World War I Portal at National Archives

Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37 mm gun during an advance on German entrenched positions. View in Catalog.

The National Archives has just opened the World War I online exhibit and invites you to “browse the wealth of records and information documenting the U.S. experience in this conflict, including photographs, documents, audiovisual recordings, educational resources, articles, blog posts, lectures, and events”.

Included in this exhibit is more than 110,000 photographs and almost 300 reels of film related to the war thanks to an anonymous donor whose donation made this digitizing project possible. These photographs take you from the home front to the battlefield.

Visit the World War I Portal to view these amazing photos and many other records, articles and educational programs.

Online Historical Directories

Have you ever wished you could find links to all the online city directories in one place?  A place where they were listed by location and in date order?  This is the purpose of the Online Historical Directories Website. It is meant to be used as an aid to genealogists, historians, and other researchers.

Miriam Robbins is working to do just that. Links to city, county, and rural directories found online. But that’s not all . . . she’s doing historic newspapers too!

Visit Online Historical Directories

Visit Online Historical Newspapers

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.

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

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.