know of any recorded cards or letters, scrapbooks, photo albums, or other books where events are recorded.
Really take the time to interview your loved ones. Write down the questions, including follow-up questions that will give you more details. Older parents have been telling family stories for years and often begin to forget details. Consider audio or video recording of interviews to capture their own words.
If you have photos, ask for help identifying the people, their approximate ages, where the photo was taken, and the date.
State, county, and local records
The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives is a major source of information for anyone whose roots are part of New Mexico’s rich history. The collection of recordings is extensive, ranging from obvious recordings to recordings you might not think of.
County records may include deeds, estates, criminal and civil courts, taxes, and votes.
Local records, including places of worship, may contain records, such as membership directories. If you discover membership in organizations, such as veterans groups, fraternal organizations, or volunteer groups, their records may be available for review.
The genealogy center has many state, county, and local records.
The Genealogy Center is on the second floor of the Downtown Albuquerque Main Library. It includes a non-circulating collection of over 25,000 titles and 38,000 volumes organized by country, state, and county; a computer laboratory dedicated to genealogical research with databases of particular interest to genealogists; a collection of microfilm and machines for viewing microfilm and microfiche; on-site databases developed by the Albuquerque and New Mexico Genealogy Societies; and staff and volunteers ready to help you with your research. Extensive resources include information from across the United States.
Not only do they have the largest collection of genealogy material in the state, but you can also get free research help. Whether you are just starting out or taking on a challenge in your research, meet between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on research day, the last Tuesday of the month. In the computer lab, with your library card, you can access Ancestry.com for free. Volunteers can help you find resources to trace your family history. Email [email protected] or call (505) 768-5131 for more information.
I visited the center and was impressed by the collection, the description of how the volunteers contribute to this treasure and their desire to help people find their history. This is yours; Enjoy it.
Sources: National Archives: archives.gov/riverside/how-to-begin-genealogical-research National Archives, Census: archives.gov/research/census/online-resources New Mexico State Archives and Libraries: statearchives.us /new-mexico. htm Genealogy Center: https://abqlibrary.org/genealogy