Maryland Probate Records, 1674-1774

This database is a comprehensive index of more than 600,000 individuals who were referenced in one of four collections of Maryland wills and probate records. The wills, inventories, and accounts referenced by these images will provide you with valuable insight into the lives of your Maryland ancestors. If you find an ancestor listed in an abstract, you will also find all of the information you need to track down the original record quickly and easily...

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Virginia Family Histories #4, 1600s-1800s

This database contains seventeen volumes of Virginia genealogies and family histories. Originally published by a variety of entities, these books contain information about approximately 212,000 individuals. The Virginia resources include vestry books, family histories, vital records, and historical accounts of the colonization of Virginia and its counties...

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The Ontario Register, 1780s-1870s

This extensive collection of genealogical records, which includes vital records as well as family histories, contains a wealth of information about residents of Canada and their descendants. While most of the 244,000 individuals listed are from Canada, some are from the United States.
  • Death Notices of Ontario
  • Directory of the Province of Ontario, 1857 with a Gazetteer
  • The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists of Upper Canada
  • Marriage Bonds of Ontario, 1803-1834
  • Marriage Notices of Ontario
  • The Old United Empire Loyalists List
  • Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United Empire Loyalists and other Pioneer Families of Upper Canada, Volumes 1 and 2
  • Ontario Marriage Notices
  • The Ontario Register, Volumes 1-8
What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the record. However, in this collection you will find records ranging from baptismal, marriage, and death records to cemetery inscriptions and deeds of note...

The Complete Mayflower Descendant and Other Sources, 1600s-1800s

This database is the only electronic publication of the entire forty-six volumes of The Mayflower Descendant authorized by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants. Combined, the works on this database reference the names of approximately 200,000 individuals. While the majority of the records date from the 1600s through the 1800s, a number of references date back as far as the 1400s and some date well into the first half of the 1900s...

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How to Uncover French Heritage With Surnames

French surnames generally have a few different types of origins. Here are a few ways to find the meanings of French surnames...

Click Here to watch the video.

Check out our more Genealogy Tips at Free Genealogy Helps and Free Genealogy Lookups.

Library Resources: U.S./Canada Surname Folder Index

This database provides unprecedented access to an index of over 100,000 unique surnames. The information indexed was originally collected in surname folders at local libraries, historical societies, and genealogical organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Because the surname resources were collected locally, availability of this information has not previously been widespread. When you find a surname listed in this Family Archive, you will learn the name and address of the facility to contact for access to more information about that surname. The contents of the indexed surname folders range from one-of-a-kind family histories to newspaper obituaries, military records, and even correspondence.

  • Surname: The surname that is the focus of the surname folder found in a library or repository.

  • Repository: The name of the organization or repository you should contact for more information about the surname you are researching. You can either visit the repository listed, or it may be more convenient to simply write for more information. Since this information was compiled over 20 years, some addresses may have changed. You may wish to confirm the address (perhaps at a local library or on the World Wide Web) before visiting or writing the organization or repository.

  • State/Province: The state or province in which you can find the repository or organization that holds information on the surname you are researching.
  • The Compendium of American Genealogy, 1600s-1800s

    Over 288,000 individuals and provide broad coverage of who's who in early America. The materials date from the pre-1600s to the 1800s and cover the entire United States.

    While not all families are represented, almost every name distinguished in early America will be found in the Compendium. The Compendium was compiled largely from lineage records and manuscript genealogies submitted by individuals selected for inclusion, many of which were illustrated with photographs, portraits, and coats of arms.

    Census Index: Ireland, 1831-1841

    Over forty million Americans now have Irish ancestry. A remarkable aid for painting a complete genealogical picture of families with Irish heritage, this data set indexes approximately 77,047 records from two Irish counties:

    • Londonderry: 62,921 records from 1831
    • Cavan: 14,126 records from 1841

    Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892 - 1924)

    Historical Context: Prior to 1890, the individual states (rather than the Federal government) regulated immigration into the United States. Castle Garden in the Battery (originally known as Castle Clinton) served as the New York State immigration station from 1855 to 1890 and approximately eight million immigrants, mostly from Northern and Western Europe, passed through its doors. These early immigrants came from nations such as England, Ireland, Germany and the Scandinavian countries and constituted the first large wave of immigrants that settled and populated the United States. Throughout the 1800's and intensifying in the latter half of the 19th century, ensuing political instability, restrictive religious laws and deteriorating economic conditions in Europe began to fuel the largest mass human migration in the history of the world. It soon became apparent that Castle Garden was ill-equipped and unprepared to handle the growing numbers of immigrants arriving yearly. Unfortunately compounding the problems of the small facility were the corruption and incompetence found to be commonplace at Castle Garden. From

    Questions Asked:
    Given Name
    Approximate Year of Birth
    Date of Arrival
    Age of Arrival

    Why This database is Valuable: The Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records contains details for more than 24 million passengers and crew who arrived through the Port of New York at Ellis Island between January 1, 1892 and December 31, 1924. This index is provided in cooperation with FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and contains passenger name, residence, year of arrival, and age on arrival. More complete records available on also provide: ethnicity, exact date of arrival, gender, marital status, name of ship, and port of departure. The site also provides digital images of passenger ships and original passenger manifests which include even more details for each passenger - their final destination in America , physical conditions, education and more. You can also learn about the Ellis Island Immigration Experience.

