Nevada Genealogy

When searching for Nevada genealogy information, there are a few central places you will want to have access to. Most state records are from around 1911 but you can also find a lot of archived material that is older than that if you know where to look.

Nevada Vital Records
The state collection of vital records (registrations of birthsdeaths and marriages) starts in 1911 and these files are available through the Office of Vital Records in Carson City. You can download the application forms from the Health and Human Services website, and just sent your request in by mail.

With birth records, you can make a request for any document provided you are a blood relative (even a distant one). Copies of birth records are not given to anyone who is not a relative. The same restrictions apply to death records in Nevada as well. There is a $20 fee to get either birth or death records for your Nevada genealogy purposes, so make sure to include that with your application form. Also with the application, you need to send in a photocopy of your personal photo ID.

If you are looking for these records from before 1911, then you want to check at the county level. The county clerk's offices often have older archives of records that you can make a request for.

The same goes for all marriage records. In Nevada, these are not held at the state level so you will have to inquire at the clerk's office in the county where the marriage took place. The fees for these records are only $10.

For any type of vital record, the fees are non-refundable. If they are unable to locate the records you want, you will get a notice saying so but you don't get your money back.

State Archives and Other Resources
Another spot for valuable Nevada genealogy research information is the Nevada State Archive. Not only do they have some collections of pre-1911 material, they also have considerable holdings that include many other documents of interest to a genealogist. The material at the State Archive focuses exclusively on records that were created through the government, so you won't find any personal documents there. The Archives are in Carson City, and they are open to the public for limited hours each weekday.

Outside of government-related material, you will want to get in touch with the Nevada Historical Society for further genealogical assistance. There is a public research room that is open in the afternoons for about half the week (check before you visit), and there are documents, manuscripts, letters and photographs from a large number of historical sources. Access is free but you will have to pay for photocopies of any documents you find.

Old newspaper archives and church records are two other sources for information. The above mentioned historical archives may have some of these records in their collection but you may also have to take the time to contact individual newspapers and churches to see what kinds of archives they have of their own.

Massachusetts Civil War Soldiers and Sailors, 1861-1865 Military Records

Explore this comprehensive resource with military service information for all men who served Massachusetts in the Civil War. You'll discover a brief history of an ancestor's military career; his occupation and age; rank and regiment; plus more.

Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

California Genealogy

The state began to keep their own collections of vital records in 1905 but many individual counties have material that is older than that. You can go back as far as 1824 if you are looking in Monterey County.

California Vital Records
There are no privacy restrictions or time limits when looking to get any kind of California birth or death records. Instead, they have a system with two types of records. The authorized copies are legal forms of identification, and the informational ones are not (generally ideal for California genealogy). Authorized copies are only given out to immediate relatives, and the informational one will be issued to anyone. So as long as you request the right type of document, there should be no problems.

Getting either copy means you have to send an application form either to the Vital Records branch of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in Sacramento, or at the local county clerk's office where the event took place. If you are getting an authorized copy, you will have to provide notarized proof of your own identity along with the forms. The fee for either a birth or death record is $16.

Getting copies of marriage and divorce records work the same way, with 2 kinds of available documents. You can order these from the CDPH but the cost for a copy of a marriage record is only $14. You can also get these documents from the local clerk's office for quicker service. Getting a marriage record from the Vital Records office can take months by mail.

State Archives Resources
California genealogy can go far beyond just getting copies of vital records. There are two good state resources that you should look into: the California State Archives and the California State Library. The first one is a government-based archive where you can find military recordscensus records, school registrations, wills, deeds, prison documents and more.

The State Library is where you need to go for other historical material. Their holdings include some census records, local county histories, newspaper archives, old maps and periodicals, photographs and more.

Both of these Sacramento facilities offer free research areas where you can browse their materials at no cost, and they are open during standard business hours through the week. Photocopying is usually for a small fee per page.

California Genealogy Groups
Another way to further your research is to join a group or society. There are many for the state of California, and almost every county has one of its own if you want to narrow your options. But the main large group is the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland. They maintain their own library of genealogical resources and have volunteers who can help you with lookups and references. Becoming a member would give you further access to their materials and also help you connect with other people doing research in California. Once you start sharing information, you can discover a great number of new leads.

Maryland and Delaware Revolutionary Patriots, 1775-1783 Military Records

Maryland and Delaware Revolutionary Patriots, 1775-1783 Military Records references approximately 104,000 individuals from Maryland and Delaware who contributed in some fashion as patriots to support the freedom of the American colonies from the rule of Great Britain.

Request a Free Lookup From This Database.


