Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
Our volunteers have agreed to do a free genealogy research task at least once per month in their local area as an act of kindness. While the volunteers of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) have agreed to donate their time for free, you MUST PAY the volunteer for his/her expenses in fulfilling your request (copies, printing fees, postage, film or video tape, parking fees, etc.) if they ask for it.
RAOGK is a global volunteer organization. Our volunteers take time to do everything from looking up courthouse records to taking pictures of tombstones. All they ask in return is reimbursement for their expenses (never their time) and a thank you.
At one time there were thousands of volunteers in every U.S. state and many international locations, and helped thousands of researchers.
It’s all about Volunteering
Looking for a RAOGK volunteer?
Is this your first visit to Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness? We want your visit to be a successful one. Our staff has put together a list of Guidelines for making requests for you to view and read before making any requests.
Want to Volunteer?
Ideally, you should reside in the area for which you volunteer. The purpose of this site is to help others obtain copies of documents, pictures of tombstones, etc., that can not be obtained easily by those who do not live in the area of their ancestors.
State Genealogy Research Guides
There are 3,068 counties in the United States. Each county is unique in population and size. All but Connecticut and Rhode Island use county governments. Connecticut and Rhode Island have counties, but don’t have actual operating governments. Two states have different names for their counties, Alaska counties are called boroughs and Louisiana counties are called parishes.
Guides for Genealogy Research
There are numerous ways to determine the location in which to concentrate research for an ancestor. One of the most popular and productive is the census.
Court records can establish family relationships and places of residence, and they often provide occupations, descriptions of individuals, and other excellent family history information.
Cemetery & Church Records
Whether you are working on a comprehensive genealogy project, or are just researching a few generations back for your own interests, cemetery records can play a huge role in your project.
Land records provide two types of important evidence for the genealogist. First, they often state kinship ties. Second, they place individuals in a specific time and place.
When it comes to family history, it’s important to remember that everyone came from a different place at one point. When you are researching your family history, immigration records can be fascinating, but they can also be difficult to find.
It’s clear that military records can be useful for tracking ancestors who were in the military. However, they can also be useful for finding information about ancestors who were not in the military at all.
Probate records are among the most valuable genealogical materials we have in America. They are also among the most complicated, filled with pitfalls for the unwary.
Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information.
Research Guides for Genealogy Topics
Archives & Societies
For almost every state there State Archives, Libraries, Historical & Genealogical Societies. Their publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those produced by the local societies.
By comparing your DNA Ancestry test results with others, you can determine to what extent you are related. This can help you move past difficulties and brick walls in your genealogy research.
Printable Genealogy Forms
Each piece of information concerning a pedigree ancestor and his/her family is placed on a worksheet, the use of family group sheets from the beginning will make research much easier.
Family Tree Encyclopedia
When tracing an ancestry it is common to encounter records filled with obsolete terms that can be difficult to interpret. Take the time to use the glossaries provided here to interpret documents correctly.
Death records are one of the things that we want to find for each ancestor. However, there are times when that record doesn’t exist. (Don’t you hate it when an ancestor dies before that state [...]
Such a long-standing early English colony and one of the original U.S. states, you would think all vital records would be available. Unfortunately, they are not because such early information just wasn't officially recorded all [...]
A major untapped resource for those researching their family members is the information available from the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and from the actual Social Security applications that your ancestors originally filled out. A [...]