    Next Steps: Depending upon the year that a passenger came into the United States, their previous residence is often listed giving an instant location of where to check for records going back years. A good way of checking on the location in question is to first try Googling the location to make sure that it is spelled correctly, and then search for a gazetteer to make sure that you have the full government administrative divisions for the place in question. This will help when searching for documents on the Family History Library Catalog's Place Search option. If the location is found (likely), then there could be any sort of pertinent data for the person in question and/or for their family. For an example, Slovakia during the 1890's was part of Hungary and all Hungarian vital records up through the early 20th century have been microfilmed by FamilySearch (formerly GSU) and there are new announcements concerning partnerships between FamilySearch and many societies and locations worldwide. Though the current chance that there will be information on family members via films of the FHL, there is an even greater chance as time goes by and partnerships enfold.

    The Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records contains details for more than 24 million passengers and crew who arrived through the Port of New York at Ellis Island between January 1, 1892 and December 31, 1924. This index is provided in cooperation with FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and contains passenger name, residence, year of arrival, and age on arrival. More complete records available on also provide: ethnicity, exact date of arrival, gender, marital status, name of ship, and port of departure. The site also provides digital images of passenger ships and original passenger manifests which include even more details for each passenger - their final destination in America , physical conditions, education and more. You can also learn about the Ellis Island Immigration Experience... Browse Database

    Find A Grave

    Gravestone, Tombstone, and Memorial Photo Collection

    Historical Context: Who is behind Find A Grave? Well, first of all, you are. Thousands of contributors submit new listings, updates, corrections, photographs and virtual flowers every hour. The site simply wouldn't exist without the 200,000+ contributors. When it comes to administrating, building and maintaining the site, Find A Grave is largely operated by its founder, Jim Tipton.

    Jim created the Find A Grave website in 1995 because he could not find an existing site that catered to his hobby of visiting the graves of famous people. He found that there are many thousands of folks around the world who share his interests. What began as an odd hobby became a livelihood and a passion. Building and seeing Find A Grave grow beyond his wildest expectations has been immensely satisfying for Jim. Every day, contributors from around the world enter new records, thousands use the site as an educational reference tool, long-lost loved ones are located and millions of lives are fondly remembered. In what other line of work would Jim have met one of the last living Munchkins, spoken to a gathering of grave enthusiasts in a Hollywood mausoleum and acquired treasures like his antique coffin screwdriver (it only screws in)?

    Questions Asked:
    Given Name
    Birth Date
    Death Date
    Photo (if applicable)

    Why This Database is Valuable: When searching for departed relatives, often a researcher has no idea where to look for information past the SSDI. Further, for anyone who died before the 1960's, the SSDI does not help. A good way to make sure of Find A Grave is to search for a particular relative and then to see whether or not that relative is on the list. With almost 42 million people in this database, there is a good chance of finding the relative you seek... Browse Database

    Check out our more Genealogy Tips at Free Genealogy Helps and Free Genealogy Lookups.

    Newspaper Genealogy

    Throughout American history, there have been several historical events that stand out, in particular: World War 2, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, just to name a few. All of these events have been preserved in various newspapers around the country, images of which can now be found scanned online.

    Archives has a collection of nearly 120 million newspaper images for members to browse through, where one can find more detailed documentation of many of America's prominent historical events. You can read more about some of these events on Archives.

    Birth Index: Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1680-1800

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    This database lists approximately 476,000 individuals who either resided in or were born in Southeastern Pennsylvania before 1800. This comprehensive index identifies fathers, mothers and children in a region that is genealogically significant for Americans with eighteenth-century European or United States ancestry. These records, found in 213 church, meeting, and pastoral records and compiled by John T. Humphrey, were originally published in a thirteen-volume set entitled Pennsylvania Births...

    Family Tree Guide

    Would you like to start researching your family history and building a family tree, but are not sure where to begin? Learn all about familytrees--everything from researching and building to finding additional resources and getting the kids involved.

    Starting your family tree all begins with questions: what is a family tree? Who is in my family tree? From there, it's research, research, and more research! This can often be the most time consuming, but most rewarding element of building your own family tree. It can be difficult to find all the records of ancestors you need, but we have a couple tips to help you along the way. Who knows? You might even find an ancestor of yours that you were previously unaware of!

    The next steps involve putting the family tree together. What style of family tree should you use, and where can you find templates? There are several different versions and styles of a family tree, but they all convey the same story of your lineage and heritage.

