Sunday, 7 November 2010

Searching Genealogy Magazine Archives

"I remember a magazine article about that, but don't remember where or when." Have you ever said that?  I have. Is there a way to conduct a search of all genealogy magazine contents, in the same way that WorldCat is a single site to search many library catalogues?

The question came to me recently as I was working on a list of my genealogical publications. I remembered an article I'd published in Family Tree Magazine, the UK version, but couldn't recall the year or exact title.

My thoughts turned to PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, "the largest subject index in the world to genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French (Canada) since 1800." That's according to its creator the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

With "more than 1.8 million index entries from nearly ten thousand titles" it seemed like a good bet. The library website at suggests that if you are not at one of the library's locations access is through HeritageQuest Online. That's not available to me.

Ancestry has a version of PERSI, but without the scope of search described by the ACPL. I tried a variety of searches but only one of my articles surfaced. I gave up the quest on PERSI and tried searching magazine-by-magazine focusing on British genealogy magazines.

Fortunately ABM, the publishers of Family Tree Magazine have a basic search capability at It works for the soon to be defunct Practical Family History magazine as well. Searching for "Reid" in the "Additional Info" field found 14 hits including my article. One provided the information I needed. Giving the year of publication would be helpful.

Moving over to Your Family Tree, the other UK magazine in which I've published, I already had bibliographic information on two articles published there. I seemed to rccall another. The magazine home page at had a promising looking search box but back issue tables of contents don't appear in the database.

A complete listing of major articles, but not authors, for the now defunct and lamented Ancestors magazine is here.

Listings of the contents of the  Genealogists' Magazine, published by the Society of Genealogists, by issue and surname mentioned, from the first issue in 1925 to 1996, are at where you will also find images of the contents pages for issues from 2006 to 2008.

1 comment:

AnnabelAndrews said...

Hello! I'm the community editor for Your Family Tree magazine. We do publish an index of all the articles published in the magazine. This is updated each month and the latest version can be downloaded (for free) from that month's downloads. To access the downloads, click
Hope that helps! Send me an email if you still can't find your article.