Your familial lineage can tell you a lot about who you are. Maybe your lineage will make you laugh, maybe it will make you cry, but regardless of who you are your lineage is important. Most people however feel that it takes too much time to dig out the 'fossils' of their lineage. 20 years ago, these people were right-genealogy did take too much time; but today with Internet access, and increased genealogical database capacity, the genealogy process is faster and easier. And with the help of, today, genealogy is for everyone.

OneGreatFamily is one of the most recommendable genealogy Websites because it allows you and other OneGreatFamily members to collaborate on their lineage in order to create one common pedigree chart. So not only are you contributing to the original online family tree, you also benefit from the efforts others who may be working on the same branches in your family tree.

Sit Back and Relax
OneGreatFamily automates its lineage search processes so that there is a continual search and sift through the millions of names in the OneGreatFamily database. This search and sift process reveals connections between the various members' contributions, while allowing you to sit back and relax.

A OneGreatFamily Scenario
Let's imagine for instance that you submit a few names from your pedigree chart to the OneGreatFamily database, and then sit back and relax as OneGreatFamily does the following:
  1. Searches through millions of names-- all of which have been submitted by OneGreatFamily members from over 80 countries worldwide.
  2. Locates names which are 'definitely' matches, or 'possibly' matches for your family tree. With OneGreatFamily you won't have to look through thousands of unrelated search results-all of OneGreatFamily's results are related to your family tree.
  3. Allows you to review and approve search results at your own convenience
  4. Allows you to view and edit your growing family tree at your own convenience
  5. Continually searches and sifts through new entries and merges them into your family tree upon your approval
OneGreatFamily Satisfaction
Many OneGreatFamily members-- after submitting their family tree information-- have been surprised to receive large amounts of information regarding various generations of their lineage.

Additional OneGreatFamily Benefits
In addition, OneGreatFamily allows you to do the following:

New York Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1840

The source documents reference approximately 162,000 individuals and cover almost the entire state of New York.

Books Included
- New York in the Revolution as Colony and State Volumes I and II
- Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution Volumes I and II
- Collections of the New York Historical Society for the Year 1914 Volumes I and II
- New York Revolutionary War Pensioners in the 1840 Census
- Hessian Troops in the American Revolution, Extracts from the Hetrina Volumes 1-6
- 1775 Articles of Association. Documented in Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Relating to the War of the Revolution, in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, New York, Volume I
- Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence 1775-1778, Volumes I and II
- Attendance record of German Camp Committee of Correspondence, 1775-1778. Documented in Settlers and Residents, Volume 3, Part 1, Town of Livingston, 1710-1899
- Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York, Albany County Sessions, 1778-1781, Volumes I, II, and Analytical Index
- The Balloting Book and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New York
- 1783 Land Confiscations of Loyalists - Columbia County, Saratoga County, Tryon County
- 1784 Forfeiture Sales of Mohawk Valley Land
- Columbia County Loyalists, 1777-1778
- Census of Suffolk County, 1776
- Claverack District, West 1779
- Claverack District, East 1779
- Tax Lists
- German Camp, 1779
- Kinderhook District, 1779
- Livingston Manor, 1779
- Saratoga District, 1779
- Schenectady District, 1779
- Palatine District, 1787
- Canajoharie District, 1788
- Caughnawauga District, 1788
- German Flats District, 1788
- Harpers Field District, 1788
- Mohawk District, 1788
- Old England District, 1788
- Palatine District, 1789
- Kings Land District, 1789

Veterans' Schedules: U.S. Selected States, 1890

Veteran's schedules were forms that the census takers had with them when they were taking the regular population count. In 1890, these extra veterans' schedules were meant only to record information about Union soldiers and their widows. However, many census takers also recorded information about Confederate soldiers, as well as soldiers who served in different wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. You should note that these veterans' schedules are often used as a partial substitute for the 1890 federal census, because the federal government's copy was destroyed by fire. Fragments of the 1890 census may exist in state and local repositories throughout the U.S., but they are difficult to locate and not complete. While not listing everyone who would have been included in the 1890 census, the veterans' schedules are a partial head-of-household list for those who were old enough to have served in the Union Army during the Civil War. States represented include AL, D.C. IL, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, and WY. In addition, there are a few records from the states of CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, MA, NY, OH, and PA.

Listings Include:- Individual's first and last name.
- State, county, and locality of residence at the time of the enumeration.
- National Archives Microfilm page number.

Pennsylvania German Church Records, 1729-1870

This collection is indispensable if you are interested in Pennsylvania German origins. Documenting births, baptisms, marriages, and burials, these records identify people and their relationships to one another - not only parents and children, husbands and wives, but witnesses and sponsors as well.

Listings Include:- Name of every person listed in the record
- Their relationship to the key person
- Role in the event
- Residence
- Dates of travel
- Date and place of event
- Volume and page number of the original record.

