Welcome! We hope this site will provide a pathway to discovering the life and times of a person who inspired you by following their inner voice.
To research your person, please follow the steps below. Please note that some steps and resources may be more helpful than others. You may not find sources about your person in all of the resources listed below--and that is OK. Aim to find at least 3-7 good sources, either about your subject or their historical background, that reflect the text's guidelines for evaluating quality sources Please cite them in MLA format.
Please also download the Research Log below which will help you record and interpret your findings as you search through the resources below.
Interviewing Family Members--if you're researching a person in your family, you can interview another family member about that person. You can count one family interview as a source for your paper. Please interview someone as your first step if possible, because the information you obtain will be hugely helpful when you search in Ancestry and elsewhere. Please download the handout below to record your interview.
Special Note: If your subject was famous, you might be able to find them in one of these biographical databases instead of conducting an interview.
Whether your person is famous or not, you may be able to find genealogical information about them. Ancestry Library Edition is one of the most powerful search tools we have available, and you can access it through the link below. Before kicking off your search, please watch the video created for our class, Ancestry Library Edition: A Flash Tutorial.
--Mary Ann Russell 1875
--Mary Ann Russell 1935
--Mary Russell Philadelphia 1875
Tips for Searching Newspapers:
International and National News
These sources cover famous people, political leaders, religious leaders, authors.
State and Local News
These papers are useful to searching family members, friends, and local leaders.
Guides to Newspapers
These are a few more resources that might have relevant info about your person. Many of these are examples from Pennsylvania. You can find similar resources for other countries or states through Google. One way of searching for these resources is including the term libguide (denotes a library guide). Example: Alabama genealogy libguide
Other States and Countries
These links can help you find credible sources about the time period your person lived in.
You will probably not find information about your specific person in the resources below. However, a source about the time period can still count as a source for your encomium.
Rather search these resources for sources about the big events that happened during your person's life, their occupation, the places they lived, or cultural themes during their lives.
International and National Resources
State and Local Resources