Genealogy 101

Before starting your family search at the Archives, it helps to prepare in advance to maximize your results and save time and frustration. 

The Archives staff is happy to help you with suggestions on sources and locations that may help you find answers, but we do not have the resources to do your research for you so please come prepared!

Preparing for Family Research at the Archives:

Who do you want to research?  Since family research is time intensive, focus on one or two ancestors rather than trying to research your entire family at once. Due to our staff size, there are limitations on how many records we can pull and the time we can spend with one customer. You can check individual names using the Archives Search to see what records we may have under that name.

What Record and Time Period Do You Need? Identify what kind of record you need and a time period of interest, which will help us determine if we have that record.  The records in our holdings that are most commonly used by genealogists are Census Records, Military Records, Naturalization Records, Probate Records, Marriage Records, and Death and Birth Records

What Is The County/Location of the Record? The records housed at the Archives are given to us by different counties and district courts; therefore we will need a county name or location in order to process a search request. Note: We do not have a complete set of records from each county/district.

Check to See If the Archives Has the Record:

Please check the Public Records page, which describes the many records located at the Archives. The Archives Search database is another helpful tool for finding what records the Archives may have that are relevant to your research.

Things to Avoid:

Please avoid open-ended questions like, “What records do you have on my Uncle Bob who lived in Denver in 1906.” Please re-read this page and try again!

To Request a Record:

Please complete and submit an Ask an Archivist request form to request a record at the Archives. Please see our associated list of fees.