Indexes, Bibliographies and Finding Aids

"You discover that the vital clue necessary to prove your link to [you fill in the blank] is somewhere in the middle of a one thousand page county history and it's not indexed!" This is one of the many genealogy jokes in circulation and many people find it's not far wrong. There should be an honored place in genealogy heaven for those people who create the tools which help us find our heritage.

Please note that the words in the title of this page are hyperlinks to the respective subject.


Indexes are alphabetical or classified lists which facilitate reference to materials within the body of the text. They are the easiest to use of the many finding aids available to researchers. Become familiar with the many types of indexes and the many problems with their use.


Bibliographies are listings of source materials used in the writing of a book or paper. They function as subject guides which may cover multiple repositories in a relatively superficial manner. Bibliographies are very important sources for family historians.

All of these bibliographic sources serve as finding aids for research in family history.

Finding Aids

A Few Internet "Finding Aids"

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