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Introduction to Genealogy: Print Resources

Are you ever curious about your family history? Genealogy is a fascinating topic but it can be hard to know where to start. This brief guide will explain basic steps to get you started tracing your family history.

Books for Beginners

How to Use Evernote for Genealogy: This guide will show you how to keep your research neat and organized using the popular Evernote app. Step-by-step instructions show you how to file research materials, analyze research clues, collaborate with cousins, and share your family history.

Organize Your Genealogy: Stop struggling to manage all your genealogy facts, files, and data--make a plan of attack to maximize your progress. Organize Your Genealogy will show you how to use tried-and-true methods and the latest tech tools and genealogy software to organize your research plan, workspace, and family-history finds.

Ancestor Hunt Finding Your Family Online: Author Nancy Shepherdson makes finding your ancestors easy through the use of the Internet. Learn how Web sites, links, listserves, software, and online family trees can aid you in your search for ancestors living as long ago as two hundred years. Helpful hints throughout the book will assist you in avoiding common mistakes along the way and in-text challenges will ensure that you are searching correctly.

Additional Books and periodicals

The Special Collections Department houses the library's Heritage Collection of books, which contain vital information for research that may not be available anywhere else. The Collection covers all fifty of the United States of America and also features information from several other countries around the world. Books of state and county information include lands records, marriages, immigration records, census data, cemetery indexes, town and city histories, family histories, surname indexes, military records, genealogical society registers, legal and death notices, and much, much more.

Periodicals found in the Special Collections Department also supply information from genealogical groups and organizations across the country that may be able to help you in your research or provide an interesting look at where your ancestors came from.


The Newspaper Collection features microfilm of newspapers of Madison County, Huntsville, and the surrounding areas dating back to 1819. Other newspapers from other states and select countries dating back to the 1700s are also available as well.


The Microfilm and Michrofiche Collection has information simply not available anywhere else, including

-Huntsville Hospital Records
-Madison County Certificates of Naturalization
-Madison County Field Notes 1818-1853
-Alabama Internal Revenue Assessment Lists 1865-1866 District 3
-The Five Civilized Tribes, Final Rolls (Citizens and Freemen)
-International Genealogical Index
-Session Laws of American States and Territories

Family Files

The Special Collections Family Files are a unique wealth of valuable research on local and prominant families in Huntsville and the surrounding areas. This research has been donated to the department by various reseachers over the years and can save you time and effort by provding answers to common questions.

Once you have completed your own research, consider donating a copy to the File for future genealogists to come back to.