U.S. Seamen's Protection Certificates, 1792-1868

As a measure of protection for sailors, Seamen’s Certificates of Protection were issued beginning in the early 1800s. Declarations by witnesses of the seaman’s citizenship, and abstracts, registers, and indexes of applications for these certificates are contained in this database. The amount and type of record varies by individual port. Additional records in the database have information about merchant seamen crew lists and shipping articles. Similar to the applications for Seamen’s Certificates, these lists and shipping articles can note the date the seaman was signed to the crew; “paid” articles record the date and payment made when the seamen departed the vessel.

Ports included in this database:
  • Bath, Maine
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire

About Seamen’s Certificates of Protection
During the early 1800s, after the Colonies became the United States of America, it was common for the British to force into “impressments” (navy service without notice) any English-speaking sailors. This practice was one of the contributing factors to the War of 1812 between the United States and the British Empire; it also led to the creation of Seamen’s Protection Certificates which were meant to defend sailors. Although the practice of impressment ceased after about 1815, the certificates were still used as forms of identification throughout World War I.

While the abstracts of the applications in this database do not contain all the information that was listed on the applications (which were destroyed), they still contain a great deal of worthwhile genealogical data. Besides basic vital statistics, witness names are recorded such as relatives of the individual, shipmates, or female witnesses (possibly a seaman’s “wife” in that port); young applicants’ witnesses (as youthful as 12) were most often relatives. There are few actual Seaman’s Certificates in the records as they were issued to and belonged to the seaman, but naturalization information can be included. Often the seaman would apply for his certificate right after the time of his naturalization, in which case information like the court name and naturalization date is in the records.

Some of the above information was taken from:
  • Ruth Priest Dixon, “Genealogical Fallout from the War of 1812,”Prologue Magazine. The National Archives, Washington, D.C. (1992).
Arrangement of records:
Most of the records in this collection are on printed forms, but some are hand-written declarations. They are arranged by year and then number as assigned by the Collector; however, where numbers were not assigned they have been added, for clarity, by NARA. Usually the assigned numbers began anew with each calendar year, but some carried over, and there are also gaps in the declarations. Some proofs of citizenship include an Oath of Allegiance and sometimes the oath itself serves as the declaration. Earlier declarations were signed by a notary public or justice of the peace until 1836 when they were signed by the Collector of Customs.

Information in this database:
  • Assigned number
  • Name of seaman
  • Name of witness
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Residence at the time of declaration
  • Port and date of declaration
  • Physical description
The above information was taken from Proofs of Citizenship Used to Apply for Seamen's Protection Certificates at the Ports of Bath, Maine, 1833, 1836, 1839-50, 1853-65, 1867-68; and at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1857-58.NARA microfilm publication M1825, 3 rolls. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives, Washington, D.C. And Proofs of Citizenship Used To Apply For Seamen's Protection Certificates for the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana, 1800, 1802, 1804-1812, 1814-1816, 1818-1819, 1821, 1850-1851, 1855-1857. NARA microfilm publication M1826, 12 rolls. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives, Washington, D.C.. And Proofs of Citizenship Used to Apply for Seamen's Certificates for the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1792-1861. Microfilm, M1880, 61 rolls. Records of the U.S. Custom Service, Record Group 36. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Start your search by click here. 

Church Records: Adams, Berks, and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania, 1729-1881

Church records such as those included here are among the best sources for information on births, marriages, and deaths for the period of time before widespread civil registration of vital statistics. This database contains information on approximately 180,000 individuals mentioned in abstracts of baptisms, births, marriages, and deaths from the registers of more than fifty local Pennsylvania churches. The information was extracted from microfilm records of transcriptions of the original records.

Each unique event documented in this database was assigned a unique "Record ID"; every individual associated with the event shares its unique Record ID. With this record ID, you can quickly identify all of the individuals involved in a particular baptism, birth, marriage, or dearth.

Listings Include:- Name of every person listed in the record
- Their relationship to the key person
- Role in the event
- Residence
- Dates of travel
- Date and place of event
- Volume and page number of the original record

The Year Was 1907

The year was 1907 and in Belfast, Ireland, Protestant and Catholic dockworkers set aside their differences for a short time to unite in a four-month strike for better wages, better working conditions, and union recognition.

In Romania, a growing economy was making the rich richer, but peasants, who had very little representation in the government were still struggling and they revolted, destroying the homes and crops of the wealthy. The Romanian Army was called in and the revolt ended with the deaths of an estimated 10,000 peasants.

