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Genealogy at the Public Archives

W.W. Judson family, 1898 (Acc3466/HF72.66.7.27.2)
W.W. Judson family, 1898 (Acc3466/HF72.66.7.27.2)
The Public Archives and Records Office houses a large collection of genealogical materials comprised of primary source documents and complementary finding aids and indexes. The latter are designed to save those researching Island families many hours of searching through newspapers, church and civil records. As secondary sources subject to transcription error, finding aids and indexes should always be checked against original records for the purposes of documentation.

 

You, of course, are the best person to trace your family’s history based on the knowledge you already possess. Researchers should start by gathering names, relationships, dates and locations from family sources. Once this information has been organized in a logical fashion you are ready to begin a search through our finding aids and records.

 

Your first avenue of approach, particularly if you have not done previous research at the Archives, may well be through the major finding aid:


THE MASTER NAME INDEX

This index is comprised of two sets of catalogue cards filed alphabetically by family name and then by given name. Cards for each given name are arranged in chronological sequence. Cemetery transcripts are filed at the beginning of each family name by lot. Master Name Index entries have been compiled from census records, extant passenger lists, marriage registers, selected newspapers, the 1880 Meacham’s Atlas, funeral home registers, and some of the other original sources which follow.

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