Sunday, January 29, 2012

100 Best Websites part 3

Got busy moving all my trees into 1 big tree & didn't get around to the new post. Here's more the the 100 Best Websites for Genealogy as put out by Family Tree Magazine (FTM).

Best Sites for Western US Research
Sites for researching ancestors in the Western half of the US.

Think I'll call that good for tonight. More to come though.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

100 Best Websites part 2

I got started yesterday. Let's see how much farther down the list I get tonight :)

Best US Government Sites
  • American Battle Monuments Commission - It appears to be videos about the major wars & major battles in US history. Well since World War I anyway.
  • Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records - I've used the site a little bit. Found the homestead deed of my great-great grandfather I believe (would have to check for sure). I've had no luck finding plat maps here though.
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System - Looks like it could be a good resource for anybody with ancestors (or other relatives) that served in the Civil War. In my paternal line it's very unlikely anybody served. The Loven's that came over from Norway came after the Civil War I believe. I'll check it out more after I learn more about my other branches of my family tree.
  • Library of Congress - There's a link for historic newspapers right on the home page that could be useful. FTM says the the manuscript collection is worth a try, too.
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) - I believe I looked into getting my grandpa's military records here at some point. Can't remember for sure though. Here's what FTM (Family Tree Magazine) has to say, "You know to visit virtually before planning an in-person trip to the National Archives or one of its regional branches around the country. But don’t overlook the two troves of records on the archives’ website: Access to Archival Databases (AAD), with more than 85 million records, including passengers on US-bound immigrant ships and WWII enlistment files, and the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), an index of 6.3 million records linked to 153,000 digital files."
  • Military Gravesite Locator - I plugged in my grandpa (the one veteran who's information I know, & It couldn't tell me where he's buried (Hillside Cemetery, St. Charles, Minnesota.) I'm says it has all veteran's with the government grave marker (which I'm not sure if my grandpa has).
  • USS Geological Survey - I don't know enough about it to really have anything to say.
Best Sites for Eastern US Research
Just like it sounds like this is for looking up ancestors in the Eastern United States.
  • Cincinnati Virtual Library - It has downloadable maps of Cincinnati. It aslo has downloadable books & according to FTM city directories of Cincinnati which would make a must for anybody who's looking up somebody that lived in Cincinnati.
  • Cook County Genealogy Online - Right on the home page it has buttons to order vital records. Birth certificates from 75 years or more ago, marriage certificates from 50 or more years ago, and death certificates from 20 or more years ago. Otherwise it looks to have Chicago history, which can be helpful.
  • Digital Library of Georgia - With no ancestors in Georgia not one I'm gonna find useful. Check it out if you're research leads you to Georgia though.
  • Iowa GenWeb - One I've used. I've found obits, maps breaking the county down into townships, etc. If you have ancestors in Iowa like I do this is one site worth using.
  • Massachusetts Archives - Has a vital record index, archives index, in in progress is a passenger arrival index. Check it out if you had ancestors in MA or your ancestors arrived or may have arrived through a port in MA.
  • Minnesota Historical Society - If you need vital records from Minnesota this is the place to go. You can order birth certificates from 1900 - 1934, death certificates from 1904 - 2001 (ok they were called death cards through 1907), & you can order to have somebody look up a marriage record. You need to know when & where the marriage took place already though, so not handy to try to get marriage information. So far, I've gotten death certificates for both my maternal grandparents, a great-grandma (broke that brick wall leading to her parents), and a great-great-grandma. I'll be ordering more including birth certificates in the future. Wish every state made it this easy to get birth & death certificates.
  • Missouri Digital Heritage -This site I'll have to look into when I have the information on the few MO relatives I have. Looks like it'll be worth a try.
  • OK/IT Genealogy - It (like Iowa GenWeb) are under USGenWeb. With no OK ancestors I'm aware of (other than an uncle that lived there for a few years) not worth my time to use. Check it out though if any of your ancestors came from Oklahoma.
  • Seeking Michigan - Looks like it'll be worth checking out for anybody researching ancestors in Michigan.
  • Wisconsin Historical Society - Looks like it has several collections. I'll check it out more when I research my maternal family. Some of them lived in Wisconsin. Hey, my great-grandpa was born there I believe.
I think I'll call that a day. Stay tuned for part 3 hopefully later this week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 100 Best Websites

Family Tree Magazine (you can subscribe here) every year puts a list of the top 100 Genealogy websites. Here's the list for 2012 broken up into sections just like they did (ftm list). I'll put my notes on any I've used on the list or that I'm gonna have to try :).