October brought with it the Panic of 1907 in New York. Rampant speculation and a faltering economy brought a "run" on several large trust companies with scared depositors withdrawing their funds. J.P. Morgan and several other leading Wall Street financiers were called in by President Theodore Roosevelt to turn things around. Working with the government, they put together a plan where $25 million dollars from the U.S. Treasury was invested in the neediest banks to prevent future runs on the institutions. Many financial historians attribute the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to the Panic of 1907.

On November 16, Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory joined together to become the 46th U.S. state. The state had grown with western expansion and demand for the rich lands led to six land runs between 1889 and 1895. That and the discovery of oil in the state helped boost the population to the necessary levels to achieve statehood.
There were several notable disasters, the worst of which was a plague in India. A plague pandemic had begun in Asia in 1894 and rats aboard steamships spread the disease around the world. In India the disease killed an estimated 13 million people.

Earlier that year, an earthquake ravaged the city of Kingston, Jamaica. Fires soon began that would burn for four days. The death toll from the earthquake was nearly 800 and the devastation was extensive. Most of the dead did not receive proper burials, but were cremated or buried in mass graves for fear of disease.

In 1907, the Lusitania, the largest steamship in the world, departed Queenstown, Ireland, on its maiden voyage to New York. On a later voyage in October, it would set a record by making the trip in four days, nineteen hours, and fifty-two minutes. In November it was eclipsed by its sister ship, the Mauretania, and in May 1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland and sank killing 1,198 people. Photos of the voyage can be found at

Another innovation from that year came out of Hershey, Pennsylvania, in the form of the Hershey Kiss. The Hershey website theorizes that the name came from the "sound or motion of the chocolate being deposited during the manufacturing process."...

Virginia in the Revolution and War of 1812 Military Records

The records collected within these eleven books were extracted from sources ranging from local court houses to national archives. Original sources include bounty land applications, militia rosters, pension applications, muster and pay rolls, depositions, petitions, militia lists, orderly books, and service records.

Among the unique resources collected here, you'll find one of the most ambitious collections of Revolutionary War source materials ever published (Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh's Revolutionary War Records: Virginia) along with information on all regiment members who served under George Washington. In addition, you'll find record of all Virginia soldiers and sailors who received land warrants in present-day Kentucky.

Connecticut Officers and Soldiers, 1700s-1800s Military Records

Reach further into your family tree's Connecticut branches! This unique and comprehensive collection of Connecticut military records from the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War references approximately 167,000 individuals.

Books Included
- Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French and Indian War, 1755-1762 (Two Volumes)
- Connecticut Revolutionary Pensioners
- Connecticut Society Daughters of the American Revolution
- The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution, 1775-1783
- Supplement to the 'The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution, 1775-1783'
- Volume I: Rolls and Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, 1775-1783.
- Volume II: Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, 1775-1783

Irish Genealogy: Hidden Gems in the Emerald Isle

It’s estimated that nearly forty million Americans descend from the Emerald Isle, making Irish genealogy a popular hobby nationwide. But given Ireland’s somewhat tragic history – famine, civil war, and a devastating fire – you’re lucky to find many surviving records with which to start your research. Still, you can trace your roots back to Ireland with some basic knowledge of the resources that do exist. We’ve listed five of those resources below...

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American Indian Ancestry (Family History Basics)

A source of tremendous personal pride, American Indian ancestry is touted (sometimes falsely) by nearly every citizen of this nation. Fortunately, American Indians are among the best-documented cultural groups in the United States, making it possible to prove direct ties to one of more than 500 tribal nations. Just be aware that American Indian genealogy can, at first, involve a lot of guesswork.

Which are the best resources? 
Where should one begin?

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Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?

The Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers, 2011.
Salt Pond, Cape Cod National Seashore. Courtesy of the
Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers
In thinking about my earliest memories of elementary school, I remember being asked to bring a brown paper sack to class so that it could be decorated and worn as part of the Indian costume used to celebrate Thanksgiving. I was also instructed to make a less-than-authentic headband with Indian designs and feathers to complete this outfit. Looking back, I now know this was wrong... Read More

Military Records: Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865

This database contains the complete index of the National Archives microfilm roll number M918, Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens Who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North 1861-1865. The collection includes the names of approximately 25,000 individuals.

After the Civil War, federal law did not provide for the burial or marking of graves for Confederate soldiers who died in the North. At the turn of the century, however, Confederate veterans' groups convinced the government to pass a statute that provided for the appropriate marking of these graves. As part of the project, the government compiled the 665-page register.

Listings Include:- Individual's First and Last Name.
- Location of Death or Burial.
- The National Archives Page Number.

Free Ancestral Chart

Free Ancestral Chart An ancestor chart records the ancestors from whom you directly descend--those for whom you intend to compile a complete and correct family unit. It shows at a glance the progress you have made towards this goal and what remains to be done.

