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LOVE is first experienced and expressed in the context of family relationships.

"If you look beneath it, our interest in "roots" and in life history interviewing represents an intuitive response to a deeply felt need for a sense of personal and family continuity. We live in a hectic, rapidly changing, highly mobile world, where families have become physically and emotionally disconnected ... millions of people yearn to reconnect in some way with the continuity of their family's experience .... Life history interviewing is a tool to help all generations talk to one another...."

William Fletcher, Recording Your Family History. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 1989.

General Resources

Below is a list of the contents of this section. Click on any item in which you are interested for a fuller description and to reach the Internet link.

Ancestors - Video clips from a PBS TV series on genealogy and family history.
Searching Your Family Tree - A beginner's guide to researching family history.
The U.S. GenWeb Project - Link to state and county family research sites in U.S.
Cyndi's List - Excellent links to a variety of resources for researching family history.
Family History - How Do I Begin? - Guide to Mormon family history research centers.
Netting Your Ancestors - Description of book for using Internet to do family research.
Genealogy Toolbox - Site for ordering books and software on genealogy.
FGS Society Pages - Locator for 2,000 genealogical societies.
RootsWeb - Links to data bases, historical societies and groups to help with family research.
National Archives and Records Administration - Web site for regional archives.
Free Library of Philadelphia - Guides to family history resources in Philadelphia area.
City and County of Philadelphia - Web site for major Philadelphia genealogy resources.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania - Largest professional genealogy center in the region.
Historical Society of Delaware - Resources to help family historians with their research.
Delaware Genealogical Society - Volunteer society which supports family history research.
League of Historical Societies of New Jersey - Site features multiple links to helpful groups.
Ancestors Resource Directory - State-by-state listings of resources at this site.


This site profiles a television series about genealogy and family history which focuses on the positive impact that family history can have on individuals and families. The series consists of ten half hour segments that combine "stories of people whose lives have been changed through family history research" with "practical instruction by experts on how viewers can begin searching for their own roots." The segments include: Getting Started (beginning with a family pedigree chart); Looking At Home (locating primary sources near-at-hand), Gathering Family Stories (conducting family history interviews with family members); The Paper Trail (researching original and compiled records which document family history); Libraries and Archives (visiting the world's largest genealogical library, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah); Military and Census Records; African American Research (addressing the special research challenges); Your Medical Heritage (family medical history); High Tech Help (tips for taking advantage of computer technologies); and Leaving a Legacy (perpetuating the history of the family). Text related to the series is accessible online, together with a Teachers' Guide for teachers and students (grades 7-12). The Teachers' Guide provides an overview of each segment, objectives, key word definitions, pre-and post-viewing guidelines, and suggested activities. There is also an online Viewers' Guide which parallels the series which contains helpful "how-to information" and research tips, plus a descriptive bibliography of additional resources titled Related Books and Media. The Ancestors television series produced by KBYU-TV is available through PBS Home Video on videocassette. The complete series or tapes of individual segments can be ordered by calling 1-800-828-4PBS. Click here to go to a web page with links for viewing segments of the Ancestors series. Video segments are available courtesy of KBYU-TV.

Searching Your Family Tree
Written before the advent of home computers, this is still an excellent beginner's guide to U.S. genealogy. It provides sensible advice about how to get started, recordkeeping, use of primary and secondary sources of information, with special sections on genealogical resources in libraries, federal records (census, military service, immigration), state and local records, vital records, wills, deeds, family tombstones, newspapers, and church records.

The U.S. GenWeb Project
This web site is the central connection for the USGenWeb project. The project has been organized by volunteers who are working together to provide Internet web sites for genealogical research in every county and every state in the United States. The project is non-commercial, and dedicated to providing free access to genealogical resources for all users. It also provides a link to the World GenWeb Project web site, "a work in progress" which is focusing on links for every country in the world. In addition to the USGen Web, the World GenWeb site includes the following regional genwebs: Africa, Asia, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, MidEast, Pacific, and South America.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
This award-winning web site has been visited by over two million people. The site includes many excellent links which are organized according to the following categories: general resource sites; history and culture; libraries, archives, and museums; mailing lists, newsgroups, and chat; military; people and families; professional researchers, volunteers, and other research services; publications, software and supplies; records: census, cemeteries, land, obituaries, personal, taxes, and vital; slavery; societies and groups.