    Lastly, learn about all the family tree-making resources you have at your fingertips, and learn how to get your children and grandchildren involved in family history research! Children are truly the future, so it's important to educate them about your own family history, so they can continue to carry on the tradition and family tree for generations to come.

    Our family tree "guide book" is intended to provide you with a basic outline of how to begin your family history research and start building your family tree. Begin your journey here:

    Maryland Marriages and Genealogies, 1634-1820

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    Here you'll find six volumes of comprehensive Maryland family histories and marriages. Three of the volumes contain detailed family histories, some gleaned from the Maryland Historical Magazine, while the rest contain listings of Maryland marriages.

    Massachusetts & Maine Family Histories, 1650s-1930s

    This database contains pages from Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy and Massachusetts and Maine Families. These volumes contain information about approximately 77,000 individuals. Since relatively few Cape Cod records have survived, the 108 histories and essays collected in Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy are valuable resources. They can provide a better understanding of the period in which your ancestors lived. Massachusetts and Maine Families documents the complete ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis. Almost anyone with considerable New England ancestry will descend from one or more of the 180 families included in this database.

    What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the original article. These records may provide you with information such as the dates of birth, marriage, and death, will information, description of property, and occupation. Some articles include handwriting samples and photographs.

    Pennsylvania, 1740-1900 County and Family Histories

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    This database is unique because it provides not only family histories but county histories as well. You can learn, for example, not only that your ancestor was married in Butler County in 1800 but what Butler County was like in 1800. With this information you are able to gain a more complete understanding of your ancestors and the times and locations in which they lived.

    The Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, 1740-1930

    This data collection contains page images of all six volumes of the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. This is an especially valuable resource -- almost half of all persons who can trace their American ancestry prior to 1850 have Quaker ancestors. Approximately 455,000 Quakers who resided in New Jersey, New York, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are referenced within these pages.

    These six volumes were compiled by William Wade Hinshaw from monthly meeting records and are among the most important works on Quaker genealogy ever published. According to the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, these volumes represent "One of the indisputably great moments of genealogical research in the twentieth century." (Volume XXXVIII, Number 2, June 1950).

    The information contained in these volumes is of great importance because Quakers did not have their vital statistics recorded in civil offices prior to 1850. The records kept by Friends Monthly Meetings during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries usually consisted of births, deaths, marriages, and, of great importance, certificates of removal for Society of Friends members who relocated from one meeting to another.

    Southern Genealogies #1, 1600s-1800s

    The six volumes that make up Notable Southern Families are among the best known works on Southern genealogy ever published. Begun in 1918 and completed in 1932, Notable Southern Families is a collection of family histories that include thousands of individuals of Cavalier, Scotch-Irish, and Huguenot heritage. Compiled by Zella Armstrong, most of the family histories trace lineage to the author of the genealogy.

    Historical Southern Families contains genealogies that cover a broad spectrum of Southern genealogy. Each volume in the series, compiled by John Bennett Boddie, contains a number of lineages that run from a few pages each to several hundred.

    Depending on the original genealogy, what you can learn about each listed individual varies. For the most part, however, you can learn an ancestor's birth date, baptism date, marriage date, occupation, and death date. Articles include general information on entire families including information on education, residence, and wills. With this information, you will be able to gain a more complete understanding of your ancestors and their lives.

    The New Jersey Biographical Index, 1800s

    Throughout the 1800s, with the development of canals, railroads and eventually roadways, New Jersey secured itself as a major transportation corridor between the Northeast and South. With the creation of the nation's first factory town, workers from throughout the East coast settled in New Jersey. It continues to be a strong industrial state with links to New York City, Philadelphia, and other key cities in the region...

    How to Uncover German Heritage With Surnames

    German surnames have a few common sources that make it easy to figure out where they come from. Here's a guide to the most common origins of German surnames...

    Click Here to watch the video.

    Check out our more Genealogy Tips at Free Genealogy Helps and Free Genealogy Lookups.

    10 more reasons to get the new Family Tree Maker 2012 with TreeSync

    1. Access interactive street and satellite maps
    View important locations in your ancestors’ lives. Or create a migration map showing where events in ancestors’ lives took place.

    2. Easily organize media
    Add photos, documents, audio and video in one, easy-to-access location. Link media to multiple people in your tree and incorporate them into charts and reports.

    3. Share your work with others
    Use templates to create beautiful family trees or design your own with powerful charting tools. Enhance charts with backgrounds, embellishments and family photos.

    4. Discover new family members
    Follow hints from, the world's largest family history resource.

    5. Create Smart Stories
    Transform facts from your tree into stories that update automatically as you update your tree.

    6. Simplify source creation
    Use templates to source everything from online databases to vital records.

    7. Use standard location names
    Use the place authority database to enter place names consistently and in a standard format.

    8. Explore data like never before
    Use new and improved reports to gather information and export it in a variety of formats. Save settings in one report and apply them to others.

    9. Navigate your tree with ease
    View multiple generations, navigate to any individual in your tree with a click of the mouse and add or edit life events.