Download Chart

Canadian Genealogy Index, 600s-1900s

This database contains over two million records referencing individuals from all regions of Canada, as well as early Alaska. The vast majority of the records fall between 1600 and 1984, although some records date before the 1500s. Gathered over twenty years of research from over one thousand different sources (including city directories, marriage records, birth records, land records, census records, and more) this collection of names represents one of the largest indexes to historical Canadian records available.

Listings Include:
- Individual's name
- Type of event (married, living, born, etc.).
- Date and location of event.
- Province and county associated with the original record.
- Source and page number where you can find the original record.

Census Index: Ontario, Canada, 1871

This database contains indexes to approximately 375,000 records from the 1871 census of Ontario, Canada. This database indexes heads of household as well as individuals who had different last names than the head of household.

Listings Include:- Individual's first and last name.
- Soundex code
- Sex and age of the individual.
- Birthplace
- Ethnic origin
- Religious affiliation
- District, sub-district, and division.
- National Archives of Canada microfilm roll and page number.

Social Security Death Benefit Records Index

This Index is one of the most important research tools available for verifying deaths and death locations. As such, it can serve as the foundation to your family history research. You can search 62 million individuals for the following information: name, birth date, death date, last known residence, and more...

Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

Finding Married Names

by Juliana Smith

Last week, we talked about finding maiden names for the women in our families. However discovering the married names of women who suddenly disappear from family records is every bit as challenging. As she marries and moves away from the family, a woman's identity is disguised under husband's surname. If she was married more than once, the puzzle is all the more complicated. And by the way, it's sometimes easy to forget that older generations of widowed and divorced women did marry more than once. Don't give up hope. There are some surprisingly good places where you can find married names.

Home sources. If you're working with relatively recent generations, ask family members what they know. Pore over old correspondence, photographs, or other memorabilia for clues. Overlooked clues can sometimes jump off the pages of old family address books.

Sponsors, witnesses, and family associates. Just as in the search for maiden names, check out those names that keep popping up in records as witnesses, sponsors, neighbors, and business associates. Ethnic communities were often close-knit groups, full of extended family. In some cases you may find multiple siblings marrying into the same family. Also look at the names of informants on the death records of other family members. You may find that the woman you're seeking provided the information for the death record.

Court records. Be sure to seek out probate records on all family members, especially probate records that include the names and relationships of living and dead family members, including married names of female siblings or offspring.

Newspapers. Traditionally, obituaries are the richest source of biographical information in any newspaper. Don't forget to search for all family members. They can be one of the best ways of finding those elusive married names of female relatives. While the obituary section is naturally the first place a family historian searches, other sections of the newspaper - especially old newspapers - can yield some surprising details. Engagements and marriage announcements were important popular features in hometown papers, and you will find them to be great places to find for maiden names and married names. Social pages often recount the comings and goings of visiting family members and are a wonderful source for married names.

Use technology. These days, we have some powerful tools at our disposal in the form of searchable electronic databases. Try searching, using just a given name, and then include information like place of birth and birth date, relationship (wife), race, residence, and any other fields available for that particular database in order to narrow your search to a few candidates. Then do a little digging on those that closely match what you know and see if you can find a connection.

Do thorough census searches. Seek the census records for all family members and don't forget to search forward. Sometimes we find the siblings or parents of our ancestors in census records and continue backward, without remembering to search forward too. You may find a widowed sister living with a brother or moving back in with parents later in life. Beginning in 1880, U.S. Censuses will list the relationship to the head of household and are a huge help in locating women who moved in with family under their maiden names...

Pilgrim Genealogies and Histories, 1600s-1900s

Mayflower pilgrims are America's most famous immigrants, but what do you really know about them? Here's a great resource to help you discover the stories and timelines behind the mystique. Comprehensive in its coverage of early New England settlers, this expertly sourced database includes a wide variety of details on the lives of Pilgrims and their descendants in the New World, including approximately 248,000 individuals...

Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

This holiday season, give the gift of family.

You don’t have to be the jolly guy in red to be a master gift giver. Just get someone special an Gift Membership, and you’ll give them something truly magical – a way to discover their family story. They’re easy to give and easy to use.

Making the Most of Holiday Opportunities

Copies of family photographs in protective sleeves. Check.

Laptop with family history data. Check.

Digital recorder for taping the family sharing memories. Check.

Interrogation lamp so we can finally get Aunt Delilah to crack and spill those family secrets. Check.

OK, maybe that last one’s going a bit too far, but when you’re the family historian, your pre-holiday checklist is probably going to be a little different than that of others. You know that family get-togethers are the best place to find answers to your family history mysteries.

