Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Veterans Affairs Adds to its Cemeteries Database

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has added 1.9 million burial listings to its cemeteries database. These are for military veterans buried in mostly private cemeteries, who have VA grave markers. The database already included more than 3 million graves in national cemeteries, bringing the total in the database to about 5 million graves.

VA has also added maps to show many of the grave locations for those buried in VA national cemeteries, in state veterans cemeteries, and Arlington National Cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to add approximately 1,000 new records to the database every day.

The database is online at... Veterans Affairs Military Burials Locator

For more helpful military databases see... Online Military Indexes, Records and Rosters of Soldiers

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Paul McCartney at 64 - Liverpool and Irish Roots

"When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now..."

Beloved former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, is having a birthday today. He was born James Paul McCartney on June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England.

Liverpool is one of Europe's most prominent ports. In the 19th Century millions of immigrants left from Liverpool to live in North America and other places. I personally have ancestors who left from Liverpool and arrived in Philadelphia in July, 1880. Liverpool is also where many Irish emigrants came after sailing across the Irish sea to England. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are both of Irish Liverpool stock.

In 1967 the Beatles recorded a little song called "When I'm Sixty-Four," which was written by Lennon & McCartney, but it's mostly Paul's composition. He actually based it on a melody he wrote back in Liverpool when he was sixteen. Now the maestro has made it to the magical age of his Sgt. Pepper song. Being age sixty-four must have seemed very far away in the Summer of Love.

"When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be."

Paul's parents were James McCartney and Mary Patricia Mohin. Both are of Irish descent (Paul's maternal grandfather was born in Ireland). Paul's mother died when he was fourteen and Paul found solace in music, fueled by a newly acquired acoustic guitar. Paul wrote the song "Let it Be" in 1968 after having a dream about his mother.

"I read the news today, oh boy..."

Paul McCartney has been in the news quite a bit lately with all sorts of fuss being made over his separation from his second wife. But to me that's his personal family issue and really none of my business. I hope he sorts it all out and fares well. He has brought much inspiration and joy to many people.

"Birthday greetings, bottle of wine..."

"Of course, when [Beatles producer] George Martin was sixty-four I had to send him a bottle of wine." -Paul McCartney

Happy birthday, Sir Paul. May you live to be 164. And even if you don't make it quite that far, 100 years from now they'll still be talking about you and those other three lads from Liverpool. Cheers...

References and more information...
Paul McCartney - Many Years From Now by Barry Miles (book)

Irish Genealogy Guides and Resources

Finding Ship Passenger Lists 1820-1940s - Arrivals at US Ports from Europe

Friday, June 09, 2006

St. Louis Genealogy Records and Sources

This article was updated on 13 September 2020.

"Now you go through Saint Louie... Joplin, Missouri... and Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty..." (from "Route 66" by Bobby Troupe)

Photograph of the S.S. Admiral on the Mississippi River, St. Louis, MissouriSt. Louis is the home of Budweiser, the unbeatable St. Louis Cardinals, the Gateway Arch, and the S.S. Admiral (once upon a time a great way to take a cruise on the Mississippi, later a floating casino, now scrapped). And it's a hub on the fabled Route 66 from Chicago to LA.

Your host, the Genealogy Roots Blogger, was born in St. Louis. Here are some of my favorite online St. Louis genealogy sources that you might find helpful if you've got St. Louis ancestors.

Basic Online Guide
Here you can find links to online indexes and sources for military records, probate records, cemeteries, church records, ordering vital records, and more... St. Louis, Missouri Genealogy Resources

St. Louis Death Records
This webpage has more than thirty links to various online St. Louis death indexes, including St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituaries, Catholic, military and Jewish cemetery databases, and more... Online St. Louis, Missouri Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries

I've already blogged about this database, but here it is again... Missouri State Archives Death Certificate Database, 1910-1969

St. Louis Marriage Records and Marriage Licenses

Missouri Military Records
The Missouri State Archives has a searchable database where you might find some of your Missouri military ancestors: Missouri Soldiers Database: War of 1812 - World War I

For more military records see: Online Military Indexes and Records

St. Louis Naturalization Records
There are some great online indexes for St. Louis naturalizations, done in the federal court or local courts. For information on these see... Finding St. Louis Naturalization Records

To New Orleans and up the Mississippi - Finding Immigration Records
Some immigrants to Missouri (and other nearby states) arrived at the port of New Orleans and traveled by riverboat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. This was more common prior to the Civil War. After the Civil War many train lines were built, making it easier to travel from the East Coast to inland cities. The New Orleans Passenger Lists Quick Guide is a helpful starting place for locating New Orleans passenger records. For help with other ports see: Finding Passenger Lists 1820-1940s

St. Louis Genealogical Society
St. Louis Genealogical Society Members get access to a collection of online databases, including a large collection of St. Louis cemetery burials, indexes to some St. Louis church records and more.

Two Libraries
Both the St. Louis City and County libraries have genealogy resources within their walls and on their websites.

