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Those Lesser Known Resources



Here are a few suggestions of lessen known or even never thought of resources to learn more about a certain family or a specific ancestor.

The family hometown — Google the county or town and see what is available there, such as a local museum, a genealogical society, chamber of commerce, civic and fraternal organizations such as Woman’s Club, Kiwanis, Woodmen of the World, Elks, Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows, Eastern Star, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of the American Revolution (local chapters), Garden Club, Lions Club, Soroptimist, and others to name a few. There can also be numerous ethnic and religious groups in a hometown such as Knights of Pythias, Brotherhood of North American Indians, Ancient Order of Freesmiths, St. Patrick’s Alliance of America, or Free Sons of Israel. Locate any of their national headquarters also and see what information they hold relating to an ancestor who you found was a member. 

An example, the Masonic and Eastern Star organization keep wonderful records and a massive collection of photos of their membership. Even if you are not such whether a relative belonged, check with the local lodge in the family hometown.

If you found any special interests your ancestor had in the town such as the theatre (an actor, director, stage worker, etc), if that theatre still exists, there is a great resource to check out. Check with the town government to see if they have listings of volunteers who helped as firemen or special sheriff deputies. Another source related to firemen and deputies would be the local newspaper, they covered the names and events their citizens were involved in.

If a relative was a military veteran, there can be local veteran groups in your home county also. They can have a good deal of information on membership.

On the state level of where your ancestral family lived, see if there is a state archives of documents, records or photos. Who knows what might be in that state records? 

One area might not produce any results but it could lead you to another resource. Just keep trying.

Photos: The Dunedin Masonic Lodge 192 in Florida; Symbols of groups, Local Veterans Groups, and Garden Club in Florida.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Italian Club

Sons of the American Revolution

Digital State Archives

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