Saturday, November 26, 2011

California's San Fernando Valley Digital Archives

The Oviatt Library at the Californian State University at Northridge has several collections that are worthy of consideration as genealogy sources.  Two collections in particular stand out: San Fernando Valley History Digital Library and Latino Cultural Heritage Digital Archives. The first contains, images and historical documents from public and private collections in the San Fernando Valley. It covers the valley from the early 19th century through the end of the 20th century. The Latino digital collection is a portion of a larger collection at the library  and provides access to materials that "document the experiences of Latino/Chicano leaders and organizations of the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great Britain - Internet Library of Early Journals

The Internet Library of Early Journals is an interesting site of older newspapers from Great Britain and is a project developed by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford. Its goal was to digitize substantial runs of 18th and 19th century journals and was first completed in 1999. No new material has been added since. The  collection includes runs of at least 20 consecutive years of the following journals: Gentleman's Magazine, The Annual Register, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Notes and Queries, The Builder and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.
There's not a great deal of genealogical information here but interesting reading none the less.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dig Memphis - The Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center

Dig Memphis is the digital archive made available free on line by the Memphis Public Library & Information Center. Memphis and Shelby County Room has a huge collection of local history and is now making some of its collection available digitally. They are adding new items regularly, so check back frequently. There are several sub collections; two in particular caught my eye: German Heritage and the Arthur Webb Collection. The first looks at German immigrants in Memphis from the 19th and 20th century. The Webb collection contains materials collected by the author who was a journalist, genealogist and historian, specializing in local African-American history. He died in 2006 but his collection of information is now available on-line. Those are only two of the many available. If your family has any connection to early Memphis on either side of the river, do visit this site.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Old and Rare Books)

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has a growing digital book collection.  One particular collection caught my eye. This one is filed on their web site as "Old & Rare Books : 900 - History, Genealogy & Geography."
I found family histories, city directories and telephone books, local history, military regimental histories, pension abstracts, DAR lineage books, and more.  If you are looking for material from Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky, this is a good place to start.  The nice thing about this collection is that you have the choice of reading on-line or downloading the book to your own computer in a PDF format. It's free to access and use.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Vermont Vital Records of the Early 19th Century, 1802-1838

In all my searching Vermont is one state where the number of digital history or on-line genealogy records is quite limited.  The Vermont Historical Society has one collection of early Vermont vital records transcribed from index cards found in two drawers of a filing cabinet at the society. They consist of items relating to Vermont deaths and marriages were compiled by John Elliott Bowman from various newspapers, chiefly dated between 1802-1838, with a single reference to a 1796 issue of the Keene, N.H., Rising Sun, and one of the same year to Spooner’s Vermont Journal. It is not known how extensive the initial research was or if all issues of the listed publications were searched. The site presents a list of the newspapers from which information was gleaned, and time spans represented.

This link  takes you to the description page. At the bottom you will find the link to a PDF document you may view on-line or download.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BLM - Bureau of Land Management

Did your U.S. ancestors buy land from the Federal Government?  You can find out and search by state.  This site contains Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including access to images of more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present. The site also has images related to survey plats and field notes as far back as 1810. I checked out the site and searched for a distant relative that I know participated in the "land rush" in the Oklahoma territory and found a digital image of the original document showing that the land was transferred to him.  Currently their mapping feature is not active, but they do promise to have it functional sometime soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our Roots - Canada's Local Histories On Line

We're staying in Canada for another post. This one from the Universities of Calgary and Laval in cooperation with a list or organizations too numerous to list here.   Our Roots has nearly 6000 digital texts with nearly 1.5 million pages of information about Canadians and Canada. This one is similar to Google Books and and contains books that are out of print or at one time only available in distant collections inaccessible via the Internet. And, yes there are genealogies and many local histories. You can browse or search by title or browse by subject.  It is free, but you will need to register on your first visit.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Tecumseth Digital History Site - Ontario, Canada

