Besides censuses, vital records, photos, family Bible, another resource is a hometown county history. Your ancestors didn’t have to be famous in the town, they could have owned and operated a simple shop providing some needed service. This would have made them important enough to be included in a town or county history.
Using the free online ‘EveryNameIndex‘ has made digital an index with the name and page in a specific county history. An example: ‘Jones, Samuel, 834′ or “Williamson, John, Lt. Col., 139, 237″ or ‘Blake, Mrs. Amanda (Nelson), 743′ — this including the lady’s maiden name, which can be a big help. The number(s) following each is the page(s) the name is located. The link for each tells where the county history is located. It might be in a Family History Center, or a Google Book online, available with inter-library loan system or on county GenWeb sites where a local volunteer can look it up for you.
Not every county in every state has available a county history. If you have an ancestor from Carroll County, Maryland and on the list only the counties of Frederick, Cecil and Allegheny are listed, you still could check for any neighboring counties such as Frederick. This applies for counties that border another county in a neighboring state. Be open to different locations as well as different various spellings for names.
Another example is my gr gr grandfather, Joseph Groff of Frederick, Maryland. After calling up the Frederick link you place the name ‘Groff’. There was the index with all Groffs of Frederick and a listing of 5 different reference pages for Joseph Groff.
Berks County, PA shown above with the beginning of the ‘M’s’
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