Population Shifts from the City to the County
St. Louis City and County separated from each other on August 22, 1876. At this webpage you can see how the population of St. Louis has shifted from the City to the County over time: Population of St. Louis City & County, Missouri, 1820-2010

And... Our Beloved St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals Official Website

If you're just passing through, perhaps on your way from Chicago to L.A. on Route 66, be sure to stop at a Steak 'n Shake and order a Steakburger.

Happy Searching!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New Additions - Online Military Records

Links to the following items were recently added to Online Military Indexes & Records...

Revolutionary War
- Pennsylvania Militia Officers Index Cards 1775-1800

Civil War
- Andersonville Prison - Search for Prisoners (Union Soldiers)
- Fulton County: Oakland Cemetery Book, Atlanta, Georgia - scanned book of Confederate soldiers buried in Oakland Cemetery between February, 1862 and July 5, 1864

- Census Enumeration of Ex-Confederate Soldiers and Widows of Deceased Soldiers (1911) for Orleans Parish and 17 other Parishes
- Chalmette National Cemetery Burials

- Antietam National Cemetery Burials and Confederate Soldiers Killed at Antietam
- Baltimore: Fort McHenry Prison - Search For Prisoners (Confederate Soldiers)

- Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers 1861-1866

- 1893 Nebraska Census of Civil War Veterans

World War One
Colorado Historical Records Index includes...
- World War I Civilian Service Questionnaires
- Weld County World War I Veterans

Happy Searching!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Searching for Death Records - A Brief Overview

Here's a brief guide to the kinds of genealogy records you might be able to find relating to a person's death in the United States.

Death Indexes and Records Online
For a directory of online death indexes (USA) see...
Online Death Records and Indexes

Death Certificates
Many states started recording and requiring death certificates in the early part of the 20th Century. Some states go back further.

Digitized copies of death certificates (or records) are available for online downloading for Arizona, Arkansas, California (Los Angeles and San Joaquin Counties), Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Coverage varies by place. For links to these see...

Online Death Certificates and Records

For information on ordering copies of death certificates at the state level see the "How to Order Copies of Vital Records" section at: Birth, Marriage and Death Records - Vital Records Research Guide

Newspaper Obituaries, Death Notices and Burial Permits
Obituaries can be helpful as they often give date and place of death and burial, and sometimes they name surviving and deceased relatives. In some cases you might find a death or burial notice instead of an obituary - these usually do not contain as much detail as an obituary. You will not always be able to find these kinds of newspaper listings for everyone who died. Local public libraries can be good sources for obtaining copies of obituaries. More recent obituaries can often be found online. For some tips see... Obituaries Research Guide

Cemeteries and Burial Indexes
If you don't know where someone is buried, death certificates often list place of burial. Some cemeteries have placed their burial indexes online, while others have been transcribed by volunteers.

Guide to Online Cemeteries and Burial Indexes

Probate Records and Wills
Wills and probate records can be helpful as they usually list a person's heirs - their spouse or children, or sometimes siblings or other relatives. Some counties now have recent probate indexes online. Try the death indexes directory or do a Google search for the particular county you are interested in. Some older probate records and wills can be found on digitized microfilm from FamilySearch. You might also be able to find probate records in the courthouse where the will was probated or a local or state archive or other repository if the records were moved there.

Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
Deaths reported to the Social Security Administration are listed in this useful index. It's available online at several websites and some of them update it each month. For a list of four online SSDIs (three of them are free to use) see...

The Social Security Death Index - Online Searching

Once you've found someone in the SSDI you can then order a copy of that person's Social Security SS-5 form - this is the form they filled out when applying for a Social Security Card, and it contains useful information about the person, usually including date and place of birth, and names of parents. (Names of parents may be redacted due to privacy restrictions.)

Census Mortality Schedules
Census mortality schedules are available for some states for 1850, 1860, 1870 or 1880. Basic details were recorded for people who died in the year prior to the census being taken. Be aware that some people who died in those time frames were missed, and these schedules are not available for all states. For more information see... U.S. Census Records Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

Happy Searching!
(article updated: October 2021)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ancestry adds some World War II Draft Registration Cards

Ancestry has put some digitized images of World War II Draft Registration Cards online, and they are indexed by name (this database requires a fee-based subscription). These draft cards are from the Fourth Registration, which was conducted on 27 April 1942 - this is the only registration currently available to the public. This registration was for men born 28 April 1877 to 16 February 1897 (and not already in the military). It is sometimes referred to as "the old man's registration." These WWII draft cards are presently available online at Ancestry for the following states... Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New York City, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

NOTE: the Fourth registration ("old man's registration") records for the following states were destroyed and are not available: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

For a list of links to free and fee-based World War II indexes and records, including Ancestry's fee-based WWII Draft Cards database, see: Online World War Two Indexes and Records - USA

For information on World War ONE draft cards see: World War One Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918

This article was updated on 2 March 2018.