South Bay Cities Genealogical Society

Promoting Genealogical Education and Research in Southern California's South Bay

Links to General Research Resources

Not all online services that you find useful for genealogical research will specifically be genealogical sites. For instance, try using a search service to look up a name. While many hits will come from recent events, you will also find that some results are of genealogical interest.

Just remember to try many variations when search, including unquoted, quoted "forward" or "backward" (setting the surname used in many cultures either at the end or the beginning, respectively), and remember to try variations on the name and/or nicknames.

Please note that all of these will take you away from the SBCGS site.

Library Resources

For all major libraries and for many smaller ones, the days of having to physically look through the stacks for research is quickly going away. While certain libraries have manuscripts that are too ancient or fragile to be placed on-line, or may not have the staff or money to do so, the card catalog itself is almost universally now a computerized and on-line feature. So if you can't obtain the actual text on-line, you can research the books, microfiche/microfilm, periodicals, journals, or whatever else may prove useful, and do that initial leg-work before you head to the library.

Beyond the SBCGS library, some libraries that are local to the South Bay area of California include the following.

Huntington Beach Library (HBL)
The Huntington Beach Library maintains a very large genealogy collection. Although accessed through the library's site, the library itself is maintained by the Orange County California Genealogical Society.
Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL)
The research page at LAPL offers area-specific gateways. Simply select the checkbox for "History, Geography & Genealogy" then select either "Inside LAPL" (to access content that may be available only at the library) or "Home, Office or other" to return results that are available on-line.
Torrance Public Library (TPL)
Beyond the usefulness of any large library for doing genealogy research, the Torrance Library and South Bay Cities Genealogical Society have a long partnership. The SBCGS "stacks" are even housed in space donated by the library, for which we are very grateful.
Not really a library itself, WorldCat is a network of libraries. The site allows you to search for items held in your local libraries or around the world. Access to this material depends on the type of material, your local library's policies, and the policies of the originating library.

Historical Resources

Genealogy is not always a matter of finding information that directly relates to your ancestors. Sometimes the non-direct information is important too. And that means historical sites — learning how the people lived can tell you a lot, and may provide clues to understanding your ancestor's actions, habits, and travels. While many genealogical sites will have history, these links are specifically for historical sites that can provide insight on your ancestors.

Drum Barracks
Camp Drum, named after Lt. Col. Richard Drum and originally built by the Union forces in 1861 as a hedge against southern sympathies rising in the Los Angeles area during the Civil War, survives with a single wooden building. This building, now known as the Drum Barracks Museum, exists to teach about the role of California during the Civil War. It is open for all with a focus on children.

General Research

Beyond libraries and histories are the indexes, search engines, and directories that inform your research. While most of us know about the major search engines and use them all the time, there are lesser-known resources that are all too frequently missed. Some of those are listed here.

Internet Archive
This is a general archive of all that is "web" and includes the Wayback Machine, an archive of old web sites. For genealogical issues, check the Texts, Video, and Audio archives, linked at the top of Internet Archive's home page.

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