Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Genealogy Roots Blog!

Oops! While I wasn't paying attention, the Genealogy Roots Blog quietly turned 2. Yesterday was the blog's second anniversary. My first post, about the Missouri Death Certificates Index, was on April 18, 2006.

So a humble and slightly late happy birthday to the Genealogy Roots Blog. A big thank you to everyone who reads this.

Also, we have some new subscribers who are coming over from the old Genealogy Roots Newsletter, which is being shut down and replaced by this blog. The newsletter that inspired this blog goes back to 2001. So welcome new subscribers. Thanks for dropping by.

Hello to Randy Seaver and Megan Smolenyak, who also started genealogy blogging in April 2006.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Lillian Asplund's Shoebox Full of Titanic Memories

A shoebox full of letters and other items relating to the family of Lillian Asplund, was found after her death and will be auctioned off later this month. Lillian Asplund was the last American survivor of the Titanic when she died in 2006. She was also the last survivor who was old enough to remember the events. There is presently only one living Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean of Southampton, England, who was a two-month-old baby at the time of the Titanic tragedy.

On April 10, 1912 Carl Asplund bought seven third class tickets for the Titanic's first trip from Southampton, England to New York City. The tickets were for himself, his wife Selma (then aged 38), and their five children: Filip (13), Clarence (9), twins Lillian and Carl (both 5), and Felix (3). Of the seven family members only three survived the Titanic's sinking: Selma, who died in 1964, Felix, who died in 1983, and Lillian, who died in 2006. The two surviving children, Lillian and Felix, never married and neither had children.

Asplund family on the Carpathia passenger list of Titanic Survivors
The image above is a portion of the Carpathia passenger list showing the three surviving members of the Asplund family. The Carpathia rescued 705 of the Titanic's survivors and brought them to New York on April 18, 1912. See: Partial List of Survivors of the Titanic who were taken aboard the Carpathia at the U.S. National Archives website.

The shoebox was found among the possessions of Lillian Asplund, who rarely spoke about the tragedy. It includes photographs, her parents' wedding rings, a rare Titanic ticket and letters. For more on this story and some photographs see: The Titanic historical treasure trove discovered in a shoe box after death of last living survivor

For more on ship passenger lists see: What Passenger Lists are Online?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Directory of Historical Newspapers on the Internet

The directory of U.S. historical newspapers at the Genealogy Research Guides Website was recently revised and expanded. This directory includes links to online collections of historical newspapers or indexes from about 20 states. Individual newspapers are usually not listed unless they are for a large city (such as the New York Times) or represent an important historic period (such as the Civil War). The directory can be found at:

Historical Newspapers and Indexes On The Internet - USA

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Missouri Death Certificates 1910-1957 Now Online

The Missouri State Archives now has searchable images of digitized Missouri death certificates from 1910-1957 available online for free downloading. This has been an ongoing project for them. The years 1940-1944 and 1957 were recently added to this collection. It's nice to see this database available online for genealogy research.

Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1957 (indexed)

For more online Missouri death indexes see: Online Missouri Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Monday, March 03, 2008

Germans, Russians and Italians to America Now Online from NARA

The U.S. National Archives (NARA) has added Germans to America (1850-1897), Russians to America (1834-1897) and Italians to America (1855-1900) to their Access to Archival Databases (AAD) series. These databases can be searched for free at:

Access to Archival Databases - National Archives

These 3 databases index records of more than 5 million immigrant passengers who arrived in the U.S. from Germany, Italy and the Russian Empire for the time frames listed above. Most of the arrivals are for the port of New York, but other ports such as Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans and Philadelphia may also be included. Coverage varies by series. Be aware there may be transcription errors and missing information in these databases.

For more online ship passenger lists see:

What Passenger Lists Are Online?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Recently Added Online Death Records Indexes

Links to the items listed below were recently added to: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

- San Diego County Probate Court Search 1974-recent

- Sarasota County: Cemeteries of Sarasota County Florida - A Record of Births, Deaths, and Burials (PDF files)

- Fulton County: Franklin Garrett Atlanta Necrology Database 1857-1931

- Fort Wayne & Allen County Area Obituary Index 1841 to mid-January 2008 (update: more years added)

- Saline County: Gypsum Cemetery Burials -- in Salina, Kansas

- City of Boston Historic Burying Grounds Initiative -- includes transcriptions of historic gravestones 1630-1841

- Calhoun County: Battle Creek Memorial Park Cemetery Burials
- Charlevoix County: Charlevoix Courier Obituaries Index 1982-2007 -- includes online digitized copies of the obituaries (update: more years added)
- Clinton County Genealogy Indexes (from Newspapers) -- includes indexes for some births, marriages and deaths
- Kalamazoo County: Local Newspaper Index - Kalamazoo Gazette
- Wayne County: Detroit Area Death Notices for Assorted Years 1800s-2003 (not complete)
- Wayne County: Wyandotte Death Index, up to 1962

New York City
- Manhattan: Trinity Church - Parish Registers & Churchyards (at Broadway and Wall Street) - includes baptism, marriage & burial records
- Early Brooklyn & Queens Town Death Database pre-1900 (not complete)

- Gallia County Genealogical Society - Cemetery Records
- Hamilton County: St. Joseph New Cemetery Burials (Catholic cemetery in Cincinnati)
- Madison County: Plain City Burial Records Index

- Muskogee Newspaper Death and Obituary Indexes 1920-1929 -- also has some listings for later years

- Oregon Obituaries Index (partial) from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon
- Jackson County Genealogical Indexes for Obituaries, Cemeteries and Death Certificates -- also has other genealogy indexes

- Somerset County: WPA Records Project Cemetery Transcriptions

South Carolina
- Lexington County Probate Court Indexes -- includes Estate indexes 1865-1994, plus some marriage indexes (PDF files)

- Tennessee Death Index 1914-1923 (statewide) update: the year 1923 added
- Davidson County: Nashville City Cemetery Grave Search 1846-1979 -- most are prior to 1900
- Davidson County Cemetery Survey

West Virgnia
- West Virginia Death Index 1917-1957 (update: year 1957 added)

- Wood County: Marshfield Public Library Genealogy Index -- indexes some births, marriages, deaths, obituaries and other items from Marshfield newspapers

See: Online Death Indexes, Records and Obituaries

This list was updated on 28 January 2010.