Family History - How Do I Begin?
Click on Family History Resources. The Mormons, members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, have established research libraries across the nation. This web site explains why they are involved in family history research; how to start discovering family history; the resources available through the family history centers they have established; and how to locate a local family history center. (There are family history centers in Philadelphia and Broomall, Pennylvania; in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; in Wilmington and Dover, Delaware). The Mormons are also assisting with the deciphering and computerization of records related to the 17 million immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island. By the year 2000, when the American Family History Center opens on Ellis Island, more than half of all existing United States' family immigration records will be accessible via state-of-the-art interactive computer technology. For additional information, click here.

Netting Your Ancestors
This site describes a new book for conducting genealogical research on the Internet. It focuses on using e-mail, mailing lists and newsgroups, and the World Wide Web to research family history online, and provides pointers about accessing computer databases and communicating with other people electronically -- even globally.

Genealogy Toolbox
A commercial site useful for ordering genealogical books (associated with books), surveying genealogical software products, and featuring a comprehensive genealogy "site finder."

FGS Society Pages
A site that can be helpful for locating information about the more than 2,000 genealogical societies in the United States and throughout the world.

This commercial site marries databases and software to streamline searching for family records online. It also provides guest home pages for over 3,000 genealogical and historical societies and groups such as US GenWeb, as well as hosting more than 4,000 mailing lists. Click on the link for Roots-L State Pages to find comprehensive links to data bases and related genealogical and historical resources on the Internet, including links for the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives for the Mid-Atlantic region are housed in center city Philadelphia. Click on the Genealogy Research link to access related web pages, online essays to aid family researchers in using NARA's records, and/or to connect with other regional NARA facilities. This web site also describes the Philadelphia regional facility's extensive microfilm holdings: federal population censuses for all states from 1790-1920; Revolutionary War military service records; passenger arrival lists from Philadelphia and Baltimore; and federal court records including naturalizations. It also lists the contents of its archives, created or received by federal courts and federal agencies in the region: texts, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings, from 1789 to 1996.

The Free Library of Philadelphia: Genealogy Pathfinder
The Free Library of Philadelphia's genealogy web site lists local libraries and archives available for conducting research as well as research guides describing local holdings. The Free Library's Genealogy Pathfinder - Library Resources, the work of Walt Stack, a librarian on the staff at the Free Library, contains guides to genealogical documents which emphasize the holdings of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and also brief descriptions of other Philadelphia repositories. The guides are organized by topic: census, biographies, genealogies, directories, birth/marriage/death information, military records, passenger lists, land and court records, published archives, newspaper and indices. The site also features links to Philadelphia area and major national organizations of most interest to genealogists, as well as especially useful websites and web sites which function as convenient gateways to other web sites.

City & County of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A web site with links to a wide variety of major genealogy resources pertaining to Philadelphia. It also features a mailing list called Philly-Roots-L for persons interested in discussions of genealogical and historical research in the City and County of Philadelphia, plus a Philadelphia Queries section for people researching Philadelphia surnames (family last names). See here also for the web site of the Philadelphia City Archives. Click on the link titled Genealogical Resources at the City Archives for records of births, marriges, deaths, deeds, naturalizations and city directories.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
This is the web site for one of the most complete and professional genealogy centers in nation, and the largest in mid-Atlantic region. It provides information about a vast array of resources for pursuit of family history and genealogy, and offers access to: family papers and documents, wills and naturalization records, tax and census lists, land and court documents, military muster rolls, birth and baptismal records, passenger and immigration lists, obituary indices. The Society also houses diaries, journals, family trees, Bibles, and scrapbooks that illuminate family history. Its genealogical collection includes 10,000 published genealogies and 30,000 in manuscript form. Researchers in African-American genealogy will want to consult the records of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and the American Negro Historical Society there.

Historical Society of Delaware
The mission of this private, nonprofit educational organization is to promote an understanding and appreciation of Delaware history. It maintains a research library, the Delaware History Museum in Wilmington, and three historic sites. Its genealogical collection offers family historians a wide range of items for research: family name files, family histories, Delaware census records, marriage and cemetery records, and city directories. Click on the link for Delaware Genealogy: A Guide to Research in the Historical Society of Delaware Research Library for a comprehensive overview of family history resources.

