Useful Online Resources
for Family History and Genealogy Research
- Internet Archive has over 10 million digitized books. Search their collection to find books relating to your research subject.
- Google Play: Books has free and pay eBooks. With a Google login you can place your selected books on your own virtual bookshelf for later reference.
- Records of the Town of Newark, New Jersey: From Its Settlement in 1666, to Its Incorporation as a City in 1836 is a great resource for anyone with ancestors in Newark, NJ during the towns’ formative years. Names of the founding members of the community are prominent, however, there is mention of other members of the community, although mostly men. Also, the reports of the town are probably typical of other communities of the same era. Much of the town meetings are spent on setting ‘rates’, assigning various duties, such as ‘pounder’ and ‘fence viewer’ and caring for the poor.
- Library of Congress has digitized many old newspapers through their Chronicling America project. Browse or search by state, years, or title, plus keyword search.
- Newspapers.com is mostly paid subscription but there is some free material. I think the subscription is well worth it given all the digital material they have on their site, try the 7 day free trial before you buy.
- Historical Newspapers Online has complied a link list of online, historical newspapers. Some of the newspapers they link with have search capabilities, some do not. Most the papers are from small communities around the US. If you are looking for something specific, and have a date, like for an obituary, then this may be a useful site.
- Home Advisor has posted an article that includes many helpful tips to get started researching, plus several links to additional resources, History at Home: A Guide to Genealogy. A good place to get started on your own genealogy, plus thoughts on preserving documents and family histories and heirlooms.
- Looking for old maps? then check out Old Maps Online, it’s free, you can search locations and select a timeframe for the age of the maps you are seeking.
- Another neat source of old maps is the David Rumsey Map Collection, they have powerful online tools for integrating their maps into other applications.
- A site with many genealogical resources is Many Roads, they have archived digitized maps while doing research and posted them for others to use.
- For maps of public lands and land grants search on Land Survey Information System, if you have Range and Township information, and know the State and County, you should be able to identify a specific Land Grant.
- Sometimes you can’t find what you seek online, but you can’t get to the library or other record depository. That’s when you need a Random Act of Genealogical Kindness. This group of volunteers will perform basic look-ups at their local libraries, historical societies, etc. Typically there is no fee, but if there are copy expenses or other extraordinary costs, then they will ask for compensation.
- One of my favorite blogs is Vita Brevis, a resource for family history from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It offers the reader short essays by the Society’s expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical community. I have found a wide range of topics that offer insight on general genealogy and in particular for New England ancestors.