Whether you are planning on conducting formal interviews or just a little discreet prying, a little pre-planning can go a long way. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time with family...

Ohio Census, 1880 Index

This database contains approximately 800,000 records from 87 counties in the state of Ohio. It was prepared by the Ohio Genealogical Society and represents all the Ohio counties that existed in 1880.

This publication of the Index to the 1880 Federal Population Census for the State of Ohio by the Ohio Genealogical Society is the result of thousands of volunteers hours -- not only by members and friends in Ohio, but out-of-state members as well.

The population of the United States more than tripled between 1850 and 1900 making the indexing of censuses for the last half of the 19th century a monumental undertaking.

The Importance of Birth Order

The study of family history invariably takes us into the details of family units. While a pedigree chart reflects the line of ascent or descent in the family hierarchy, a family group sheet presents a picture of the structure of a family unit and gives details about the family members. It is important to examine that structure carefully because the birth order of the children can be very revealing.

In "Along Those Lines . . . " this week, let's discuss some of the reasons that the "accident of birth order" can influence family events and can provide clues to genealogical records.

Birth Sequence Matters!
A child's place in the family hierarchy is important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the records left behind to assist your research. Some researchers concentrate their investigative efforts on nailing down vital dates for only direct ancestors. But ignoring your ancestors' brothers and sisters can be a costly omission. Birth order is important.

Family structures have changed over the centuries. Couples typically produced more children in earlier times than they do today. Above and beyond the joys of a large family, there were practical matters to consider. The offspring of families with farms or small businesses became members of the family workforce—cheap labor contributing to the family's economic success and security. They also married, producing alliances with other families and perhaps bringing additional resources into the family. And of course, they produced additional families of their own.

As you compile family records, you should focus your attention on the details of all members of the family group. Here are a few reasons why birth order can be important to your research...

Identifying the Immigrant

The likelihood of tracing individuals and families successfully is greatly enhanced if the work is begun by making every effort to learn everything possible about the immigrant or family using U.S. record sources. An immediate concern should be to learn the full name of the immigrant and the names of as many other family members as possible. It is sometimes necessary to trace the lives of all the person's children in order to obtain the critical clues that will tell exactly where the immigrant was born.

Biographical Information
To clearly identify an immigrant in records of the country from which the person came, you must know...

Clues in Marriage Records

Marriages can be cause for great joy and celebration within families because the binding of two families together provides the opportunity for closer familial ties and, in some cases, the combining of family fortunes. From a genealogist's perspective, a marriage is another life event at which documents are created. However, few researchers really examine the marriage documents and use them as clues to locate other records. In "Along Those Lines . . ." this week, let's look at the clues waiting to be found in marriage records.

Types of Marriage Documents
There are several types of documents that may have been generated by the announcement and consecration of a marriage. These may include an engagement announcement published in a newspaper, a pronouncement of marriage banns, the issuance of a marriage license, the recording of the bride and groom in a county marriage ledger, a marriage certificate, the recording of the event in the records of a religious institution, and a newspaper marriage announcement. All of these provide opportunities for vital information to be recorded for posterity. Let's look at the types of information each of these records might include...

Everton's Computerized "Roots" Cellar, 1640-1990 Family Queries

Family queries, such as those collected here, are useful because they help coordinate the efforts of family history researchers seeking information on the same family lines. Generally, when you find an ancestor in this data set you'll learn their birth date and location, death date and location, and residence. You'll also find out the name of the family history researcher who contributed the query. By getting in touch with that person, you may be able to combine efforts and learn even more detailed family history information...

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Real Clues in Death Events

At no other time in our ancestors' lives is the potential for record generation as high as at the time of death. This makes our ancestors' death events extremely significant in the family history research processes. Indeed, while we are certainly saddened when we lose someone close to us, we should be quite genealogically satisfied when we uncover a death date and location of an ancestor.

There are several reasons why the death event is important in an ancestor's life and they all have to do with the creation of records. In the following paragraphs, we will explore the documents created at the time of death and shortly thereafter-documents which evidence how the person's body is handled, as well as the manner in which the person's personal items and real estate are disposed. We will also consider where these records are housed and how one might develop research strategies for locating them...

Tracking Hispanic Family History

Hispanic immigration to the United States has been much more extensive than is generally recognized. Spaniards settled the Caribbean islands and Mexico more than a century before the English settled Jamestown in 1607. The earliest Hispanic settlers within the area of the United States were those who settled Saint Augustine, Florida, on the eastern end of the continent in 1565 and New Mexico, on the western end, in 1598. The Spanish colonial period represents only the beginning.