    10. Import data from other genealogy programs
    Open files created in Legacy™ Family Tree, The Master Genealogist™ and FamilySearch™ Personal Ancestral Files.

    Check out our more Genealogy Tips at Free Genealogy Helps and Free Genealogy Lookups.

    Colonial Family Histories #1, 1607-1920

    This data set contains images of the pages from the all seven volumes of Colonial Families of the United States of America. Originally published by the Genealogical Publishing Company, these volumes contain information about approximately 142,000 individuals.

    Compiled over thirteen years, Colonial Families of the United States of America includes only those families who trace their ancestry back to the Colonial Period (1607-1775). Ranging from three to twenty scanned pages, each family history article gives the British or European pedigree of the colonial ancestor, followed by a listing of his descendants up to the time of the article's writing. Depending on the original article, what you can learn about each listed individual varies...

    Family History

    Tracing back your genealogical roots is so much more than just writing down facts and dates about your ancestors — it's about learning the history and traditions. Find out more about the different things that make your genealogy unique — whether you unearth a prestigious family crest, gain a better understanding of your family's surname, or even discover that you have a famous relative hiding in an unknown branch!

    Index to Griffith's Valuation of Ireland, 1848-1864

    This database is an index to one of Ireland's premier genealogical resources, Griffith's Valuation. It references more than one million individuals who owned property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864. Since no Irish census of the nineteenth century has survived, Griffith's Valuation is a record of extreme importance. It is, essentially, the only detailed guide to where in Ireland people lived during the mid-nineteenth century and what property they possessed. In effect, Griffith's Valuation can be used as a census substitute for the years before, during, and after the Great Famine.

    Few other records can be used to identify an Irish ancestor's exact place of origin, and only Griffith's Valuation links an individual to a specific townland and civil parish. This information is very beneficial since identifying an ancestor's townland and civil parish is the first step in Irish genealogical research.

    Listings Include:
    - The individual's name.
    - The county and parish where they resided at the time of the valuation.
    - Some records contain additional information about an individual's occupation, religion, or relative's names.

    Virginia Family Histories #2, 1600s-1800s

    Although an especially valuable resource for tracing your family tree, family histories such as these are often difficult to locate since they are usually not published for wide distribution. A family history is a written account of a family's immediate and extended relationships. Often, a family history begins with an explanation how a family's surname was derived. Then, beginning with the oldest known ancestor, family lines are traced up to the time of publication. Along with biographical information on each family member, this often includes illustrations or photographs of individuals or places significant to the family.

    Data Sources:
    The five volume set entitled Genealogies of Virginia Families consists of family history articles originally published in The William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine between 1892 and 1942. The family history articles included in Virginia Gleaning in England were first published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography between 1903 and 1926.

    Three Quick Reminders While Doing Your Genealogy and Family History

    1. Back-up your digital archives. Most people think a hard drive crash will never happen to them, or they put off doing a backup. As one of our friends recently lamented when her computer crashed, "I've just lost several years of my life!"

    2. Remember not everyone is thrilled about doing genealogy. Contact distant relatives and strangers in the least intrusive way as possible and be very specific about the information you need. Reimburse them for copies or postage if you request documents. And lastly, provide your newfound friends with copies of your research. You may inspire them to learn more about their families!

    3. Keep a research log. A research log helps you to keep track of the information you find about your ancestors. You can print out a simple log. If you want to track your progress, there are some great forms at Census Tools.

    Kentucky Family Histories #1, 1700s-1800s

    This database contains images of the pages from the three-volume series Genealogies of Kentucky Families, Volumes I-III. These books contain family history articles collected from The Filson Club History Quarterly as well as articles from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, published between 1903 and 1965. The latter set of articles includes every Bible record and genealogical fragment published in the register.

    Referencing approximately 51,000 individuals and covering the entire state of Kentucky, the majority of the records included in this database are from the 1700s and 1800s...

    Colonial Families of Maryland, 1600s-1900s

    These books contain information about approximately 150,000 individuals. While most of the individuals listed have family roots in Maryland, some have roots in Pennsylvania and other surrounding states.

    What you'll find:
    - Birth or baptism date
    - Marriage date
    - Occupation
    - Personal property held
    - Physical characteristics
    - Death date

    German Ancestry

    Learn more about your genealogy, and your German ancestry as well, as you begin your family search with the following steps:

    Be aware of, and record the genealogical knowledge that you already possess. 
    Talk with knowledgeable relatives regarding the ancestors that you are currently researching.

    Connect, Collaborate and Learn
    Even if you do not have access to relatives, or your relatives know little regarding your common ancestors, OneGreatFamily offers a simple solution which will help you to find more information regarding your German ancestry. The solution is collaboration. With OneGreatFamily, members have the opportunity to collaborate with thousands of OneGreatFamily members who submit names from over 80 countries worldwide. Finding your German ancestry via personal research is not nearly as effective as collaborating with thousands of people who are researching a common family tree.

    How Does it Work?

