If you are doing US Research this book can help!! This book helps you know what state, county and town sources might exist where your ancestors lived. We have this book on the bookshelf.
To use the book, go to the page of the state your ancestor was from. The first page gives a little history of that state and then describes the different records available. It will also give you libraries, societies and archives for the state and county. Next, the book has a map of the state divided into counties (as of 1992) like the picture below.
I like to locate the county I found my ancestor on a census and see what counties surround it. You may find that your ancestor lived on the border of a state and might be in Colorado on one census, and then in Kansas on another census. When you look at a map and see that where the county is located, it makes more sense as to why they were in different states.
After the map are pages like the one below that have the address of the courthouse for that county, what the parent county was and when this county was created, and also the years that the county has various records. It also has a key to the map. Example: Picture below.
As you can see, Adams county was formed in 1901 from Arapahoe county. They have birth records from 1902-06, etc. It became part of Denver County: annexed in 1909. On the far left under map, you can find it on the map at G3. So, you might find your ancestor living in Arapahoe County in the 1900 census, and possibly in Adams county on a later one.
Look up a county where your ancestor lived. See if there is any information that would be helpful in finding more records. Locate the county on the map.
For any problems with training, ideas, or feedback please contact Carol Hill - 801-380-9192 or firstname.lastname@example.org