NBC will be adding a new program to its lineup of programs on April 20th.  The program’s name is “Who Do You Think You Are?” and will feature celebrities of American cinema, including Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Susan Sarandon, who will be examining their family trees  to uncover stories of love, secrets and triumphs in their ancestors’ past. 


Members of the Alameda County Library System have many databases available to them to help them learn more about their own ancestors.  These can be accessed by going to the Alameda County Library website http://www.aclibrary.org , and then clicking on the words “Genealogy Resources” under the bold-print heading “Research Guide”. 


The major genealogical databases available to library members are: 

Ancestry Library Edition – Available in the Library only
The Ancestry Library Edition collection has approximately 4,000 databases including key collections such as U.S. Federal Census images and indexes from 1790 to 1930; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; and the Social Security Death Index.

(I used this database to get World War I draft registration information for my maternal grandfather, and Social Security Death Index information for my father and his younger brother.  Searching under the name of my paternal grandfather, I found a record in the “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 database, which gave the date of arrival in New York City, the name of the ship, port of departure, and a copy of that section of the passenger list which noted the names of my grandparents, father, and uncle.)

Cyndi’s List
One of the first and most comprehensive resources for genealogy material. A must visit. See especially the “Are you new to genealogy?” and the many international links.

Genealogy Spot
Lots of links and information, including by State and Country. This is a good beginner’s site that is growing.

(What I liked most about this database was the “U.S. Surname Distribution Site”, which shows the ratio of people within each state with a particular last name.  My own last name was not common enough to be covered, but I learned that my mother’s maiden name was not that uncommon in Pennsylvania, then several decades later was fairly common in Indiana and Texas, and now is fairly widespread in a line of states running from Colorado to Pennsylvania.)

HeritageQuest Online – Library Card Required
Lots of links and information, including by State and Country. This is a good beginner’s site that is growing.

California Death Records
This site provides a free search of records from 1940 through 1997. Ignore the search box at the top of the page (which leads to fee-based info from Ancestry.com) and enter your search terms in the search boxes in the middle of the page.

USGenWeb Project
Sponsored by Rootsweb.com, USGenWeb provides links to regional and state web sites, lists of volunteers to look up information; and issues an online newsletter.

(I chose information for California and found that this site furnished good histories of California as a whole and histories of many of the state’s counties.)