    1. Members contribute their own family tree information
    2. OneGreatFamily searches and sifts through names for genealogy connections
    3. Members review the suggested 'genealogical matches' and approve them when desired
    4. Then, members sit back and relax while OneGreatFamily continues to review its database and expand the original-online family tree

    OneGreatFamily Works for You
    With OneGreatFamily, you simply enter the genealogical information that you have already, and then OneGreatFamily will search its database, and sift through names in order to find connections which match your family tree chart. With OneGreatFamily, you do not have to enter query after query, and then sift through thousands of names which are not likely to be related to your search. OneGreatFamily continually reviews its database and provides accurate search results.

    The U.S. Census. Discover the best resource in family history.

    When it comes to American family history research, the U.S. Census is the ultimate resource. is thrilled to announce the addition of the complete U.S. Census to its already billion-record-strong database. Search now »

    Early Settlers of New York State, 1760-1942

    This database contains is from the following two volume set: Early Settlers of New York State -- Their Ancestors and Descendants, Volumes I and II. These books are comprised of articles that originally appeared in the periodical Early Settlers of New York State -- Their Ancestors and Descendants. Edited by New York genealogist Janet Foley, its purpose was to collect, publish, and preserve church records, tombstone inscriptions, and family records, first from western New York, then from all of New York State. Referencing over 97,000 people who lived between 1760 and 1942, this collection provides little-known but first-rate source material that is essential to any researcher whose family research involves early New York State.

    What you can find on this Family Archive:
    What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the original article. However, in this collection you will find family genealogies, obituaries, Bible records, cemetery records, marriage records, church records, and death records. These records may provide you with information such as the dates and locations of important family events, as well as the names of the participants, witnesses, or other family members...

    New Jersey Family Histories #1, 1600s-1800s

    This database contains images of the pages from the two-volume set Genealogies of New Jersey Families. These books are comprised of family history articles that originally appeared in the Genealogical Society of New Jersey's journal, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Begun in 1925 to promote scholarly interest in New Jersey families, the magazine continues to be a primary vehicle for New Jersey source material. Referencing over 38,000 people who lived between the early 1600s and 1800s, this collection is essential to any genealogist whose family research involves New Jersey history. The materials cover the entire state of New Jersey and include all material and Bible records published in the Magazine from the first issue through the end of Volume 65.

    What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the original article. For the most part, this collection includes genealogies, cemetery records, church records, and family Bible records. These records may provide you with information such as the dates and locations of important family events, as well as the names of the participants, witnesses, or other family members...

    English Origins of New England Families, 1500s-1800s

    Trace your family history back to its English roots - possibly back to the 11th century.

    Included here are some of the most sought-after immigrant-origin articles published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. These articles will be of interest to almost all Americans with colonial heritage, and offer a wide variety of difficult-to-locate source materials, including genealogies and vital records...

    Rhode Island Family Histories #1, 1600s-1800s

    These books contain family history articles on Rhode Island families published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. This collection contains some of the best genealogical articles pertaining to Rhode Island of the past 140 years.

    An interesting feature of this database is that it includes source records from at least fifteen early Rhode Island towns. Referencing approximately 46,000 individuals, the majority of the records included in this database originate from the late 1600s to the late 1800s. What you can learn about each listed individual varies according to the original record, but this database offers a wide variety of important genealogical source materials.

    What you'll find:
    - Genealogies
    - Family histories
    - Vital records
    - Cemetery inscriptions
    - Marriage records
    - Birth and death lists

    Connecticut Family Histories #1, 1600s-1800s

    The materials cover the entire state of Connecticut and even include information on some families whose ancestry is associated with other areas, largely Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and the Midwest. What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the original article. However, in this collection you will find birth, death, marriage, probate, land, and court records. These records may provide you with information such as the dates and locations of important family events, as well as the names of the participants, witnesses, or other family members.

    Books Included:
    - Genealogies of Connecticut Families, Volume I (A-Ga)
    - Genealogies of Connecticut Families, Volume II (Ge-O)
    - Genealogies of Connecticut Families, Volume III (P-W)
    - Families of Ancient New Haven, Volumes I-III
    - Families of Ancient New Haven, Volumes IV-VI
    - Families of Ancient New Haven, Volumes VII-VIII 

    Maryland and Delaware, 1600s-1800s Church Records

    Together, these texts reference approximately 263,000 individuals. The records were primarily gathered from Maryland and Delaware churches and include birth, baptism, marriage, and burial records. You'll also find information taken from family histories, miscellaneous articles, abstracts from meeting minutes, monthly meeting registers, court records, and land records.

    For each person you will learn information about an event in their life, such as a baptism, marriage, or death. The information available will vary depending on the type of record. In marriage records, for example, you will find the marriage date as well as the name of the bride and the groom. These records may also list the parents, place of residence, and/or witnesses of any or all people noted. Death records, on the other hand, can provide the name of the deceased and the date. Since this data set contains many different kinds of records, you may be able to find a great variety of information about an ancestor...

