Glad I could be of some help, Bob. As you're new to this wonderful avocation, let me pass along some hints...first and foremost, know that NOTHING is true UNLESS you can't prove with primary documentation...that is, birth, death, marriage, land, census, church...this sort of record. As my guru once said "if you can't prove it, it 'ain't' true. All other records, like mentions in county histories, etc, are only to be considered clues, for you to prove or disprove with your OWN primary research. If you learn NOTHING else from me, this is the ONE essential that will make you a good researcher. Every time you get a 'new' ancestor, you pretty much do the same thing.
Know that every query must contain certain things, and all are necessary....1) a full name, both given and surname 2) some sort of a date, even if aprox 3) a geographic location 4) what you hope to find...and, be specific. Most just pass over those that say "tell me everything about JOe Blow", or ask for "Anything" on Joe...don't do that...if you want to know when Joe was born and who his parents were, then say so!
You post your query on both the surname genforum and the county forum, where the folks lived.
Every county has a rootsweb site http://lists.rootsweb.com/ (this url will allow you to find all of them)...all are different as they are done by different people...some are better than others, but all will have some sort of information you can use.. (this is my Chester Co, Pa site...I created it 10 or 11 years ago firstname.lastname@example.org Even though you might not have folks in Chester Co, I would suggest you look through the Useful URLs section....there is enough there to keep you busy for a while!).
Always join the rootsweb gen list for the surname you're interested in, AND the one for the geographic site/county, and pose your questions there.
Always check the usgenweb archives, for the areas where your folks lived....this is a place where people may submit their primary records for others to use, and there's no telling what you might be able to find. http://www.usgenweb.org/
Always check to see what sort of vital records are available for each county you have folks in...see the date they started and where they are warehoused...can you deal with them by mail? or must you visit.
Do a place search at the LDS online site, and see what they have available for rent...films and fiche...all counties are different, so you won't know what they have unless you look.
This should keep you busy for a while, and I certainly hope the hobby brings you as much pleasure as it has me! If you have any other questions, feel free to email me personally.
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