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.



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.
http://digital.denverlibrary.org/index.php

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.
http://www.sos.nh.gov/archives/nhstatepapers.html

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.

http://wtda.alc.org/

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.

http://wyonewspapers.org/

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.

http://railroads.uconn.edu/index.html

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:
https://www.familysearch.org/ 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.

Sociable