    Ohio Vital Records #2, 1770s-1880s

    The records referenced in this title date mainly from 1750 to 1880 and name approximately 70,000 individuals. The information was collected from a great variety of resources including marriage records, gravestone inscriptions, local histories, newspaper abstracts, tax lists, settlements of estates, will abstracts, bible records, family histories, and land records.

    What you can learn from these books about each listed individual varies, depending on the original article in which the individual appears. Articles in Ohio Cemetery Records consist mainly of tombstone inscriptions, which usually give the individual's age and date of death. In many cases, they also include the names of the individual's parents, spouse, or children. You will also find some burial records from cemeteries in East Haddam, Connecticut and Rutland, Massachusetts, which were important departure points for migrations into Ohio...

    Ohio Vital Records #1, 1790s-1870s

    Here you'll find more than 93,000 individuals referenced. The majority of the materials cover the years 1800 to 1850 and represent 76 of Ohio's 88 counties. What you can learn about each listed individual varies according to the original record, but this data offers a wide variety of important genealogical source materials.

    What you can learn about each listed individual varies, depending on the article. Invariably, the information will help you locate a particular individual at a specific place and point in time. Learning a location, and date from these records may help you find your ancestor in other genealogical records not necessarily included in this collection. In some cases, particularly when your ancestor's name appears in a marriage record, will, or deed, you will also be able to establish family relationships. Also note that if you do find one of your ancestors among these records, it is likely that you will find a connection to a family line from the thirteen original colonies. This is because the Ohio area was one of the first to be settled north of the Mason-Dixon line and west of the thirteen original colonies...

    Virginia Vital Records #1, 1600s-1800s

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    The records referenced date mainly from the 1600s to the 1800s and represent one of the largest existing collections of Virginia records. In general, the records you'll find here will provide you with the date and location of an important family event, plus the names of the individuals involved...

    Genealogies of Long Island Families, 1600s-1800

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    This database contains images of both volumes of Genealogies of Long Island Families, as well as one volume of Long Island Source Records. These are comprised of articles originally appearing in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, one of the foremost publishers of Long Island genealogies.

    The three volumes contain references to approximately 60,000 individuals from the present-day Suffolk, Kings, and Queens counties and represents one of the largest existing collections of Long Island genealogies and records.

    Pennsylvania Vital Records, 1700s-1800s

    Got Pennsylvania ancestors? How about tracing them using one of the largest bodies of Pennsylvania source material ever published? More than 87,000 individuals and every article about births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths that has appeared in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography and the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine.

    Originally published in three volumes as Pennsylvania Vital Records by the Genealogical Publishing Company, these entries date from 1701 to 1882 and come from all regions of Pennsylvania.

    Genealogies of Mayflower Families, 1500s-1800s

    This database contains images of the pages of Genealogies of Mayflower Families, Volumes I-III and Mayflower Source Records originally published by Genealogical Publishing Company. The volumes include a wide variety of resources pertaining to the Mayflower families which settled the southern areas of Massachusetts as well as their descendants.

    The records vary greatly in their content, but may provide birth, death, and lineage information in addition to baptismal, marriage, and probate records and cemetery inscriptions. The records mention approximately 111,000 individuals and are indispensable to anyone interested in researching the Mayflower families.

    What you'll find:
    - Birth and baptism records
    - Marriage records
    - Death and probate records
    - Cemetery inscriptions
    - Descendant listings

    Cemetery Records: Salt Lake City, 1848-1992

    During the last two centuries, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been the destination of millions of settlers from elsewhere in North America and all over the world. Those buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery all have family connections that reach well beyond the metropolis itself. Many of the Mormon pioneers and their descendants were buried here, as were many westward-bound Protestant and Catholic families.

    Listings Include:
    - Individual's first and last name.
    - Birth date and place.
    - Death date and place
    - Burial site within the cemetery.

    Mayflower Vital Records, Deeds and Wills, 1600s-1900s

    Now you can search "the largest documented manuscript resource on Mayflower genealogy," according to the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants. During 50 years of tracing the celebrated Mayflower pilgrims and their families, researcher George Ernest Bowman amassed over 20,000 pages of documented records. Eventually, Susan E. Roser compiled the "Bowman Files" into five Genealogical Publishing Company books.

    Almost 82,000 individuals are referenced, covering four centuries of Mayflower genealogical and historical information (1600s-1900s).

    Making the Most of The Library

    How To Prepare Before You Go...

    Your genealogy research may take you to many libraries, but you'll be able to save a lot of valuable time if you are well prepared before going.

    Before you make the trek, be sure that you even need to travel to a library in the first place to get the information you want. I know of a gentleman who flew from the United States to England to locate some records only to be directed to the local LDS Family History Library, which he could have done in his own hometown! You should also check the library site online to see if you can access their records over the internet.

    When you think a trip to a library is required, search the library's web site (if one is not available or you cannot access the internet, call or write to the library) and get as much information as possible about their operations and policies.

