Sonoma County Library


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Getting started with your genealogy and family history

The Sonoma County Genealogical Society
Local genealogical society meets monthly in Santa Rosa. Members can help you with getting started on your research, and the website has links to useful publications and online resources.

FamilySearch Research Videos
Dozens of free videos with course handouts. Courses cover all levels, from basic family history and genealogy research to accreditation and conference videos for professional genealogists.

Companion website to the PBS family history and genealogy TV series. Includes a state-by-state resource guide and free pedigree charts and family record forms.

Getting Started in Genealogy
From the Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library.

Family History and Genealogy
Resources from government archives, where to find different kinds of records. From

Resources for Genealogists
From the National Archives. Try their Online Public Access to research in many archives at once.

Major search sites

Ancestry Library EditionAncestry - in Library only
Excellent source for vital records and other resources for genealogical research. Available inside the Library only.
More information about Ancestry
HeritageQuestHeritageQuest Online  
(Sonoma County Library library card required for access from home)
More information about HeritageQuest
Having trouble reaching or using HeritageQuest? Help and Troubleshooting

From the Church of LDS. This site allows you to search the Ancestral file, their family history library catalog. Also available is the International Genealogy Index and the Family Search pedigree resource file.
This is the oldest free genealogy website. Search a large database by family name, with links to message boards, family trees, and genealogy mailing lists.

US GenWeb Project
USGenWeb Project is a volunteer project working to provide genealogical information for each state and county in the U. S. Resources available in each county are listed.

Genealogy links

California Birth Index
Due to privacy laws, the Birth Index is no longer available. For local Sonoma County birth records from 1873 to present, see the County Clerk's Office. Public access terminals are available for limited vital records research at the County Clerk's Office.

California Death Index, 1940-1997
There may be records from before the stated beginning date of the database.

Ellis Island Records
This database contains not only passenger lists for those who came through Ellis Island on their way to settling in the United States, but additional information on immigrant groups, and overviews of immigration patterns from specific countries. The family archive created here will also solicit contributions of personal documents and photos to the Archive.

Genealogy collection on
Passenger lists, county records, family genealogies, Indian Census of the United States, and other materials scanned in from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center and other libraries.

Genealogy Librarian News
Highlights of new articles in different regional genealogical publications; links to complete genealogy books you can read, download, or search.

Cyndi's List
Ninety subject categories of links to genealogy sites on the Internet.
A good portal site for beginning your research. The web site has online indexes to the Family Tree Maker CD-ROM products.

Genealogy Today
A popular site for searching genealogy databases, with articles about how to trace your family history. Now includes the Live Roots search tool for finding out which libraries, websites, or database companies have the genealogical information you are seeking.

Genealogical Source Material
Lists sites which have searchable databases.

UK National Archives: records
Find public records for the United Kingdom.


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