Old Dominion University Libraries

How to Begin Geneaology Research

Tutorials image

Selected "How to" books in Perry Library

Library of Congress Subject Headings
(for searching in the online catalog)

Use the subject heading Genealogy. It can be a main heading or a subdivision under names of countries, cities, etc., and under ethnic groups and names of individual groups. Examples of subject searches:

Hispanic Americans--Genealogy
Nansemond County (Va.)--Genealogy
Presidents--United States--Genealogy

Other Resources

Although the Perry Library has some "how to" books, it generally does not collect materials on local families. Individuals who are researching individual family histories would do better to start with an Internet search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

Electronic Discussion Group on the Internet

VA-ROOTS is a discussion group sponsored by the Library of Virginia for those interested in research and writing about Virginia genealogy and family history. VA-ROOTS is an electronic forum where genealogists can share the results of research, assist newcomers to the field, inquire about the location of resources, etc. See their Web page at http://listlva.lib.va.us/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A0=VA-ROOTS

Another Excellent Internet Resource

Yahoo's Genealogy Page

Family History Centers

The Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have the most extensive library on genealogy in the United States. The materials of the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City can be loaned to the local Family History Center. There are significant materials from North America, British areas, Europe, and Latin America and some for other areas. A FamilySearch program is available at each Family History Center. The staff is as willing to help non-Mormons as members of the church. Only a small part of the collections are about the Mormon Church, its members, or its ancestors. Although these collections are large, they do not contain all families. Those individuals who have done research on their family histories can send in their research to be added to the database.

Virginia Beach, 4760 Princess Anne -- 757-474-1796
Chesapeake, 412 Scarborough Drive -- 757-482-9612
Newport News, 902 Denbigh Blvd. -- 757-874-2335
Richmond, 5600 Monument Avenue -- 804-288-813

Norfolk Public Library

Sargeant Memorial Room, Kirn Library, downtown Norfolk (phone for new location, 757-441-2503). On the Internet

Norfolk Public Library (and other public libraries) have local census records from the late 1600's through 1920. Inquire at the libraries about their other genealogical resources.