Immigration continues to this day as hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, Central Americans, and South Americans, as well as Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and others from the Caribbean islands continue to come to the United States. Many of them could ultimately trace their roots through those American countries to Spain. Others would find that their roots beyond those countries are not Spanish but Native American, French, German, Eastern European, Italian, African, and Portuguese. For just as the United States has been a melting pot, so have been the countries of Central and South America.

Before the end of the colonial period (around 1820), an estimated 12 million Spaniards emigrated, primarily to Mexico and Central and South America. The immigration that followed in the next century, however, was considerably greater. Of a total of 54 million people who emigrated from Europe to the American continents between 1820 and 1920, 20 million went to Latin America-primarily to Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Uruguay. Large numbers of them came from Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The flow of immigration did not stop with the Great Depression. From 1946 to 1957, 1.75 million immigrants traveled to Latin America, primarily from Italy and Spain. Spanish immigration was not, of course, entirely to Latin America. Many Spanish, among them large numbers of Galicians, Basques, and Andalucians, went directly to the United States. Still others never reached the Americas and found themselves settling in Australia...

Birth Record Index: United States/Europe, 900-1880

Over 1.8 million individuals have been located on these databases that contain both a birth year and location. Records that did not have at both a year and location were omitted from the compilation. Records with a birth year after 1880 were also omitted.

The records that were extracted include the Social Security Death Records Index (110), the Mortality Schedules (164), The lineage linked databases of 100, 101 and 102,plus the Salt Lake City Cemetery records (168). The Census index databases were not used as there was not birth information within the indexed record.

In the case of the Mortality Schedules, the birth year was estimated based upon the age in the year of death.

Native American Data

Native American genealogical research is among the most challenging and rewarding of historical research endeavors. Interest in the life patterns, religions, migration and settlement patterns—indeed, in the entire culture of these earliest inhabitants of the North American continent-remains high. There are numerous fundamental differences between the Native American and the European American cultures, and it is these differences that present the greatest challenge to the genealogist....

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Everton's Computerized Family File, Volume 4, 1400s-present Family Pedigrees

Family group sheets, such as those collected in this database, are among the most useful types of records because they compile information on entire families. Unlike previous publications of Everton's Computerized Family File, which included just a name index, this database includes an index as well as images of the actual family group sheets.

Combined, these family group sheets provide information on approximately 389,000 individuals from all fifty United States and around the world (including Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Prussia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland).

Everton's Computerized Family File, Vols. 2 & 3, 1400s-present Family Pedigrees

Family group sheets, such as those collected in this database, are among the most useful types of records because they compile information on entire families. Unlike previous publications of Everton's Computerized Family File, which included just a name index, this database includes an index as well as images of the actual family group sheets.

Combined, these family group sheets provide information on approximately 389,000 individuals from all fifty United States and around the world (including Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Prussia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland)...

Everton's Family File Vol. 1 1400-Present

Family group sheets, such as those collected in this database, are among the most useful types of records because they compile information on entire families. Unlike previous publications of Everton's Computerized Family File, which included just a name index, this database includes an index as well as images of the actual family group sheets.

Combined, these family group sheets provide information on approximately 389,000 individuals from all fifty United States and around the world (including Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Prussia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland).

Vital Records: New Netherland, 1600s

This data represents over 1,793 families in the present area of New York and New Jersey, as well as parts of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Spanning 1613 to 1674, this is rich and detailed family pedigree information. Because so few American records are available from this time period, the data takes on heightened significance. Given that these records start so early in American history and are quite thorough, a large portion of United States residents will have at least one ancestor in this group.

Each page of this database shows a separate lineage with family names, head of family with personal data, a three generation genealogy, and a list of reference sources. The pedigrees are clearly well-documented and provide information on births, deaths, and marriages.

Ten Steps to Recording Your Personal History

As family historians, we often forget that we are an important part of our family's history. It should be easy to write our own life story, since we know more about ourselves than anyone else, but we still tend to put it off. Here are a few ideas to help get your personal history project off the ground.

1. Schedule some "me" time.
With today's busy schedules, we often find ourselves rushing from one task to the next, with little time for ourselves. By scheduling a little time to record your personal history, you are allowing time for yourself to reflect on the day and on your life as a whole; this can often be very therapeutic. It can be whenever is most convenient for you—after a hectic day, before the morning rush, or while your spouse is watching a TV show you despise.

2. Make it convenient.
By choosing a method that is convenient, you will be more likely to follow through. If you are more comfortable in front of the computer, create a file for your journal there. You can choose your own platform—from specialized software to a basic word-processing document. If you are more comfortable with a journal and pen, find one that you can take with you anywhere. You can fill it out while you are on a swing in the garden, in a doctor's waiting room, on break or lunch at work, in bed, on an exercise bike, on a bus, train, or plane, or even in a car (preferably not while driving though!)...