Here's a small but useful site for those that might have a connection to Tecumseth County in the province of Ontario, Canada.  While concentrating on local history, this site has a genealogy section, too.  The material here focuses on four main settlements: Aliston, Beeton, Tecumseth and Tottenham. In the genealogy section there are three collections of data:
Tombstone Inscriptions St. Paul's Cemetery This one has tombstone inscriptions for all persons buried in St. Paul the Apostle R.C. Cemetery up to and including 1990.
Simcoe County Militia: Rebellion of 1837 - Muster Rolls and Pay Lists of the Volunteers which served in the Simcoe County Militia during The Rebellion of 1837.
Alliston Funeral Register 1885-1908 -This material is from the registers kept from 1885-1908

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Denver Public Library Digital Collection

The digital collection available from the Denver Public Library has a great deal of free information about the settlement of the Western US and like most collections of its size contains  photographs, maps, drawings and other material extracted from the Western History/Genealogy Department's collections. For genealogical researchers, the Creating Communities section caught my attention and features Denver city and householder directories dating back to 1873.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Hampshire State Papers (starting in 1623)

If you have ancestors with New Hampshire roots, you might want to look at the "New Hampshire State Papers" at the state's Archives and Records Management office. This collection available for download in PDF format contains documents relating to the Province of New Hampshire from the earliest period of its settlement. Volume 1 contains materials starting in 1623.  This material is free to download and is in PDF format requiring Adobe Reader or some other program that can open PDF files.  Keep in mind these are large files. So, if you have a slow connection, it might take a while.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

West Texas Digital Archive

The West Texas Digital Archives (WTDA) is project of the Abilene Library Consortium and is funded by the Dodge Jones Foundation and the Dian Graves Owen Foundation.  This collection is housed in the facilities of several institutions:
The WTDA contains photographs, newspapers, city directories, yearbooks, letters, oral histories, periodicals, manuscripts, journals, documents, maps, audio files, and more. It also includes the newsletter of the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. The Howard Payne University collection includes several searchable copies of Texas Journal of Genealogy and History.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wyoming Newspaper Project

Anyone reading this blog on a regular basis already knows that I have a keen interest in on line newspapers.  I just discovered another on-line collection. This one is in Wyoming and contains newspapers printed in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922. As of May 1, 2011, this collection had 794,563 full page newspapers images available and eventually will have more than 900,000. The pages were converted from microfilm and are now fully searchable. You can: browse by city, by county, by year or simply browse all titles.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Railroad History Archive - UCONN

I'm a firm believer that when doing genealogy research no stone should be left unturned. You never know where you will find that one missing piece of information that connects a family puzzle.  Here is one place that may not appear to be of value at first, but dig deeper and you may find something through the the resources they link to at  the Railroad History Archive at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.

The archive is comprised mostly  of "individual collections of administrative records, photographs, maps, timetables, ephemera and many other types of archival materials. The collections focus almost exclusively on the history of the railroads of southern New England, particularly the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad." Be sure you also check out the "collections list" for additional records. I must tell you that the University does make it known that "personnel records and worker files were not included in the donation of the corporate records and there is virtually no personal information about the company's workers" in this archive. However,  make sure you click on "Links to Railroad History Resources in the United States."  You will find many links to other railroad resources where you may find something. Some of the links are free resources and some are fee based, such as the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. They have a fee similar to the NARA for the research.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Revisit - Family Search

As I return from the summer hiatus, my first posting is a revisit.  If you haven't visited Family Search from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this might be the time. I know a great deal of information has come on line since my last visit, most notably census images from U.S. Census. Also in the past year they have added an index to the 1881 Census of the UK, although actual images are not yet available.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  Here's the link: and their Twitter handle is @FamilySearch  so you can keep up to date on the very latest, instant news from the site. They also have a YouTube channel - FamilySearch YouTube.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Short Hiatus

Will be taking a short hiatus during the summer months.  Back in September.
Have a great summer.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

University of Pennsylvania - On Line Books - Genealogy

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has a robust digital collection of books on line. As of Friday May 27, 2011 the total is over 1 million free books. The link here takes you directly to the genealogy collection. The collection is not restricted to Pennsylvania but also includes books from England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and various states.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Farm, Field and Fireside Collection - Historical Agricultural Newspapers

The Farm, Field and Fireside collection is a group of historically significant U.S. farm weekly newspapers published in the late 1800s to early 1900s. It's housed at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It's another of the many free newspaper collections now available on-line for free.  You can print, download, or e-mail individual articles.  Here's a list of the newspapers currently available:

    Banker Farmer (1913-1927)
    Berkshire World and Cornbelt Stockman (1910-1926)
    Better Farming (1913-1925)
    Chicago Livestock World (1902-1917)
    Chicago Packer (1907-1939)
    Farmers' Review (1879-1918)
    Farmers Voice (1898-1913)
    Farmer's Wife (1906-1939)
    Farm, Field and Fireside (1884-1906)
    Farm, Field and Stockman (1885-1887)
    Farm Home (1899-1920)
    Farm Press (1906-1913)
    Illinois Farmer (1856-1864)
    Lancaster Farming (1955-1981)
    National Rural and Family Magazine (1898-1900)
    Prairie Farmer (1841-1923)
    Western Rural (1868-1883)
    Western Rural and American Stockman (1879-1894)
    Western Rural and Livestock Weekly (1896-1898)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New York - Putnam County Courier Newspaper

Here's another collection of free local newspaper pages.  This one for the Putnam County Courier, published beginning in 1849, focuses mainly Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties in New York and is provided by the Mahopac Public Library.  This is the area in New York between the Hudson River and Danbury Connecticut.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

British Newspapers

Two million pages of 19th century newspapers are now on line. The Penny Illustrated Paper and The Graphic are free of charge. Some portions of this site  are not free and are accessible with a subscription.  But, we'll take whatever is available for free.  The Penny Illustrated Paper was published weekly in London between Oct 12, 1861 - May 24, 1913 and The Graphic, also a London weekly was in print from Jan 01, 1870 - Dec 29, 1900. Both are free to search and access on this site.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive

The Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive (CRBEHA), a project of Washington State University Vancouver, the Idaho State Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society, and Washington State University Pullman focuses on the story of the region’s ethnic groups, people identified as having African, Asian, European, or Latin American heritage. This digital collection brings together selected highlights of the ethnic collections from leading repositories in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Native Americans are not included in this collection. The CRBEHA focuses on relatively recent migrants to the region, groups with less extensive available archives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wyoming - American Heritage Center - University of Wyoming

The American Heritage Center is the University of Wyoming's collection of manuscripts, rare books, and materials from the university archives. Of particular interest here is the "Digital Collection" containing thousands of photographs and documents, plus motion picture and audio recordings. 

The collection list is vast, but  the following caught my eye:

Swan Company Records
Thaddeus Capron Family Papers
Morton E. Post Family Papers
James Bertenshaw Family Letters
Wyoming Stock Growers Association Records
Zdenek Salzmann Arapaho Indian Research
Beck Family Papers
Wyoming Pioneers Oral History Project
Alcott Farrar Elwell Scrapbook
Branding Iron (Laramie Wyo.) Records
J.S. Pittenger Letters
James K. Moore Family Papers
Buffalo Bill collection  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yukon Genealogy

My first exposure to the Yukon was a TV program I watched as youngster - Sgt. Preston of the Yukon (and his wonder dog King). I also once owned one square inch of land in the Yukon complements of Quaker Oats.  I guess the deeds were never filed, so my fortune in Yukon gold is long gone.  But there were many that went west to find gold in the Yukon.  This site "follows the lives of those who came after the Klondike stampede." Yukon Archives includes material from the Dawson Museum and other records of the brave people that settled there. The site makes available a search engine that draws from eight separate databases. They have been compiling this data since 2002.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jacksonville Republican - Northwest Alabama Newspaper

More and more historical newspapers are showing up on line in digital collections.  The Jacksonville Republican first appeared in print in 1837 and was published almost continuously until 1904. There was a short break at the end of the Civil war. It is one of the oldest newspapers in Northeast Alabama. This collection is housed at the The Houston Cole Library, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville Alabama.  This digital archive contains issues from the beginning of publication to December 1895.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Memphis Public Library Digital Archives

The Memphis and Shelby County Room of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center was established in 1971 and houses thousands of books, reports and pamphlets, 600 maps, 12,000 photographs, and hundreds of oral histories. It is also where you will find the Memphis Information File, which contains over four hundred thousand vertical files of newspaper and magazine articles, pamphlets, manuscript collections which include correspondence, photographs, maps, financial records, contracts, and newspaper clippings of individuals and organizations.  The digital version which we link to here contains a small portion of this vast collection.  But, the fact that it is available digitally is worth noting and will give you hours of interesting reading and perhaps even some informaiton you may not have had access to previously.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Digital Collections at the Connecticut State Library