    Find out when the library will be open. How discouraging to travel a long distance only to find the library is closed on Fridays or will be closed for the next two weeks for renovations. Find out hours of operation, what materials are available, and ascertain their policy for copying material. If it is a large library, you might want to request a floor plan. Be aware that some libraries require you to have a reader's card. Obtaining one is usually just a matter of filling out a form.

    Prepare a pedigree chart or print out family group sheets to bring with you. Having the pertinent information in your hand will make it easier for the experts to guide you through your search. Most librarians are happy to help direct you to the right records, but it is difficult for them to know what you need or want without seeing your pedigree chart.

    Of course, before you do any of this, you'll want to check OneGreatFamily's data base first. The research may have already been done and the information entered by another subscriber will be instantly available to you!

    A visit to the library is a great opportunity to resolve conflicts you may find with information other OneGreatFamily users have provided. If your family tree information differs from someone else's research, locating the primary sources of information is extremely valuable for clearing up any confusion. When you go to the library, make sure you take both versions of the information with you to compare to the original documentation. Once you have verified the genealogy, you can update your family tree on OneGreatFamily and, at the same time, help other researchers who may be working on the same family line. The less time you have to spend orienting yourself to a new library, the more time you will have to spend in the records and the more successful your visit will be.

    By Lisa South - Certified Genealogist

    African Americans in the 1870 Census Index

    This database contains an alphabetical index of approximately 660,000 African American individuals who were enumerated in the 1870 federal census returns. Areas represented include Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the counties containing the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and St. Louis.

    Listings Include:
    - Name
    - Sex
    - Age
    - Birthplace
    - State
    - County and Locality of Residence At The Time of The Census
    - National Archives Microfilm Series, Roll, and Page Number.

    Mortality Index: United States, 1850-1880

    Mortality schedules counted the number of deaths that occurred in the year before the census was taken. They exist for the 1850 through 1880 censuses. This means that there are only four schedules currently available for the U.S. census.

    Listings Include:
    - Individual's Name
    - Age
    - Sex
    - Occupation
    - Cause of Death
    - Date of Death and place of death by county.

    Vital Records & Genealogy

    Vital records, which are also known as civil registration in some countries, are official documents kept by the government to document the status of an individual. These vital records can include birth certificates, death records, marriage certificates, and divorce records. For genealogists, vital records can shed valuable light on the history of their ancestors. Beyond the name and dates of birth recorded in these documents, vital records can also provide information about parents' names, the number of children in the family, cause of death, socioeconomic status, and even occupation...

    Search Over 1 Billion Records Instantly with!

    Pennsylvania Family Histories #1, pre-1600 to 1900s

    Request a Free Lookup From This Database.

    Spanning over four centuries of Pennsylvania history, approximately 62,000 individuals are cited here. Several hundred family history articles included touch on families of English, Welsh, Scotch-Irish, German, Dutch, and French origins. The Bible records reference hundreds of families, many of them interrelated, who lived in Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries...

    The History of Your Surname

    Surnames are important to us. We are admonished, as children, to "remember who you are" and not to disgrace our family's name. If you are blessed with an unusual surname, you instinctively know that, should you get into trouble, everyone is likely to know who your parents are. And those same people spell their surname as a matter of course after pronouncing it. Women tend to think of the combination of a number of surnames with her given name when contemplating marriage. When a baby is born, given names are carefully weighed in relationship to the child's surname. Even acronyms need to be considered. When we embark on the search for our family history, it is our own surname that we tend to follow first...

    Read More

    Genealogy Daily Digest

    Each day we send out a quick email to thousands of readers to notify them of updates. This email is just a short excerpt of the first few lines of our latest post with a link if you want to read it all. You can unsubscribe from this this service at any time.

    This service is provided by a third party (Feedburner) and you can subscribe to it by leaving your email address in the following field and confirming your subscription when you get an email asking you to do so.

    Enter your email address for Daily Updates from

    Virginia Family Histories #1, pre-1600 to 1900s

    If your family line runs through Virginia, this database is worth a look. Referencing approximately 65,000 individuals from all parts of Virginia, information included dates from 1600 to 1900. Here you have all five volumes of Genealogies of Virginia Families, a collection of family history articles compiled from 84 years of The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.

    You will find many lines of descent traced through seven or eight generations, covering three or four centuries.

    Surname Lists

    Virtually all the information you could ever want is online today, available right at your fingertips. This is especially true for family history and genealogy. You can view your family tree, search surname lists, or post queries for distant relatives online.

    Spelling Variation

    Tracing your surname and your family lines can be difficult, in part because of the transient nature of surnames in times past. In the nineteenth century and before, there was no such thing as standardized spelling; names were spelled the way they sounded to the person writing them down. This accounts for much of the variation in surnames today. Take a simple surname like McIntyre, for instance, and search for it in surname lists. You'll find variations MacIntyre, McEntyre, and MacEntyre.

