July is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.
Welcome to DAY 21 of the 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips series! Need to start at the beginning of the series or catch up? Start here.
DAY 21 – Private Collections
Private collections can contain a wealth of genealogical information. These may include family letters and papers as well as a church or organization’s papers. Contained in family letters are often references to other family members including family that had migrated some distance away. References to travel, impacts of a war and political thoughts and activities may be recorded.
In addition, things such as business papers, bank records, property records, oral histories and even report cards(!) may be found among papers in a private collection.
Where to Find Private Collections
Private collections are commonly housed at archives and university libraries. Use the repository’s finding aide to determine what they have. Often these are not online, but check. Recently, I have been pleasantly surprised by finding a few private collection papers I needed online.
When searching for private family collections, be sure to check out ArchiveGrid.
ArchiveGrid is an online finding aide for private collections and is a good resource to check when searching for private collections. Family and personal papers housed in over 1000 repositories are represented. Remember, you may be researching your NC roots, but find personal papers containing information on your family in a different state.
Now It’s Your Turn!
Explore a finding aid for a university or archive’s private collections. Alternately, explore ArchiveGrid’s for collections pertaining to your genealogy research.
Check out previous posts in the 31 Days of Out of the Box Genealogy Tips:
- Day 1 – Volunteer!
- Day 2 – Genealogy Wikis
- Day 3 – Cemetery Research
- Day 4 – Newspaper Society Pages
- Day 5 – Vertical Files
- Day 6 – Religious Periodicals
- Day 7 – Unplug Your Genealogy
- Day 8 – Cultural Periodicals
- Day 9 – Facebook Groups
- Day 10 – DNA Education
- Day 11 – Funeral Records
- Day 12 – Occupational Records
- Day 13 – School Records
- Day 14 – Civil War Veterans Homes
- Day 15 – War of 1812 Pensions
- Day 16 – Twitter Chats
- Day 17 – Mortality Schedules
- Day 18 – Non-population Schedules
- Day 19 – 1890 Census Fragments
- Day 20 – Tax Records
Pin for Future Reference!