This page is for the curious, the interested, the "too busy" and the "when I get around to it" people--who have never seriously looked into their Genealogy!!

Not only is it FUN--but everyone has "a story" and your many, many ancestors have "stories" that you may not even be aware of.  Come with us and start exploring your particular relatives "stories" and who knows--you may be hooked!!!

Always start with yourself!  You already know your "story" and that of your spouse and your descendants.  That is a good place to start!!  Then, you can start tracing your ancestors back as far as you can.


For anyone beginning research on their family, one of the most rewarding
sources can be "mug books." These are really local histories, sometimes
referred to as "mug books" because they have pictures of many of the more
well known individuals in the area. Beginning about 1850 and continuing to
the present time, there are almost six thousand county histories to tell you
about the place and the people where your ancestors lived.

County histories (there are also state and city histories available) were
written to record the event of interest to a given locality, usually from its
inception to the time the history was written. Especially in the early
histories, the authors usually lived in the county and knew many of the
people they were writing about. While that means you probably won't find much
negative stuff about the people or the area, you will come to know more about
the lifestyle of your ancestors. Even if you family is not named in the book,
you will know what kind of crops they most likely grew, the weather they
experienced, the schooling, the clothing, and even kind of  entertainment
they had.

Religion was a large part of the life for most early Americans of
any heritage and most of the church histories are given long with lists of
early members. You may be surprised to find your ancestors were early members
of a religious group you didn't know about.

Most county histories have two sections. The first part usually deals with
general information about the county: its earliest history, both before
Europeans came to the area and who the first settlers were. The geography,
animals, land uses, economy, religious history and the changing development
of the county will tell you about this region as your ancestors saw it.

The second part of most county histories is a listing of the townships and
towns of the county. Be sure to read through every township your family may
have lived in; don't just check the index for family names. And when you look
at entries for your family, take a copy of each entry--no matter how small or
insignificant it may seem--because when you get home, you may find that by
putting them all together, you will create a much fuller story of you family
and perhaps even pick up another generation.

County histories are good resources for genealogists and one of the best
collections of these are available at the Los Angeles County Library. Most
genealogy collections will have some County histories, and writing to the
specific county genealogical or historical society where your people lived
may get you material that has not even been published. So it really pays to
look for and use those "mug books" wherever you find them.

We recommend you start by reading some books, visiting some local genealogy societies or libraries listed below:

or just click on the following Internet Sites for interesting "starting points" for beginning Genealogists:


(Information from Joan Lowrey flyer; available monthly; e-mail to

British Isles Genealogical Research Association (BIGRA);  Joyce Beers
Community Center, Vermont St.

Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego; 4195 Camino Del Rio So.  3rd Sat. of
the month, 9-noon.
619-670-0960. Web site:

ESCONDIDO GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY, INC. P. O. Box 2190 Escondido, CA. 92033-2190
Our meetings are now held on the 3rd Saturdays at 10:15am in the Turrentine Room of the Escondido Public Library. 247 S. Kalmia

760-480-7369. Web Site:

German Research Association; 1st Sat of the month at 9:30-noon. 619-420-0065.

North San Diego County Genealogical Society; Council Chamber, City Hall, 1200
Carlsbad Village Dr. on the 2nd & 4th Tues. of the month at 10 a.m.;

Norwegian Genealogy Group; 2006 E. Vista Way, Vista 4th  Sat.  Jan., Mar.,
May, Sep., Nov. 10:30 a.m. 760-729-0604. 

POINTers in Person (Italian) Chapter NO. 16; Meets monthly various locations
and dates. 760-734-1920;        e-mail to or web site:

San Diego Genealogical Society; 1050 Pioneer Way, Ste. E, El Cajon. Meetings
at 6556 Park Ridge Blvd., 2nd Sat. 12 noon to 2:30 p.m., 619-588-0065; web

San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society; Lawrence Family Jewish Community
Center, 4126 Executive Dr., 2nd Sun. 1-4 p.m. 481-8511; e-mail:


Family History Centers:

1.  Carlsbad            1981 Chestnut Ave.      760-434-4941

2.  Escondido           2255 Felicita Rd. (just off I-5)        760-756-1662

3.  San Diego           4195 Camino del Rio South     619-584-7668

4.  Vista               1310 Foothill Drive         760-945-6053

Other Libraries:

1.  Carlsbad City Library       1250 Carlsbad Village Drive     760-434-2870

2.  Escondido Public Library    47 S. Kalmia Street             60-738-4315

3.  San Diego Public            820 E Street                    619-236-5800

4.  Los Angeles Public Library  5th & Grand Streets             213-228-7400

5.  National Archives           24000 Avila Rd., Laguna Niguel  949-360-2641


Handy Book for Genealogists, 9th edition. Logan UT; The Everton Publishers,
Inc., 1999. The first purchase for most genealogist. A valuable tool; lists
available Federal, Territorial, Special & State Censuses. Tells where to send
for records.

The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. There is a brand new edition
of this out so look for that one. Ancestry Publishing. A series of articles
by foremost genealogy authorities, this is a resource book for how-to,
where-to, what-to-do genealogy.

The Researchers Guide to American Genealogy by Val Greenwood, 2nd edition.
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990. An in-depth text for genealogy
research; highly recommended. The first edition still liked as a well-written

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 by William Thorndale &
William Dollarhide. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987; 1993. This
is a very useful resource for information on county boundary changes in the

International Vital Records Handbook by Thomas Jay Kemp, 3rd ed. Baltimore:
Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990. A compilation of forms for requesting
records from all the states and many other countries. It is easy to use and
helpful for knowing where and how to send for information.

Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources, Revised ed.
Edited by Alice Eichholz. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1989,1992. In-depth
information on each state in the union. Includes state and county history,
background sources, ethnic groups in the state, and maps.

Research Outlines for each state or country. These are published by the
Family History Library, Salt Lake City UT. They are excellent guides which
list archives, libraries, different kinds of records and where to find them
for each state and country. A brief history and bibliography is included.
Inexpensive, they are available only at Family History Library and Centers.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy, Christine Rose & Kay Germain
Ingalls. Alpha Books, New York, 1997.

Netting Your Ancestors: Genealogica Research on the Internet, Cyndi Howells.
Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1997.

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