Remembering Genealogy Research Before the Internet

Remembering Genealogy Research Before the Internet

How to Trace and Record Your Own Ancestry, a 1932 genealogy guide by Frank Allaben and Mabel Washburn (National Historical Co.), gives us a brief look at what genealogy research entailed before the Internet.

Genealogy research before internet

“When you have finished your work in the Registry of Wills, go to the office of the Recorder of Deeds, and follow the same mode of work as to making your indexes and copying the records.…

Besides work at County offices … one should visit the State Capital, and consult general records of the State, such as Land Grants and military lists … . It is advisable to visit the State Library, always, and there one can easily learn at what offices in the State Capital may be found other general records which should be consulted. … The actual place where your ancestors lived should be visited, if possible; and endeavor made there to find and examine the records of the Church which they attended. … In New England, there will be found, in the Town Clerks’ offices of the various Towns, Town Records.”

How to Trace and Record Your Own Ancestry, a 1932 genealogy guide by Frank Allaben and Mabel Washburn (National Historical Co.),


Things have come a long way, but there are still some resources that do have to be accessed in person. Things like family Bibles, old postcards, as well as church and funeral home records are just a few examples of things not easily tracked down online. Curious what else you have to leave the house to discover? Check out our 38 Family History Discoveries You Can Only Make in Person article.

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