This collection featuring materials from the library, the Museum of Connecticut History, and the state archives is quite robust and contains many sub-collections. The following caught my attention:

Personal and Family Vital Records
Newspapers of Connecticut
Religious History
Town History

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

North Carolina State Archives

There are many individual collections within the North Carolina State Archives web site. Three are of particular interest to genealogists:
1.North Carolina Family Records Online - This one contains Bible Records  marriage and death notices that appeared in five North Carolina newspapers from 1799-1893, cemetery photographs, and more. If you don't find what you are looking for now, book mark this one as it appears to be one that is growing, thanks to family donations of bible images and photographs.
2.North Carolina Maps - Here you will find maps dating to the 1500s up to the 1960s
3.North Carolina Newspapers Digitization Project - This one features digital images of North Carolina newspapers from1752-1890 . If you have ancestral connections that lived in these cities, you just might find some material here: Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816). As of this writing the collection contained a total of 23,483 keyword searchable digital images.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Portal to Texas History

The Portal to Texas History has a lot of information about early history of Texas.  I suggest you "Explore by Collection."  You'll find many collections of early Texas newspapers, photographs, yearbooks, maps, and other archives.   Not all of the material is searchable, but it will give you many hours of interesting reading. 
Here's the link:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Farber Gravestone Collection

This is quite an unusual but possibly very useful site to some.  The American Antiquarian Society makes available the Farber Gravestone Collection.This site documents the sculpture on over 9,000 gravestones made prior to 1800, mostly in New England, but does include some from as far away as Nova Scotia and North Carolina. It's the work of the late Daniel Farber of Worcester, Massachusetts, and his wife, Jessie Lie Farber and incorporates into the collection the work of Harriette Merrifield Forbes and Dr. Ernest Caulfield. This site documents the artistic creation as well as records of biographical information. Accompanying the photographs you will find name and death date of the deceased and the location of the stone.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Louisiana Confederate Pension Applications

Louisiana Secretary of State Information Services has available  an index containing over 49,000 names included in pension applications submitted to the Board of Pension Commissioners in that state. The records became part of the archives after the last pension was paid in the 1950's.  About 18,000 applications were microfilmed and were originally only available to researchers who visited the Archives Library. Some years later an index was created to the 152 reels of film. The applications for pensions granted to veterans and widows beginning in 1898 may include service information, occupation, place of residence, and number of children.  In some cases other materials may have been included with applications such as letters, notes, copies of checks, newspaper clippings, court papers of various types, obituaries, and other miscellaneous papers.

An index to the microfilm collection was compiled, data extracted and computer application developed. The index is available on-line. However, there is a fee to obtain a copy of the original document.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quebec Archives

BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec) has several on-line databases available. It will be very helpful if you either know how to read French or know someone that does. French is the official language of Quebec. The initial descriptions are in English. However, much of this material is in French. Here's a list of searchable data I found on their genealogy page:

Register of interments in Mount Hermon Cemetery, 1848-1904
Parish censuses of Notre-Dame-de-Québec
Tutorships and curatorships in the judicial district of Montréal, 1791-1807
Coroners' inquests in the judicial districts of:
Beauce, 1862-1947, Charlevoix, 1862-1944, Montmagny, 1862-1952,
Québec, 1765-1930 and Saint-François (Sherbrooke), 1900-1954
Preliminary inquiries in the judicial district of Québec, 1897-1927
Events of 1837-1838: In the footsteps of the Patriots
Applications for free grants of land to families with 12 living children, 1890-1905
Inventories after death in the judicial district of Rimouski (CN 101), 1822-1918
Inventories after death in the judicial districts of Québec, Charlevoix, Beauce, Montmagny and Kamouraska, 1785 -1955
Inventories after death in the Montréal area, 1791-1840
List of transcriptions of notarial acts
Marriage contracts in the Charlevoix region, 1737-1920, and the Saguenay region, 1840-1911
Marriage contracts in the Québec City area, 1761-1946
Jail logs of Québec City prisons in the 19th century
Non-Catholic baptisms in the Montréal area, 1766-1835
Non-Catholic burials in the Montréal area, 1767-1899
Non-Catholic marriages in the Montréal area, 1766-1899

