Learn a little bit about the city;
- Start with Wikipedia -- it's quick and easy. first search for the city -- then search the city with the add added word neighborhoods
- Maps are covered on a separate page, this website.
How-to books, articles and guides are helpful
- See if the FamilySearch Wiki covers the city separately; there will be pages for the larger cities and they can be very helpful.
- Chicago offers a shining (but NOT representative) example
of books that will help you focus your research on city sources.
- You will have to search for similar guides
- Family History Library catalog (city--genealogy handbooks, manuals etc.)
- FamilyTree Magazine now features City Guides in their magazine, as well as their state guides. These can be helfpul .The offer a compilation of the guides (on a CD) or you can "buy the ebook", which I think is a download, but you might also see if your library subscribes to the magazine. (If not, suggest it!)
- Find in A Library books on neighborhoods and history of a city -- use such advanced search with subject words that include the city name with some combination of these words: genealogy, handbooks, manuals, bibliography, history or neighborhoods, e.g. Boston Genealolgy Handbooks
- If you find one you like, click on the subject heading for that one to find others on the same subject.
- A state or county guides, might contain a seprate section on the major cities within its boundaries.
Libraries in major cities often have materials specific to local interest, if not genealogy. Some examples:
City Historical or Genealogical Societies might be helpful or have useful collections.
City Directories are covered on a separate page.
- You will not want to overlook using the city directories -- they can be accessed from afar!
- Follow your ancestor year by year
- Use in conjunction with city maps
Newspapers are covered on a separate page.
- Often more than one newspaper and usually daily.
- Find ethnic newspapers when applicable.
- Some cities kept vital records separately from the county. Examples:
Family History.org: search the catalog (click the tab) by city name for record types of interest
- -- cemeteries , example Crown Hill Cemetery (also online)
- -- Obituaries -- Indexes
- -- Court records; what is the jurisdiction of each court?
- --Vital Records -- what records are under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Board of Health
- Richmond-- note there is a Richmond Co. and an independent city of Richmond.
- -- church records (note most of these are found only by city)
- -- vital records (even though records officially kept by city, there may be some that are unofficial)
Municipal records, municipal archives.
Google: cityname municipal archives; some examples: