CSG Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
After nearly 40 years serving genealogists from across the country (and even some from outsite the U.S.), our office staff and volunteers have fielded many genealogy questions for visiting researchers.
How can I find my family and where do I start?
Genealogy has grown to become more popular than ever before and is widely reported to be among the leading hobbies in the United States; if not worldwide. Depending upon where you live, there are a range of options for helping you research and record your family tree. If you live within close proximity to the area where previous generations of your family settled, then you'll likely have an easier time compared with those who are separated from their ancestral homes by hundreds or thousands of miles.
We dedicate an entire section of our Web site to this question.
See the Getting Started section of this site for detailed tips on getting started.
My family came for overseas, how do I find records of their arrival?
The United States has been called "A Nation of Immigrants". At some point in each families history, the search will involve an immigrant ancestor. Whether your family members were among the millions to arrive through Ellis Island in the early 1900s or were settlers from an earlier Colonial period, there are records available for your review.
You should first determine the approximate date and location of arrival for each of your immigrant ancestors by speaking with other family members and reviewing documents that may be in your possession. It is also helpful to know the approximate year of birth for each of these ancestors. Once you have that information, you'll be better prepared to locate an individual passenger arrival record.
Where to I find passenger lists?
Passenger Lists (also known as Ship Lists or Passenger Manifests) are available on Microfilm by visiting the National Archives in Waltham MA, Pittsfield MA, New York NY, and other regional archives. You can search online archives from Ellis Island and Castle Garden for free via the Internet. Additional passenger arrival records are available as a part of a fee-based subscription from the Ancestry.com web site.
What is at the CSG library that can help me?
What is the Barbour Collection?
How can I find where my ancestors are buried?
Where do I find cemetery records?
Where do I find old church records?