Best Big Genealogy sites.
As they put it so well. These are all "mega sites" that don't charge you for ancestor data. That alone makes it a useful list. The subscription costs are what keeps me from using genealogy.com.
  • Brigham Young University family history archives - The site appears to be through the familysearch.org site that the Church of Latter Day Saints has (& that I've used a lot). Looks like a site I'll be checking out more.
  • Cyndi's List - It's a site full of links broken down into categories. In the past I've had trouble getting information with the site myself.
  • FamilySearch - This is my favorite search site. I've gotten loads of information from it that I would've had to pay for at genealogy.com.
  • Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - Ftm's notes say the site has 4,000+ volunteers to help track things down locally (where they are) when you can't make a trip say across the country for a court record that can't be found online. According to a blog I saw here the site is down for a while for several reasons. Expains why I can't get the site to load on my laptop.
  • Roots Web - It looks like it's a part of the pay site ancestry.com. It's one I've never used before.
  • USGenWeb - This is a site I've recently started to use. It has break downs for every state, then every county. It's handy for finding cemeteries. I've used to to track down census images when FamilySearch didn't have the actual image. The census images aren't transcribed, but if you already know the county to look in & the township or town (for non-farmers) it's not a very daunting task. A little time consuming yes.
  • WeRelate - This is a genealogy wiki. I'm sure it's useful for newbies to go & gather some tips & that. I've never checked it out.
  • WorldGenWeb - Would be the world equivalent of USGenWeb. I've never used it, but from my quick once over it starts by having you click on the continent (I did Europe), then it has it split into regions (I did CenEuro), then country. I found both Germany & Norway on the list, so will cover my paternal lineage (assuming the German parts came from a part of Germany still in Germany). I'll have to check it out some more later.
Best Record Resources
The email I got says nothing about this section. Will just have to see as we go then.
  • Access Genealogy - FTM says that its strong suit is Native American records, which wouldn't apply to me to the best of my knowledge. When I clicked on Iowa though it has a link about Scandavians & their biographies. Looks to be a book. I'll have to give this site more of a try in the future I think.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution - From what I've done so far I haven't found any relatives that were here during the Revolution. OK ancestors would be more accurate then relatives, so I'm probably going to hold off looking this site over more.
  • DistantCousin.com - FTM says the site is strongest in thins like city directories & school alumni lists. I'll have to give a try later.
  • Find a Grave - This site is working on (through the work of volunteers) getting all the cemeteries in the US transcribed & with pictures of each tombstone. Will take a lot of time. I have a "virtual cemetery" (where you can store the memorials you have an interest in to make them easy to find again) that's just relatives (both ancestors & a little more distant) that haven't been put up by a volunteer yet & where I, for whatever reason, don't know where they were buried. You can see my page here. It's my main way of keeping track of what I need to look for cemetery-wise. If you can't tell already I recommend this site.
  • Google News Archive Search - a tool I haven't used. May find it useful for other non-genealogy stuff though.
  • Interment.net - The homepage says it has cemetery burial records from around the world. 'm going to have to check this out & see if I can find the burial places of some of those previously mentioned relatives on this site.
  • Newspaper Abstracts - It looks like the site has images from historical newspapers. It even has an obituary section. I'll have to actually try it sometime & see if I can find some of the obits I'm missing. Just have to be careful. Looks like it sends to ancestry.com where you have to pay at least part of the time. It did for the Waukon Standard that I just clicked on.
Now that's not all 100 of their sites. Just the first 2 of the 13 sections the list has been broken down into. Will have to continue on tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What to do hmm........

I have this blog, but have obviously done nothing about it. I'm thinking of maybe displaying my cross-stitch projects here and/or genealogy tips I've found & things I'm working on in my own family tree. Maybe I'll just have to do both lol. To those of you (few) that read this feel free to comment with ideas.

Martha