How to do research using local resources remotely?

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My great great great grandfather spent some of his life in Houghton, Houghton, Michigan, United States, and I would like to find more records for that area regarding his family. The problem is that I live in Utah and cannot make a trip myself.

I can call the local library, but would they be willing to send me the information I need? What is the best way to get research done from such a far distance?

david.tanner

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 375

Answers

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Not all libraries have the same staff support or policies. Sometimes, the library staffing and policies are reported on their website.

Many of the public libraries I contact are able to provide information for postage or a small fee. In several towns, a genealogical society mans the genealogy section only on some days--once a week, or twice a month.

There are other alternatives to long distance research, too, ranging from look up volunteers to professional genealogists.

P.S. If you are inquiring about a book or generally published material, check WorldCat to learn if a library near you carries the work. If it doesn't, inquire whether the book is available by inter-library loan. (I believe that sometimes WorldCat reports whether or not inter-library loan is offered on the item.)

GeneJ

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 8 477

1Are there any websites that said volunteers or professional genealogists might be found at? – david.tanner – 2012-10-15T16:29:15.960

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The Association of Professional Genealogists's website has an online searchable roster. http://www.apgen.org/directory/index.html The local genealogical society (or library) may have names of those to whom they refer you. You might check the US GenWeb site, too.

– GeneJ – 2012-10-15T16:32:27.303

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I've successfully found researchers via http://genlighten.com to do research in local repositories for me. And although I've never used it, I've heard Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness was a good site. It appears to still be down (source: RAOGK wiki), but you could try their Facebook group if you are on FB.

TAH

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 389

I just wish I could mark two answers as accepted. – david.tanner – 2012-10-15T20:28:43.777

@david.tanner Compliment appreciated! This discussion on a related issue may be of interest...

– TAH – 2012-10-16T00:26:23.743

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Searching the web for genealogical or historical societies in either the town or the county is helpful. I've found that local societies frequently have data that will never appear in a library and since they are usually volunteer organizations, are understanding of your needs. I belong to several societies in areas I will probably never visit, but their staff and newsletters keep me informed when they have created indices of B/M/D. It usually costs less than $30 to join.

Lynda Cook

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 41

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Don't forget to check state-level resources, which may include digitized local materials. Start by exploring the resources linked from

http://www.digitalstatearchives.com/michigan

B. R. Miller

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 116

In all my searching, I haven't found that one! Thanks! – david.tanner – 2012-10-18T23:03:36.870

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If the records have been digitised you could visit your local Church of Latter day Saints research centre and order the microfilms.

Colin

Posted 2012-10-15T16:09:11.133

Reputation: 3 480

It probably does appear that the question and answers were narrowly focused. That is probably because of the question and dialog about a related, earlier question. http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/248/help-tracing-ancestor-back-to-germany

– GeneJ – 2012-10-16T23:22:25.597