    Transient Surnames

    Aside from the spelling variations you'll find in surnames lists, genealogy and surname history can be tricky because some ancestors may have actually changed their surnames. Contrary to popular belief, surnames were not commonly changed at Ellis Island, but many Jewish, German, and Eastern European immigrants changed their surnames to "Americanize" them as they settled in and became naturalized as U.S. citizens. In some common Anglicizations of surnames, Schwartz became Black, Bach became Beck, and Woulfe became Wolf.

    Ancestors may have also changed their surnames to avoid a social stigma or to disassociate themselves with their families. In still other cases, people were essentially forced to change their surnames. During the British oppression of the Irish, for instance, when people identified as Irish or having Irish surnames could not vote or own property, many Irish families dropped the traditional Irish "O" prefix to their surnames. Thus O' Connor became Connor, and O' Kennedy became Kennedy.

    Searching Surname Lists

    Whatever surname you're searching for, and whatever difficulties you face in tracing your family lines, the internet is a prime resource. The message boards, family trees, and surnames lists available online are invaluable. You can find these sites using a simple Google search, and then subscribe to the message boards or the RSS feeds of any genealogy blogs you want to follow. Search OneGreatFamily's Surname Lists.

    State Index: Upstate NY, 1685-1910

    This index of New York State records consists of references to city directories, tax lists, church records, military rosters, Bible records, and much more. These documents were all published in four upstate New York quarterlies dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s:

    The index references approximately 300,000 individuals from the Hudson River Valley counties of Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady.

    Listings Include:
    - Full name
    - Publication name
    - Chapter title, Volume Number, and Page on which the information is found. 

    Trace My Family Tree

    Daniel Webster said, "Those who do not look upon themselves as a link, connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world." Whether you've been working on your genealogy for a while, or whether you're just beginning, your question may be the same: how do I trace my family tree?

    People differ in their approach to tracing their family tree, in everything from what records to search to how many generations to search for. Some search only for their sixteen great-great-grandparents. Some want to connect their family tree back to a famous ancestor.

    The Domesday Book

    As you get further and further back in time, there are fewer and fewer genealogical records to search. The eminent medieval English record is the Domesday Book. After invading England in 1066, William the Conqueror commissioned a cataster or survey in 1085 to assess land and holdings in England. Because the book also lists property owners, it is one of the first and only genealogical-type records available for England in the Middle Ages. The name for the Domesday Book comes from the Old English word dom, similar to doom, meaning accounting or reckoning. The original book is now kept at the National Archives at Kew.

    Catholic Parish Records

    Catholic parish records are also an invaluable resource that pre-date most other genealogical records. The Council of Trent of the 1500s decreed that all Catholic priests record all the sacraments of baptism, marriage, and last rites that they perform; for that reason, almost all parish records date back to the 1500s and some parishes began recording sacraments even earlier than that. If you have Catholic ancestry, the question, "How do I trace my family tree?" can be easily answered: with parish records.

    U.S. Federal Census Records

    "But how do I trace my family tree for more recent American ancestry?," you may ask. U.S. Federal Census records are some of the premiere American genealogical records. They can help you track where your ancestors were living at a given time and who the living family members were.

    The records available are abundant, and the work is rewarding. Tracing your
    family tree is work well worth your time.

    Read More

    Early New York Families, 1600s-1900s

    More than 338,000 individuals are referenced within this collection, covering the entire state of New York. Although especially useful for the genealogist, family histories such as these can be very difficult to locate since they are not often published for wide distribution. A family history is a written account of a family's immediate and extended relationships. Along with biographical information on each family member, you'll often find illustrations or photographs of individuals or significant places. Generally you'll learn details of personal characteristics and your ancestors' daily lives that aren't usually available in other genealogical records.

    Books Included:
    - Genealogical and Family History of Central New York (3 Volumes)
    - Families of Western New York
    - Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York (4 Volumes)
    - Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley (3 Volumes)
    - Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families
    - Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs (4 Volumes)

    Civil War Confederate Pension Applications Index

    Presented in questionnaire form, a soldier's application lists the Veteran's place of enlistment, unit, period of service, battles participated in, and whether he was wounded or captured. Pension applications also included information on place of birth, number of children, and value of personal and real property owned by Veteran.

    If the pension application was filed by a widow, you can learn even more information. Their applications list place of birth for both widow and husband as well as the names and ages of any children. Since proof of marriage was required for admission to the pension rolls, a copy of the marriage certificate is often found in widow applications. You may also find correspondence between the applicant and the Pension Board, letters or sworn affidavits attesting to a Veteran's character and the nature of his military service, and abstracts of the Veteran's service record furnished by the Federal War Department.
    It is important to note that while all of the individuals listed were residents of Tennessee when they applied for pensions, they did not necessarily serve the Confederacy in Tennessee.

    Listings Include:
    - Veteran's name
    - Pension applicant's name
    - Applicant's county of residence
    - State for which the Veteran served