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Ships List - over 3,500 pages of passenger lists and more

TheShipsList website is one of the "old timers" as web sites go.  It has been online since August 1999.  This site has over 3,500 totally free access web-pages and still growing.  If you are in the U.S., my suggestion is to use this site in tandem with the available ships records on to obtain images of the original ship manifests landing in U.S. ports.  TheShipsList also has immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, ship descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists. In addition to US passenger lists you'll also find  hundreds of passenger lists to Canada, Australia and even some for South Africa.  Word of caution, the search bar at the top does take you to, a pay site. It's a little time consuming but my suggestion is to either search each individual page or use the advanced search and let Google limit your search to TheShipsList web site.

[search word or phrase] site:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Family History Archive

The Family History Archive features histories of families, regional and local histories, some genealogy magazines and periodicals (a few international publications), medieval books (including histories and pedigrees), and gazetteers.There are 17764 items in this collection of on-line genealogy and family history materials. Within, you will also find some specialized collections such as the Filipino card collection and the “Liahona Elders Journal.” The books are drawn from various collections including The FamilySearch Family History Library, the Allen County Public Library (some of their material is also available at, the Houston Public Library – Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, the Mid-Continent Public Library – Midwest Genealogy Center, two BYU Libraries, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Federal (US) Bureau of Land Mangement Records Search

At this site you can search Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present. The site description says: "We also have images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States."  However,  you can search Federal Land Patents, which offer researchers "a source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals. In addition to verifying title transfer, this information will allow the researcher to associate an individual (Patentee, Assignee, Warrantee, Widow, or Heir) with a specific location (Legal Land Description) and time (Issue Date). This site has a variety of Land Patents on the site, including Cash Entry, Homestead and Military Warrant patents." I did a quick search on a distant cousin that I know was involved in the great Oklahoma land rush in the 1860s.  His name immediately came up with the date of the land transfer and record of his homestead, including a PDF copy of the original document.  This is an important family history find for those families involved in the great US western migration of the 1800s.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Military Records - North and South - US Civil War

Recently added at - Additional Collections:
Compiled records of military units in volunteer Confederate organizations
Collection of compiled records showing service of military units in volunteer Confederate organizations
Compiled records of military units in volunteer Union organizations
Collection of compiled records showing service of military units in volunteer Union organizations

The above two collections were added during 2010.
or you can use the link below. They will both take you to the same place.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Google Books

In a project that started around 2004, the folks at Google, primarily known for the search engine that the Internet community has come to rely upon, began the early stages of digitizing old out-of-print books and making them available through their service. After a few short years, millions of volumes of books and periodicals are now available for viewing and sometimes downloading, especially in the case of out-of-copyright documents. Thanks to this service, from the comfort of your home and Internet connection, you can search through old volumes and registers that up until a few years ago were only accessible after traveling a great distance and manually thumbing through page upon page of old material, in search of your long lost relative.  Try Google Books and see what you find.  You will be amazed.  A word to the wise: be creative with your searching.  I have found that key words in addition to your initial search term really do help in zeroing in on a particular locale, family or period of time in that locale's history.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hastingleigh, Kent England

If you have ancestors in Kent County England, this site might helpful.  It contains links to data collected from parishes and other sources in the area around Hastingleigh, Kent.  It's not a direct link to archives, but this compiled information might be of great help in locating the primary sources you need for your research in this area of south eastern England.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Southern Arizona - Through Our Parents Eyes

While this site was originally focused at high school, middle school and college undergraduates to give them a better understanding of rich culture and history of Southern Arizona, family history researchers will find the stories and information fascinating. The web site description says:  "Throughout these websites are stories and histories that offer the reader a portal to life in Southern Arizona over the past 150 years."  It is a collaborative effort of  between the University of Arizona and the greater Tucson and Southern Arizona community. It's free and available here:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Indiana State Library Databases - vitals, newspapers, biographies, veterans, etc.

