Friday’s Family History Finds

The best Family History Finds this week:

Family Stories

Piecing together clues indirectly with many pieces of evidence:
Dorothy Durham’s Parents and the Mysterious William Smoot, 52 Ancestors #165 by Roberta J. Estes on DNAeXplained

Brick Wall: BUSTED! The Maiden Name of Pharaba Moore Is. . .  by Vonda Lee Heverly on Genealogist by Night

Schopfloch: A Lesson in Gravestone Symbols by Amy Cohen on Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

It’s not an exact split:
How Much DNA I Share with Each of My Grandparents by Liane Jensen on Genealogy Mom

Research Resources

Anyone else wish that this was standard operating procedure everywhere? Yes, I know it costs money, but wouldn’t it be great?:
Dutch Archives that Provide Free Scanning on Demand by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch Genealogy

New York State Death Index Online for the First Time! by Sunny on Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems

NARA Materials on – What’s Free and What’s Not by Michael John Neill on Rootdig

Tech News

It looks like a full release is very close – possibly by 15 July:
Family Tree Maker 2017 Update – 25 June 2017 by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings


Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them Is in You? By Roberta J. Estes on DNAeXplained

Explaining Likely, Probable and Possible Identifications to My Cousins by Anna Matthews on Tripping Over My Roots

What tools do you use?
Tools of the Trade. . . on Writing My Past

Thoughts on Private Trees by Lori Thornton on Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Education Is for Everyone

Summer is a great time to catch up on webinars at Legacy Family Tree, by subscription, but one month of unlimited views is only $9.95. It’s well worth the money.

If you are using RootsMagic, Randy has begun a series of posts on using the new features:
GREAT NEWS: RootsMagic Now Has Ancestry TreeShare and WebHints Activated AND Using RootsMagic TreeShare – Adding Facts, Media and Sources to My RootsMagic Tree, both by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings

Keeping Up with the Times

The Family History Library will no longer accept loaned microfilm orders after 31 August 2017. No, it’s not the end of the world:
No More FHL Microfilm? Myrt’s Take by Pat Richley-Erickson on DearMyrtle’s Blog

What’s a Family History Center Affiliate? by Amie Bowser Tennant on The Genealogy Reporter

Sadly, I am sharing this news. Ruth was a friend of mine, too. She was a top notch researcher, teacher and person. She is missed.:
Ruth Ellen Maness A.G. Passes – R.I.P. My Dear Friend by Leland Meitzler on GenealogyBlog AND

A Tribute to a Genealogical Giant: Ruth Ellen Maness by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

50 Essential Websites for My Genealogy Research

Did I mention that I love lists? I think I did, just yesterday when I compiled my list of 50 essential books for my home genealogy library.

I decided that I haven’t had quite enough of lists so today I am sharing my 50 essential websites for MY OWN genealogy research. Some of these websites are universal, or nearly so, but others are lesser known. I hope that some of the other genealogy bloggers out there decide to share their own lists of the “50 Essentials” as I know there are many jewels out there that are WAY underused.

Obviously, some of the sites on my list are free, but others are fee-based. (I’ve added a dollar sign after the subscription sites.) My criteria for including them here is simply how useful they are to where I am researching. The websites are not in any particular order. A handful of sites are listed more than once because I use several of their databases often.

