Searching Accessible Archives’ Database at

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by Amanda Forson,

Day One: Click here to access the database page. Then click on Search Accessible Archives. Choose a state to research: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland are the current choices.

Day Two: Choose a county of interest, or a general region within the state of choice.

Day Three: Type in the first surname of interest and try it out. If the first surname does not generate hits, continue trying surnames. In order to search results pages faster, use CTRL+F and the surname in question. If you find information matching your ancestors or other family members, record the information and make sure to cite your source!

Day Four: If you do not find an ancestor on first try, do not give up hope. Make sure that the county is correct for time frame in question. To find that out, look up the time when the ancestors in question were in the county and compare it against that county in the Handybook for Genealogists. Your ancestor’s information may be located in a different place if that county was not yet formed, or could be in the same place geographically, though not geo-politically as counties grew and separated.

Day Five: It is imperative that the right county be found before the ancestral information comes to light. Determine whether or not the county is correct, and then re-check your efforts.

Day Six: Record any findings, whether they are negative evidence (something not being there is just as important as something being there), or simply contextual information pertaining to the county of interest. For those that find ancestral information, record it, cite it, and share it!

Day Seven: Continue to check for more databases.

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