FamilySearch Research Wiki

Online Genealogy Records by Location

The Research Wiki at FamilySearch is an amazing resource to help your research efforts. This post spotlights the section containing links to online records for states, provinces and countries.

United States Records
(www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_Genealogy)
This guide includes birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history and military records. Also included are articles to help you develop research strategies, find various record types and other articles and websites that can help your research effort.

State Genealogy Records
Also included in the U.S. section are articles on record types, historical background and ethnicity.

The FamilySearch Digital Library

The Internet Archive has been my go-to source for public domain books for quite a while. It’s full of regimental histories, local histories, biographies and even genealogies. It’s a very impressive resource. Now, thanks to the FamilySearch Digital Library, I have even more options.

FamilySearch Digital Library

You will find the library in FamilySearch.org. Once you sign in, click Search then click Books. You will see a screen similar to the one above. Before you hit the search box at the top of the screen, scan down the page and see which libraries are part of this project. They include:

  • The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library
  • Arizona State Library
  • Family History Library
  • Birmingham Public Library
  • Dallas Public Library
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • Midwest Genealogical Center
  • Onondaga County Public Library
  • St. Louis County Library
  • University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries

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In this example, I searched for “south carolina huguenots” and got 278,409 results. You see two of them here. Notice the Access Level item for the first one is Public (Public Domain) while the second is Protected (still under copyright). There is a Full text results button under each item and in this example, a scanned title page for each. Click on the title page to view a screen with more details about the item.

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Since this is a public domain publication, I have a “View All Pages 398 pages” link to open this publication for reading.

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Here’s what the reader screen looks like. Use the arrow buttons to move to the next page or previous page. Notice the icons at the bottom of the screen. They offer many options. Click the box icon with a down arrow in it to download this publication. The magnifying glass icon is used to search the publication. Other icons let you zoom in or zoom out for better viewing. Hover over any icon to view its purpose.

This impressive addition to online archives is a researcher’s delight. Unlike the Internet Archive, not everything in the FamilySearch Digital Library is public domain. You may have limited access or even no access to some of the publications, but don’t let that stop you. Use the details about the publication and WorldCat.org to find a library near you where you can view that book. Happy hunting!

Genealogy Collection at Internet Archive

The Internet Archive’s genealogy collection supports an ever-expanding collection of genealogy resources. Items in this collection includes:

Resources include books on surname origins, vital statistics, parish records, census records, passenger lists of vessels, and other historical and biographical documents.

Make the Move to MeWe

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MeWe is a relatively new social network and the first one built with privacy by design for its members. The MeWe network has no advertising and no tracking. It is free for members with features that includes text, voice and video messaging and even encrypted chats. MeWe supports both private and open groups. While the network basics are open to all members at no cost, there are optional features that do require payment. For example, all members have 8GB of storage for photos, videos and files at no charge. If you want more space, you can add it for a small monthly fee. Other “premium” features include encrypted chat and an emoji store.

You can access MeWe in your web browser at https://mewe.com. The view above shows the home page for a MeWe member. From the home page, you can participate in online chats, groups and events. There is also a page called MyCloud displaying all the photos, videos, files and posts you share in your account. Not only can you post photos, you can create albums to keep them organized.

MeWe supports mobile devices too. Check your app store for the free MeWe apps – for both phones and tablets. If you connect your address book to MeWe, the app will tell you if any of your contacts are also MeWe members, making it easier to find family and friends. Within an hour of installing the app on my iPhone and connecting my address book, my cousin – and fellow genealogist – sent me a contact request. Within seconds of accepting her request, she was calling me for a video chat via MeWe.

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It’s not just timelines and chats either. MeWe supports groups and events too. Groups can be Private, Selective or Open. As you see here, the Storytellers Studio group has been moved from Facebook to MeWe.

Notice the group chat box to the lower right of the screenshot. While you can chat from just about anywhere in MeWe, the Group Chat is set up just for members of the group. Using Group Chat, you can schedule chats on specific topics and even invite speakers to join the chat. Photos and files can be posted in a chat  . . . (Do I see the possibility of a presentation here?) . . . and it also supports voice chats . . . (Even better!)

MeWe is just the thing the genealogy community needs – a protected place for networking, sharing resources, discussions and more. Take a look at WeMe (https://weme.com) and see if you don’t find it delightful alternative to Facebook.

PERSI and the Internet Archive

Did you know FindMyPast and the Internet Archive are collaborating to build a digital library of the publications that make up the PERSI collection? See for yourself!

PERSIarchive

At the moment there are 1,193 items in the collection posted at Internet Archive. The complete collection contains more than 2 million entries so it will be a continuing project. It’s also quite likely that Internet Archive has already digitized a number of PERSI publications from other sources.

If you aren’t already familiar with Internet Archive, you are missing an amazing resource for all kinds of historical publications ranging from books and periodicals to records. Even better, it costs you nothing to create an account and begin building your library of research resouces. Want to learn more? There are a number of articles on the Internet Archive here at the Gazette. Just type “Internet Archive” into the search box in the sidebar to display them.