Natalie Cottrill - Search help for your Family Tree


Genealogy Sleuth

My Favorite Genealogy Links

The links I have listed in these pages are sites that I actually use in the process of researching for myself and clients or sites for which I have found some specific genealogical use.  If you have a genealogy, data or surname site that is informative, please send me the URL (address) and your e-mail addressAll the genealogy sleuth links on ONE page.

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Genealogy Search Engines

There are several large subscription (fee) sites on the World Wide Web now with good, useable data abstractions.  I personally use the and subscription sites.  The census indexes for AIS (Accelerated Indexing Systems, Inc.) for 1850-1880 are available for most states on  If you find a U.S. Federal Census record you want on, send me your name, address, the state, the county and the page number and I'll copy and send the record to you for $8.25 (includes postage and handling).

My Favorite Search Engines


Primary vs. Secondary Source Material

A Very Basic Introduction . . .

Primary source material is information that is gleaned "straight from the horse's mouth" (so to speak).  It is abstracted from a vital record, court record, deed or other original record and contains the first recording of an event.   These records are usually created very near to the actual time of the event by someone who was actually present or who was directly involved in the event.  An autobiography is also a type of historical primary source document.

Secondary source material can often be viewed a bit like "gossip."  Secondary source material is often recorded long after the event has occurred and almost always by someone not  really associated with the event.   Most of the GEDCOM type, undocumented family groups and ancestries placed on CD-Rom format by software companies are types secondary source information.


Data Use and the Internet

You might want to take some time to familiarize yourself with some of the conventional methods for citing electronic source material that you pull down for your family research projects from www sites.  Also, with the help of Dennis Karjala, Professor of Law, I have compiled a rather detailed copyright table to assist you in evaluating current copyright laws.  It is important that you try to document everything very carefully in your notes.  Documentation only takes a minute and will keep you from wondering several months from now where you originally found your information.  Good luck to you!  If you need help with your ancestry, feel free to contact me.


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Copyright 1998-2009 Natalie Cottrill
Last 06 Apr 2009
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