Family History Made Easy: Step by Step

The basics of family history research couldn't be made simpler than with this continuing series of beginning genealogy steps from Ancestry Magazine. Learn everything from starting with home sources to choosing the best federal and state sources to accomplish your research.

Authors Terry and Jim Willard, hosts of the first ten-part PBS "Ancestors" series, bring years of genealogical research experience to play throughout the series. Follow along as they explain the methods of family history research so that you can learn new skills or improve your established research methods...

History and Your Family History, Part 1

One of the best ways to break down those brick walls in our research is to try to place yourself in your ancestors shoes. To do this you need to learn a little about the times and places in which your ancestors lived. By doing a little extra digging, you can form a clearer picture of your ancestors’ lives, and you can pick up valuable clues that will help you to further your research.

A great place to start is with the information you have. Put all of your family correspondence, diary entries, and even family stories into a timeline format for your ancestor. Remember to keep family stories in perspective, as they have often been exaggerated and may have no basis in fact. (However, once more information has been collected and assembled, you may be able to substantiate part or all of a family tale.)

What if you don’t have any family correspondence, diaries, or family stories to assemble? Fear not, there are still other avenues open to you. Well known events like a war, the Irish potato famine, the Dust Bowl, a gold rush, or the Great Depression may have had significant effects on your ancestor’s life. Fill your timeline in with events that may have had bearing on his life. Compare the dates and events and look for clues. Did he disappear for a while, possibly during a war? Or maybe he went west in search of gold?

Marriage Index: Arkansas, 1779-1992

This database contains indexes to marriage records for selected counties and years from 19 counties in the state of Arkansas. The total number of records is approximately 154,000. Records indexed may not be comprehensive for the time and region covered...

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Newspaper Records of Passengers to Canada

There is a well-known dearth of early lists of ship passengers who arrived at ports in what is now the Dominion of Canada. The continuous "official" lists for Quebec City begin in 1865, and those for Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, begin in 1880 and 1900, respectively. Earlier surviving passenger manifests for these ports are incomplete for most years. Because of this void, alternative contemporary sources of names of arriving passengers are all the more genealogically significant. Fortunately, many of the early newspapers of the ports of arrival in British North America have survived. These newspapers record the names of some passengers (albeit only a small fraction of the total). Two of the most informative sources of names of steerage passengers in these newspapers are passengers' testimonials and survivor lists...

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Marriage Index: MD, NC, and VA, 1624-1915

This database contains indexes to marriage records for selected counties and years from 179 counties in three states: Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. There is also one collection from the Maryland Historical Society (for Maryland), and from W.M.C. (for North Carolina). Records total approximately 249,500. They begin as early as 1624 and continue to the early 1900s. Records indexed may not be comprehensive for the time and region covered...

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Marriage Index: AL, GA, SC, 1641-1944

This database contains indexes to marriage records for selected counties and years from 114 counties in Alabama and Georgia. County records were not used for South Carolina; instead, other sources containing marriage records were compiled. Records total approximately 190,000. They begin as early as 1641 and continue to the mid-1900s. Records indexed may not be comprehensive for the time and region covered...

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Locating and Using Religious Records for Family History

Religious records are often overlooked as a family history resource, and in doing so we may be cheating ourselves out of some great information and new leads. As if the information contained in them were not enough, these records in some cases predate civil records. While the types of records available vary from religion to religion and even from church to church, the baptismal or christening, confirmation, marriage, death registers, membership, and other records of the church are often among the most valuable to be found in family history research.

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Marriage Index: IL, IN, KY, OH, and TN, 1720-1926

This database contains indexes to marriage records for selected years from 221 selected counties in five states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. There are approximately 369,000 records dating from as early as 1720 and continuing to the early 1900s. Records indexed may not be comprehensive for the time and region covered... Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

Marriage Index: Louisiana, 1718-1925

This database contains indexes to approximately 285,000 marriage records from 58 selected parishes (counties) in Louisiana. Records begin as early as 1718 in St. Helens Parish. There are no records for any parishes for the years 1719-1727 and 1729-1733. After 1734, there is a general increase in records throughout the state, and the collection continues into the mid-1900s. Most of these records were compiled from courthouse marriage records. Records indexed may not be comprehensive for the time and region covered... Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

Genealogical Records: Irish Source Records, 1500s-1800s

The information collected here is especially valuable since nearly all of Ireland's pre-1901 census records were lost in a 1922 fire at the Public Records Office in Dublin. This database includes extensively researched reconstructions of the 1841 and 1851 censuses as well as transcriptions of the surviving 1851 census fragments for County Cork. In addition, you'll find record of wills that were abstracted or copied before the fire...

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