Like many state library sites, this one has a great deal of free information available for on line browsing.  The databases here do not pull up the original image as they were taken from indexes originally kept on index cards. But, they can be very helpful in focusing your research. Be sure to follow the link to Online Family History Databases - By clicking this link you will land on a page titled Indiana Genealogy Databases, Indexes, & Internet Resources by County.  Each individual county page has much more "free" on line material. You can spend hours exploring these county pages. If you have Indiana ancestors or relatives that passed through the state on the way west, this one is a must.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hamilton College - Civil War Collection

These materials all date from the American Civil War era. They primarily relate to the people and history of Oneida county, New York. Hamilton College is located there. Much of the collection relates 117th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment mustered in on August 8, 1862 at Oneida county. The collection also includes letters and diaries of people from other regiments, such as :

The papers from the 117th include almost 1,000 enlistment papers for this regiment formed in Rome, NY, in July and August of 1862. It was assigned to the Army of the Potomac to defend Washington, D.C. The regiment was later attached to the IX and X Corps and participated in major battles such as Cold Harbor and the Battle of Petersburg and mustered out in May 1865.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

DAR Genealogical Research System

The Daughters of the the American Revolution has a very useful resource, although its primary purpose is to help in the process of applying for membership in the organization.  Here you can check to see if your ancestor's Revolutionary War service was used to support a membership application to the DAR.  There is an option to purchase documents for $10, but the site is free to use and can help in finding Revolutionary War service and help focus your lineage search.  As in all genealogical research, each tiny bit of information can be an important piece of that big family puzzle.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Searching for lost ancestors in Alabama?  Well, the
Alabama Department of Archives and History has some nice material on-line.
Three databases (with images of the original documents) are available for free. The three are:
Civil War Soldiers database
1867 Voter Registration database
World War I Goldstar database
In addition to the above, be sure to check out the additional link on the page that will take you to the Digital Archives. Once you land on that page, be sure to check the Alabama Textual Materials Collection. You can then browse by topic or by state agency.  There's a lot of great material here.   

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Minnesota Vital Records (Birth and Death) & State Census

The Minnesota Historical Society has a free lookup for births and deaths that occurred in the state. 
Births:  from 1900-1934, and selected records from pre-1900 
Deaths: from cards 1904 to 1907 and death certificates from 1908 to 2001
This site also has a database index to state census records for the years 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905. If you have family connections in Minnesota you should explore this site to see what else you can find.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nebraska Newspapers

By now, most people know I get excited when old newspapers come on line. While I don't have any kin to search for in this area, many do. So, I share with you Nebraska Newspapers, a cooperative project between by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the Nebraska State Historical Society. This site contains searchable full-text of selected newspapers published in the state before 1923. The site plans to present content from more communities and to offer Native American and foreign-language newspapers in the future.

Monday, January 24, 2011

North Dakota - Digital State Archives

There are many different databases available here. Some are on the North Dakota State Archives site and some are links to resources at other Dakota sites including North Dakota State University and the State Historical Society of North Dakota.  You'll find a public death index from 1881 to present, the Dakota Territory 1885 Census, Cass County marriage and probate records, biographies and naturalization records.  It's all free and available at:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

NYS Military Museum and Veterans Research Center

The NYSMMVRC Library and Archive is a great resource for anyone studying New York State military, cultural and social history, and if you are looking for information about New York men and women veterans in federal service.
The physical library and archive features a collection of more than 2000 volumes of military and New York State history; over 5,000 unit and individual soldier photographs; unit history files; broadsides; scrapbooks; letters; armory and unit collections; and maps.  Here is another great resource that is constantly being updated and now some of that vast collection is available for free on line:

Link to the table of contents:

Some of the individual resoruces:

Adjutant General ReportsNew York National Guardsman
New York State Awards, Decorations and Medals
Register of officers whose services terminated prior to Jan. 1, 1858
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Affiliated with New York

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great Britain Newspapers

Here's a nice free resource for those that have need to research in London, Edinburgh and Belfast. Three of the Gazette newspapers archives are on line for free. These cover mostly legal government notices, but do go back 350 years. You never know what's going to turn up here. These notices also include bankruptcies. Check it out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - US Census 1790 - 1930

As of the date of this post, this archive had 14,978 items available and it is growing. This is one of the most useful genealogical tools available on the Internet and was once information that we had to pay for or had to use special portals to access. Now, thanks to the scanning of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the US Census is now available for free and the quality of the scans is excellent. I recommend that you select the "read on line option" before you download as this may save you some hard drive storage space. The on line reader is very useful and works flawlessly.