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Genealogy Research Guide

This guide is intended to assist genealogists in knowing what resources are available in the ISU Library and through the Internet. It also includes some information on genealogy resources at Ames Public Library and the Iowa Genealogical Society Library.

Fun Facts

According to Ancestry 2000 from the U.S. Census Bureau: 35.7% of Iowans are of German ancestry and 13.5% are of Irish descent, while Norwegians come in at only 5.7%. Table 3 of the PDF file (starting on page 6) shows a state-by-state breakdown of reported ancestries.

Interestingly enough, for the overall U.S. population percentages, German and Irish are also the two largest representative groups with 15.2% German origin and 10.8% Irish. African Americans come in a close third at 8.8%.

Ethnic Resources

Free websites providing the ability to search through cemetery records by name, birth or death date, or location of cemetery.

The Iowa Genealogical Society Library (IGS) has census records of the Sac & Fox Indians of the Mississippi living at the settlement in Tama, Iowa. With few exceptions, the census covers the period from 1891 – 1939. Visit the IGS Native American Records page for more details.

You can also use the Quick Search box on the Library homepage to find books related to specific ethnic or regional genealogy, but it can be a bit tricky as subject headings for different ethnicities vary considerably. The following are some recommended searches to help locate specific types of ethnic genealogies:

america* AND genealog*
(This search will bring back books on any type of American genealogy - e.g., Norwegian Americans, German Americans, etc.)

African americans AND genealog*

Asian america* genealog*

(China OR Chinese) AND genealog*

German americans AND genealog*

Great Britain genealog*
(Note that the name of this group varies depending on the source: Great Britain, England, English, British.)

Hispanic AND genealog*

Ireland AND genealog*

(Italy OR Italian) AND genealog*

Jews AND genealog*

Latin America AND genealog*

Mexic* AND genealog*

"Indians of North America" AND genealog*

"Norwegian Americans" AND (history OR genealog* OR biography)

"e184 .p7"
(This will find all books the library owns related to Polish American genealogy.)

"Swedish Americans" AND (history OR genealog*)

Your Librarian

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Lorrie Pellack
Head, Research & Instruction Services Dept.
150c Parks Library
Ames, IA 50011-2140
Phone: 515-294-5569