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National Archives Genealogy Sources at the Library of Michigan

Abrams Collection Genealogy Highlights
Spring 2007
Volume 9, Number 2

A PDF version of National Archives Genealogy Sources at the Library of Michigan is also available.

As the keeper of the nation's records, the National Archives holds many items of interest to family history researchers, from ships' passenger lists to military records, and more. But genealogists need not plan lengthy trips to the National Archives' headquarters in Washington, D.C., or to any of its 14 research rooms at regional archives around the United States. Researchers may tap into these resources using records, indexes and finding aids at the Library of Michigan.

The National Archives has published a number of books and reference information papers to provide guides to its various record collections. These guides often focus on records related to a specific event, such as the Civil War; a specific group, such as Native Americans; or a specific record type, such as court records. Available at the Library of Michigan, these guides give interesting contextual and historical background, including what information the government collected for specific records and how it was collected. Especially helpful during the discovery phase of research, these details help genealogists determine which records may be useful and provide an entry point to lesser-known records.

To locate military service and pension records, passenger ship manifests and more, genealogists may use the Library of Michigan's wide-ranging collection of indexes to records held by the National Archives. These indexes are available on microfilm and include brief descriptive information, such as name, residence, age, sex and occupation, as well as finding information for obtaining the record from the National Archives.

The Library of Michigan offers the full run of the U.S. Census, 1790 to 1930, on microfilm, as well as access to the census through Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) and HeritageQuest Online. Many other records held at the National Archives have been digitized and put online through ALE, HeritageQuest and Footnote.com, all three of which are available at the Library of Michigan. Additionally, HeritageQuest is available to Michigan residents anytime, anywhere through MeL, the Michigan eLibrary, at mel.org.

This publication includes a sampling of National Archives resources at the Library of Michigan. For comprehensive information about holdings at the Library, search ANSWER, the Library's catalog, at www.answercat.org.

Getting Started

Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 1988.
Genealogy CD 3023 .S9 1988

United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2007.
Genealogy Z 5140 .U56 2007
US Documents AE 1.113: 17/2007

---. ---. Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States. 3rd ed. Anne Bruner Eales and Robert M. Kvasnicka, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2000.
Genealogy Desk Z 5313 .U5 U54 2000

---. ---. The National Archives in the Nation's Capital: Information for Researchers. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2004.
US Documents AE 1.113: 71/2004

---. ---. Using Civilian Records for Genealogical Research in the National Archives, Washington, D.C., Area. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2006.
Genealogy CS 49 .U85 2006
US Documents AE 1.124: 110

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Topical Guides

The National Archives has published books and reference information papers that provide insight into research in specific areas.

Beers, Henry Putney. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1986.
Genealogy CD 3047 .B4 1986

Munden, Kenneth W. and Henry Putney Beers. The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1986.
Genealogy CD 3047 .M8 1986

Newman, Debra L. Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, General Services Administration, 1984.
Genealogy E 185 .N576 1984

United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Records Relating to North American Railroads. David Pfeiffer, compiler. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2001.
US Documents AE 1.124: 91

---. ---. Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Military Casualties and Burials. Benjamin L. DeWhitt, compiler. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1993.
US Documents AE 1.124: 82

United States. National Archives and Records Service. Data Relating to Negro Military Personnel in the 19th Century. Smith, Aloha P. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1973.
US Documents AE 1.124:63

---. ---. Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War Era, 1960-1994. Charles E. Schamel, compiler. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1996.
US Documents AE 1.124: 90

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Microfilm Catalogs

The National Archives' microfilm catalogs offer information such as a description of a record type and of the office that created the record. In addition, detailed roll by roll listings of the microfilm are often included.

United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Black Studies: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, 1996.
Genealogy Desk E 185 .U55 1996

---. ---. Federal Court Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1987.
Genealogy KF 4 .U556 1987
Records range from colonial times to 1974; Supreme Court, circuit and district courts; minutes, dockets, case files and bankruptcy cases are among holdings.

United States. National Archives and Records Service. American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, General Services Administration, 1998.
Genealogy Desk E 93 .U55 1998

---. ---. Genealogical and Biographical Research: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, U.S. General Services Administration, 1983.
Genealogy Desk CS 47 .U55 1983

---. ---. Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, General Services Administration, 1983.
Genealogy Desk Z 5305 .U5 U54 1983

United States. National Archives Trust Fund Board. Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Service Administration, 1985.
Genealogy Desk CD 3033 1985

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Indexes and Records

The microfilm indexes include identifying information for the people indexed and finding information, such as reference numbers, for locating a record at the National Archives. The records are microfilm copies of the originals held at the National Archives.

Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820-1873. 16 reels. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, 1964.
Genealogy Microfilm CS 68 .C67 1964

Index Cards to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, Detroit, 1907-1995. 280 reels. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2004.
Genealogy Microfilm F 566 .V2 2004

Index to Compiled Service Records of American Naval Personnel Who Served During the Revolutionary War. 1 reel. Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives, 1973.
Genealogy Microfilm E 255 .U55 1973

Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served from the State of New York during the Patriot War, 1838. 1 reel. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, 1965.
Genealogy Microfilm E 523 .I54 1965

Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Michigan. 48 reels. Washington, D.C.: The National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1964.
Genealogy Microfilm E 514 .I5 1964

Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, July 1, 1902-Dec. 31, 1943. 744 reels. Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1988?.
Genealogy Microfilm CS 68 .I53 1902

Pension Index File. 544 reels. Washington, D.C.: Veterans Administration Publications Service, 1953.
Genealogy Microfilm UB 373 .P4 1953
Index to Civil War and Spanish-American War pension files, 1861 to 1934.

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940. 692 reels. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1965.
Genealogy Microfilm E 98 .C3 I53 1965

---. ---. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Durant Census Roll of the Ottawas and Chippewas of Michigan and the 1908 Supplemental Census Roll. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969.
Genealogy Microfilm E 98 .C3 U5 1969

United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. St. Albans District Manifest Records of Aliens Arriving from Foreign Contiguous Territory: Arrivals at Canadian Border Forts from July 1st, 1924 to December 24, 1952. 98 reels. Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 199-?.
Genealogy Microfilm CS 68 .U553 1990z

World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Michigan. 153 reels. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, 1990.
Genealogy Microfilm D 570.85 .M5 W67 1990

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Internet Resources

Access to Archival Databases
aad.archives.gov/aad/
An option for online searching on the National Archives' Web site that includes digitized copies of a small number of the Archives' holdings, many related to military service. A guide to this resource is at aad.archives.gov/aad/help/getting-started-guide.html.

ARC (Archival Research Catalog)
www.archives.gov/research/arc/index.html
About 55 percent of the Archives' records are described in ARC, and additional records are added every two weeks. In addition to descriptions of court, land and other records, ARC also contains some digitized records. The ARC Guide for Genealogists and Family Historians is at www.archives.gov/research/arc/topics/genealogy/.

Footnote.com
www.footnote.com
This Web site is searchable for a fee. Free access is available at the Library of Michigan.

National Archives Genealogy
http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/index.html

Prologue Genealogy Notes
www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/genealogy-notes.html
Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives, which is also available in print at the Library of Michigan, includes a column that highlights specific family history topics and offers tips and ideas for further research.

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Updated 08/01/2011

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