  1. FamilySearch
  2. Ancestry        $
  3. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (Canada) – Daniel F. Johnson’s New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics
  4. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick – Federated Database Search – You can search all databases at once, including digitized birth records, old military records, early land grants and much more.
  5. Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD)
  6. New England Historic Genealogical Society     $
  7. Missouri Digital Heritage – County History Project
  8. Missouri Digital Heritage – Death Certificates Online
  9. Oklahoma Historical Society – Genealogy Resources   There are many links here, from pioneer stories to historical newspapers not on Chronicling America and much more.
  10. Heritage Quest – free online access from home through my local public library. U.S. census collection with indexing by Ancestry. Check your local public library to see if it is offered.
  11. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records – free to search, fee to order documents
  12. FamilySearch Wiki – Over 85,000 articles on where to find genealogical records, both on FamilySearch and elsewhere. This is a resource that is way underused!
  13. ArkivDigital     $ – Best quality and most complete online Swedish records out there. Almost 70,000,000 images!
  14. Danish National Archives – church registers, census records and more, digitized, and free online. Some collections, like census records, are indexed and searchable by person and place. For others, like parish records, you need to know which parish to search as they are not indexed. There is a link on the home page for info in English.
  15. US GenWeb Project
  16. Canada GenWeb Project
  17. Find-a-Grave
  18. Historical Atlases and Maps of U.S. and States
  19. Google News Archive Search – Look for historical newspapers here.
  20. Chronicling America
  21. New Brunswick Genealogy Records Online (Canada)
  22. Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index – Digital images are being added to the county collection of court records online. Tremendous resource for Virginia ancestors.
  23. Politiets Registerblade – Copenhagen police census (not criminals – all the Copenhagen population) in the early 1900s. Searchable and great if you have family in the city at the turn of the 20th century.
  24. Connecticut State Library: History and Genealogy – Reference – includes some online databases
  25. The Carpathian Connection – Slovak immigrant history mainly in the Passaic-Clifton-Garfield area of New Jersey with a bit of Pennsylvania ties.
  26. DAR Library – Ancestor searches can be done free online (for all), along with a search of Bible records. Past issues of the DAR Magazine have also been digitized and are available free online to everyone.
  27. Linkpendium – over 10,000,000 genealogy links!
  28. Cyndi’s List – over 3,000,000 genealogy links!
  29. Family Search – Slovak church and census records. The church registers are the same collection found on partner site, Ancestry. Free to view on FamilySearch, but subscription required on Ancestry. They are digitized and baptisms are searchable. If you can find a baptismal record for someone in your family, you will then know the town where they lived and can look for them in the 1869 Hungarian census, which included today’s Slovakia.
  30. Find My Past    $ – British records, but FMP is also updating the PERSI collection it acquired.
  31. Fold3    $ – U.S. military records
  32. Google Books – Great for finding historical and reference books in digitized versions
  33. WorldCat – How to find the closest copy of that book I really need for my research
  34. FamilySearch Books – not as extensive as WorldCat, but it is a great option for locating hard copy and digital books
  35. MyHeritage Digital Book Collection – no subscription needed as access is free
  36. HathiTrust Digital Library – a third option for online books
  37. Library and Archives Canada – includes digitized, free images to many Canadian censuses
  38. One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse
  39. U.S. State Digital Collections – This link goes to my blog. Scroll down for links to each state with digital collections online.
  40. Missouri Probate Records 1750-1998 – online on FamilySearch. I use this collection often for all of my husband’s Missouri connections.
  41. Indian-Pioneer Papers Collection at the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections
  42. United States Genealogy and Historical Society Directory – links to societies in every state
  43. David Rumsey Map Collection
  44. Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems    $
  45. Digital Public Library of America
  46. Internet Archive: Digital Library and Wayback Machine
  47. Historical Newspapers Online – Another link to a page on my blog (scroll down several categories) with a list of websites that have newspapers digitized and online. Some are free, some are subscription.
  48. Online Maine Death Records and Indexes  – links to both free and paid sites, but searching is free
  49. Index to the Probate Records of the County of Middlesex, Massachusetts – First Series from 1648-1871
  50. Facebook for Genealogy – Katherine R. Willson’s incredible list of genealogically affiliated groups on Facebook. It is updated regularly.

That’s it! My 50 essential websites for my own genealogical research. As I review my list, there actually aren’t all that many that require a subscription. I have no issue with paying for access, but if it is available for no cost somewhere, that’s obviously my first choice.

What are your most essential websites? Leave a comment, please. I love to discover new resources.

50 Essential Books for My Home Genealogy Library

Lori Thornton, who writes the Smoky Mountain Family Historian blog, recently posted 50 Essential Books for My Home Genealogy Library. I love doing lists and decided to create my own list. I actually haven’t counted to see if I get to fifty, but here are some of the most valuable books on my own shelf, in no particular order. Some are general methodology books, while others are specific to my own families and places where they lived.

