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* Finding a religion with family histories and biographies

If your ancestors had a family history or biography written about them, it can be a great place to look up the family religion. You may not only find the information that you are looking for, but also all sorts of other interesting information about the family.

To find a family history or biography, you need to spend some time at a few libraries. Probably the best libraries in which to search are genealogy and public libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. In addition, you may want to check in larger libraries, such as state or university libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. If you are unable to go to those libraries in person, find out if they are part of an interlibrary loan system. Finally, try checking the catalog of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at your local Family History Center. They may have some appropriate books in their collection. To help you in your search for local histories, locate A Bibliography to American County Histories, by William P. Filby. You can find it in most libraries.

While you may not find an entire biography about the life of your ancestor, you may find a few short paragraphs about him or her in a compiled biography. Compiled biographies are often written about individuals in a specific occupation or organization. An index published by Gale Research, Inc. called the Biography and Genealogy Master Index can help you locate a compiled biography that may be helpful to you. This index is available through many libraries.

There are two other places to check for family histories. Try genealogy lending libraries -- these are companies that have book catalogs and will lend books through the mail for a fee. The addresses for three such libraries are listed below. If you have a modem, you can also search selected library catalogs through the Internet. For example, part of the Library of Congress catalog is accessible via modem.

Genealogy Lending Libraries

American Genealogy Lending Library
P.O. Box 329
Bountiful, UT 84011-0329

Telephone: (801) 298-5358

National Genealogy Society
4527 17th Street North
Arlington, VA 22207-2399

Telephone: (703) 525-0050

New England Historical and Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 536-5740

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