Delaware Genealogical Society
This nonprofit volunteer organization encourages and supports genealogical research related to Delaware ancestry, but also provides general educational programs and assists members with family research. The society shares the Historical Society of Delaware's library at 505 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801. See here also for a description of the Society's Delaware Families Project, documenting all of the families living in Delaware between 1787 and 1800.

League of Historical Societies of New Jersey
Go to this web site for links to historical societies, associations, museums, ethnic associations, libraries and archives.

Ancestors Resource Directory
Go to this site, and click on link for "search." Type in the word "Ancestors." Doing so will take you to the home page for a television series on family history and genealogy produced by KBYU-TV for PBS. Click on the link titled Ancestors Resource Directory for state-by-state listings of helpful resources for genealogical research (archives and libraries, genealogical societies, historical societies, church records, ethnic resources) and other state-by-state resource directories. Click on the state of interest (e.g., Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey) to access information about state-specific resources.


Resources Related to the 'Africans in America' Series

Below is a list of the contents of this section. Click on any item in which you are interested for a fuller description and to reach the Internet link.

African-American Genealogical Societies - Groups focus on African-American family history.
African-American Genealogy Group - Assists with family research in Philadelphia area.
Afrigeneas - Mailing list for those interested in African American family research.
Cyndi's List: African-American - Links to a variety of resources for researching family history.
Ancestors - Video clip from PBS TV series on researching African-American family history.


African-American Genealogical Societies Around the U.S.A.
This site provides a list of genealogical and historical societies in the United States devoted to the study of African-American family history.

African-American Genealogy Group
This is the web site for the group. Founded at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia in 1989, this organization encourages and supports people interested in researching their family roots. The group holds monthly meetings, and also sponsors educational seminars and field trips.

A mailing list which focuses on general genealogical resources as well as African ancestry in particular.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet: African-American
The site includes general resources; history and culture links; libraries, archives, and museums; mailing lists and newsgroups; military records; people and families; professional researchers and publications; and links to a variety of records (census, cemeteries, etc.) It also features special links on the topic of slavery and links to societies and groups.

Click on the link for Episode Seven: African American Families for practical advice on how to cope with some of the special challenges involved in researching African American family history. NOTE: You must have RealPlayer to view. To download a free copy, click here. A videocassette tape of this particular episode can be ordered through PBS Home Video by calling 1-800-828-4PBS.


Practical Tools

Below is a list of the contents of this section. Click on any item in which you are interested for a fuller description and to reach the Internet link.

Ancestors - Download family history charts and record-keeping forms.
USGenWebKidz - Web site with tools to help young students "do" family history.
America 1900 Family Tree Builder - Download computerized family tree building files.
Cyndi's Genealogy Home Page Construction Kit - Guide for creating genealogy home page.


Go to this site, and click on link for "search." Type in the word "Ancestors." Doing so will take you to the home page for a television station which produced the Ancestors series. Then click on Blank Charts and Records to reach a web page from which the following family history charts and records can be downloaded: pedigree chart, family group record, family history timeline page, research log, family and home information sources checklist, and child's pedigree chart.

This is a web site specifically designed for young students. It provides advice, support, and printable forms that they can use to put together a family "pedigree chart", maintain a family group sheet, profile a family history timeline, keep a research log, and a checklist of family information sources frequently found in people's homes.

America 1900 Family Tree Builder
This a simple tool which teachers can use with students interested in creating a family tree. Students enter their family history information into this computer file, and print it out in the form of a "pedigree" chart and detailed "index cards" correlated with family members listed on the chart. Go to the site to download a free copy of the Family Tree Builder (Windows or MAC) by clicking on link and following instructions provided at this web site. It is a stand-alone application that does not require an Internet connection.

Cyndi's Genealogy Home Page Construction Kit
A web site designed as a "quick start" guide to creating and designing a genealogy web page. It offers guidelines for planning content and layout, advice on how to create the web page (coupled with suggestions regarding helpful software packages and online resources), tips on uploading to a server, and creating links.

Part I: Beginning with the Basics

Primary Sources
Oral Interviews

Return to Home Page

Part II: Tapping Teaching Resources

Family Roots
Neighborhood/Community Histories
Service Learning Projects