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Research Already Performed
Before starting any in-depth research, one should always do a
search for genealogies and family histories which have already
been published or already completed. No one wants to waste
time reinventing the wheel. It’s very disappointing to spend
hours and hours of research on a topic that one later finds was
already done. This has probably happened to almost everyone
doing genealogy at some point but we should try to avoid it as
much as possible.
There are many places to look for research already completed. The first and foremost is your
own family members. This is why every family member should know you are working on a
family history. There are often scrapbooks and pamphlets that have been passed down and
through the family that you can obtain or make copies of.

Libraries local to the family you are researching are excellent places to search. Many
libraries have local history and/or genealogy departments which accept donations of people’s
personal work. Some of this work is in the form of self-published books. There are companies
which do custom publishing just for this purpose. Libraries also accept donations in the form
of scrapbooks and three-ring binders and, increasingly, on CDs and DVDs. Before you
actually go to a library with donations you should contact them to see what they will accept.
All libraries have limited room available and must prioritize what they believe to be
important or useful and desirable.

History and genealogy associations can also be an excellent source for family histories. These
range from state, county, township and even city level organizations. Many will maintain
their own libraries or be affiliated with the local library and sometimes actually run that
department. Most have at least some presence on the internet although some can be hard to
find but they will all be more than happy to help you in your search.
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