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Family History

This is a guide to a variety of print and online resources useful to the study of family history and genealogy.

Government Websites

National, state and local government agencies or departments can be a good source of historical and genealogical information.

As the nation's record keeper, the National Archives preserves important U.S. government materials for historical and legal reasons. Some examples of records retained are census records, court records, passport applications, land records, military records, immigration and naturalization records, treaties, maps, charts, drawings and photographs.

Contains over two million land patents and provides live database access to federal land conveyance records for 32 states issued between 1820 and 1908. This does not include the original 13 colonies, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Hawaii. Land patents document the transfer of land ownership from the federal government to individuals.

 

Contains Arizona public birth records that occurred at least 75 years ago and Arizona Public Death Records for deaths occurring at least 50 years ago.
 
This site allows selected American historical newspaper pages currently covering 1836-1922 to be searched and viewed.  Produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program and the Library of Congress

Free & Commercial Websites

Membership is open to any person or institution willing to support the objectives and the APG code of ethics. Members include family historians, professional researchers, librarians, archivists, writers, editors, consultants, indexers, instructors, lecturers, columnists, booksellers, publishers, computer specialists and geneticists.
 
The Board for Certification of Genealogists is an independent organization not affiliated with, or part of, any group. It is a certifying body not a membership society that is a nationally and internationally recognized organization.
 

Cyndi's List
An alphabetical listing of more than 180 family history and genealogical categories with over 262,500 links to web sites. An excellent starting point for any family history research on the net.

Ellis Island Records    
Contains a searchable database of over 22 million names of immigrants, passengers and crew members that came trhough Ellis Island and the Port of New York from 1892 to 1924. Another helpful site to access Ellis Island Records and other sites is a website by Steve P. Morse.

This is the Family History Library web site. It contains hundreds of thousands of genealogical records from all over the world from their Ancestral File and the International Genealogical Index. The U.S. 1880 census and the British and Canadian 1881 censuses has been recently added. This site also has dozens of excellent source guides written by experts that can be printed out. The online catalog of material in the LDS Library in Salt Lake City, UT is also available. Much of the material in the library has been microfilmed and can be can be ordered by your local Family History Center and read there.
 
GenForum
Linked to Ancestry.com a fee based genealogical website.
 
This is the Internet’s oldest and largest free family history web site and contains millions of names and family histories. There is a good Social Security Death Index on this site. RootsWeb’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees, an online tutorial, is written and compiled by Julia M. Case, Rhonda McClure and Myra Vanderpool Gormley.
 
This is a massive web site run by volunteers. There is a web site for each of the 3,141 counties in the United States. These county pages contain county histories, biographies, census, cemetery, marriage, birth, and bible records, and lists of local newspapers, among other things. What appears on the site depends on what the local volunteers have put there. Some counties have volunteers to do look-ups in local collections. The project also includes a digital library (archives) of actual transcriptions of public domain records.
 
This is a commercial site but contains lots of free information and links. Here you will find how to obtain vital records (birth, marriage, divorce, and death) for each state, territory, and county of the United States. See their guidelines on how to order vital records. If you are looking for vital records for a foreign country, see their links to foreign vital records websites.
 
This project is divided into fifteen world regions arranged by country with each country is divided into individual provinces, states, or counties. Search to find maps, how-to information, history, translation help, vital records, passenger ship lists, land/property records etc. and to make contact with people living in the country you are researching.

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