Posted in Archives, News

World War I: Online

The Library of Congress has opened an online portal to their World War I collection.

Today we launched a comprehensive portal to its extensive holdings on the subject of World War I (1914–1918) as part of our commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. involvement in the war. The portal is a one-stop destination page for digitized versions of many of these assets.

These remarkable collections include recruitment and wartime information posters, photos from the front, manuscripts and papers of prominent figures such as General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, newspapers that provided the first draft of the war’s history, maps of campaigns and battle lines, sound recordings of prominent leaders of the era, war-related sheet music, even early film treasures.

Along with extensive access to these rare materials, the portal will include links to the online version of the Library’s major new exhibition, “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I,” which opens April 4.

In addition, the portal will feature articles from our blogs, written by Library curators who will offer unique insight into the collections and highlight stories and materials that are most revealing about the war, and America’s involvement in it—before, during and after its military participation.

Learn more at the LOC WWI portal site.

Posted in Archives

Naturalization Records – US and Canada

We now have a wonderful online resource for naturalization records! Lorine McGinnis Schulze has added NaturalizationRecords.com to her impressive Olive Tree Genealogy family of genealogy sites.

The Naturalization Records site has created a directory to free records for USA and Canada. You can find Passport Applications, Citizenship Certificates, Declarations of Intent, Alien Registrations and more. The site also points to substitute naturalization records like ships passenger lists, oaths of allegiance and voter registration lists.

One of the very nice things you’ll find at this site is help. When I clicked to look at Canadian records, I was presented with a page that presented descriptions of the different record sets along with suggestions on where to looks first. Lorine has spent a lot of time and effort describing the kind of information each database contains and offering tips on how to search them.

Olive Tree Genealogy

Posted in Archives

American Ancestors

American Ancestors (http://www.americanancestors.org/index.aspx) is the online archive at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It is the most-used genealogical society website in the world. This archive provides access to more than one billion records. Included in their collections are early American records including England, New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia materials. They also maintain the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines.

A free Guest account gives web visitors access to a limited number of databases and occasionally offers access to selected databases for a limited time. The free databases include:

  • Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
  • Worcester County, MA: Index to Probate Records, 1731-1881
  • Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati
  • Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Irish Immigrant Advertisements, 1831-1920
  • New York Wills, 1626-1836
  • Index of Revolutionary War Pensioners
  • Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871
  • Rhode Island Roots journal
  • Mass Historical Data Relating to Cities and Towns
  • American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives: Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
  • Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Ware, MA Families, Genealogies of
  • Weymouth Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors
  • Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881
  • Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881
  • Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881
  • Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas – Index to Cases, 1756-1776
  • Norfolk County, MA: Index to Probate records, 1793-1900
  • Armenian Immigrant Births, Deaths and Marriages in Massachusetts – 1880-1915
  • Boston, MA: Taking Records, 1800
  • Family Tree Samplers

There are three levels of membership offering different services. The Individual membership ($89.95/year) offers research benefits for one individual while the Friend level ($150/year) includes discounts on consultations and research-for-hire with a 15-minute complimentary consultation. The Associate level ($250/year) includes the same discounts along with a 45-minute complimentary consultation. Some of the Friend and Associate membership fees are tax deductible.

The society also publishes the Vita Brevis blog (http://vita-brevis.org) which is available to all. It spotlights items from their collections, offers tips, announces special offers and other useful information. If you are researching ancestors in the New England region, this blog offers an good preview of what American Ancestors has available.

Posted in Archives

Black History Collection at Fold3

February is Black History Month and Fold3 is making their Black History Collection free this month.

Fold3 is now revealing a side of the Black History story that few have seen before. View photos and documents found nowhere else on the internet. Connect your own history by adding your own stories, photos, and documents.

Records cover the following eras:

  • Slavery
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws
  • World Wars
  • Civil Rights Movement

Visit Black History at Fold3

Posted in Archives

Meet the Genealogy Gophers

Did you know that there are thousands of digitized family histories, regional and local histories, genealogy magazines along with how-to books, gazetteers, newsletters, and medieval histories freely available online? Organizations like Project Gutenberg, FamilySearch, Internet Archive, Google Books and educational institutions have been hard at work for years. That’s both good news and bad news. While there are a lot of freely-accessible publications available, finding them can be a challenge. That’s where Genealogy Gophers comes in. The Gophers have built an amazing search engine that will not only find the publication, but find – and display – the information that matches your search. In the example below, I’m looking for information about my ancestor, John Lewis Gervais, in South Carolina.

Sample Search Results

 

Within seconds I had two pages of results with excerpts showing the information matching my search. Clicking the title will display a screen that includes source information for that publication along with a reader opened to the page where the information on my ancestor appears.

the reader screen

In this example, there is only one page referencing my ancestor. The orange pointer you see at the bottom of the reading window is a bookmark to that page. In publications where there are multiple results, you will see additional pointers. Click on a pointer to move to that page. There are also controls to navigate forward and backward in this book, enlarge or reduce the view and more. Notice the link at the top of the reader to download a PDF copy of the publication.

Genealogy Gophers is free if you don’t mind responding to a number of surveys. If you don’t like surveys, a $19.95/year subscription will remove them.