There are also some real oldies, but goodies (some I believe are out of print), but have stood the test of time and would greatly benefit those researchers who think “everything” is online and have little idea how to do on-site research.

  1. Professional Genealogy, Elizabeth Shown Mills
  2. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd Edition, Elizabeth Shown Mills (3rd Edition, Revised is now available)
  3. Mastering Genealogical Documentation, Thomas W. Jones (brand new, hot off the presses)
  4. Mastering Genealogical Proof, Thomas W. Jones
  5. The Source, Third Edition, Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking
  6. The BCC Genealogical Standards Manual, Millenium Edition (2000, but I love the appendices.) Board for Certification of Genealogists
  7. Genealogy Standards, 50th Anniversary Edition, Board for Certification of Genealogists
  8. Genealogical Proof Standard, Christine Rose
  9. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920, William Thorndale and William Dollarhide (one of my most used books for changes in county lines)
  10. Courthouse Research for Family Historians, Christine Rose
  11. Guide to Genealogical Writing, Penelope L. Stratton & Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG
  12. Elements of Genealogical Analysis, Robert Charles Anderson, FASG
  13. Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques, George G. Morgan & Drew Smith
  14. Virginia Cavaliers & Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800, Nell Marion Nugent (now available online)
  15. Virginia Genealogy: Sources & Resources, Carol McGinnis
  16. A Guide to the Genealogical Notes and Charts in the Archives Branch Virginia State Library and Archives, Lyndon H. Hart III
  17. North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, Helen F. M. Leary
  18. Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinal (sic) of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900, Kenneth L. Willey
  19. Over the Portage: Early History of the Upper Miramichi, Revised Edition, William R. MacKinnon, Jr.
  20. Passamaquoddy, Martha Barto
  21. Social Networking for Genealogists, Drew Smith
  22. New York Probate Records: A Genealogist’s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records, Gordon L. Remington
  23. New Englanders in the 1600s: A Guide to Genealogical Research Published Between 1980 and 2010 (Expanded Edition), Martin E. Hollick
  24. Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research, Roseann Reinemuth Hogan
  25. Pennsylvania Line: A Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy and Local History, William L. Iscrupe
  26. The King’s Loyal Americans; The Canadian Fact, B. Wood-Holt
  27. The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe, James M. Beidler
  28. U.S. Military Records, A Guide to Federal and State Sources, Colonial America to the Present, James C. Neagles
  29. The History of Nantucket : being a compendious account of the first settlement of the island by the English, together with the rise and progress of the whale fishery, and other historical facts relative to said island and its inhabitants, Obed Macy
  30. Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th Edition, Michael Leclerc
  31. Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places, Laura Szucs Pfeiffer
  32. Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, Kory L. Meyerink, Editor
  33. The Library of Congress: A Guide to Historical and Genealogical Research, James C. Neagles & Mark C. Neagles
  34. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches, Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking
  35. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd Edition, Val Greenwood
  36. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, Blaine T. Bettinger
  37. Genetic Genealogy in Practice, Blaine T. Bettinger & Debbie Parker Wayne
  38. Land & Property Research in the United States, E. Wade Hone
  39. Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition
  40. Family Chronicle’s More Dating Old Photographs, Edward Zapletal, Editor
  41. Any of Gary W. Clark’s KwikGuides to photo dating and identification
  42. Any of Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor’s books on photo dating and identification
  43. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints, James M. Reilly
  44. Genealogies pertaining to families I am researching (There are some excellent family histories out there and I recommend that a researcher spend the money to buy them if he/she is deeply involved with a particular family surname.)

The last six books I consider essential to keep up with the technological end of genealogy research:

  1. The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd Edition, Lisa Louise Cooke
  2. Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse, Lisa Louise Cooke
  3. How to Do Everything Genealogy, George G. Morgan
  4. Getting the Most from Family Historian 6, Simon Orde
  5. Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 7, Bruce Buzbee
  6. Legacy Family Tree 9.0, Millenium

That’s my list of 50. Thanks, Lori, for a great idea. What would be on your list?