The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Lloyd Bockstruck.
One of the often overlooked sources for genealogical research is the U.S. Serial Set. It began as a 38-volume set known as the American State Papers. Records were arranged by subject in ten separate series. The more useful ones for tracking ancestors are Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, Public Lands, and Claims. Some of the series, notably the latter two, have been reprinted and improved with an every-name index. Although one can never eliminate in what context an ancestor might appear, the private claims from ordinary citizens are the richest sources for genealogical mining. Genealogists prefer nominal indexes to such records as their first choice and topical indexes as their second.
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