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SOCI 307: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

This guide was created in February 2019 for Dr. Jackson's Junior Seminar students.

Primary Sources


  • Start by collecting stories and documents from living relatives
  • Go back in time generation by generation, keeping in mind that access to recent records may be restricted.
  • Seek evidence (official documents, materials, etc.)
  • Be critical of all information sources (including relatives and the Internet)
  • Keep good notes and organized files


  • Start with we're related to someone famous
  • Start with we immigrated from a specific country
  • Believe everything you find on the Internet

List adapted from Cornell University Library's guide to Genealogy: Finding Your Ancestors Online.

The following tools are great places to start your search.

Secondary Sources

The following databases provide information that may help you understand what life was like for your ancestors living in different places and time periods.

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.