GENEALOGY AND HISTORY SITES THAT ARE FREE TO ACCESS AND FREE TO USE

Hard to find but free places where you can research genealogy on line, without having to pay. Your comments and feedback are welcome to any post.

About me: Jerry E. Reed
First and foremost, I am a seasoned voice talent and media/public relations specialist with many other interests. I have been helping businesses with their narrations, presentations, commercials, and more all of my adult life.
For more information about Jerry Reed - Voice Talent visit:
http://jerryreed.com

I am also a genealogist, a
n avid photographer, and artisan bread baker.
My genealogy interest began before personal computers were a family "must have." Personal genealogy computer research has blossomed in the past 15 years. It wasn't long before someone decided that they could charge for information that should be free and in the public domain. I have always been frustrated by that. Now, thousands and thousands of pages of useful facts are coming on line daily in free-to-access digital archives located all over the world. So, I'm constantly searching for new sources of free on line material. Blog updates follow this section and all links are added to the master list below the new posts.
Updates are posted when
I discover another new source or when something I have already reviewed gets a major update.
Have fun and enjoy.
Note: if you find a link no longer works, please let me know so I can research and update it.



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Military Records - North and South - US Civil War

Recently added at Archive.org - 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.

http://www.archive.org/details/additional_collections
or you can use the link below. They will both take you to the same place.
http://www.archive.org/details/genealogy

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.
http://books.google.com

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.

http://hastingleigh.com/

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:
http://parentseyes.arizona.edu/

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.

http://www.in.gov/library/databases.htm#indiana

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.

http://elib.hamilton.edu/hc/hc-main.php?id=col_spe-civ&c=civ_abt

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.

http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search/?Tab_ID=1

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.

http://www.archives.alabama.gov/searchcoll.html   

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.
http://www.mnhs.org/genealogy/

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