Friday, May 15, 2009

FamilySearch Labs adds Death Indexes for 4 Southern States

The FamilySearch Labs website has recently added death indexes (some with digitized images) for four Southern states. These are:

Alabama Deaths 1908-1974
Florida Deaths 1877-1939
North Carolina Deaths 1906-1930 (with images)
South Carolina Deaths 1915-1943 (with images)
South Carolina Deaths 1944-1955

These indexes are now available at FamilySearch Record Search

Formerly at: FamilySearch Labs Record Search

For more death indexes for these states see:

This article was updated on 8 January 2011.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Search Strategies for Finding Ship Passenger Lists 1820-1940s

This article was updated on 22 December 2018.

Here are some suggestions for finding your immigrant ancestors on a ship passenger list (or manifest) for their arrival in the United States from 1820 to the 1940s (1950s for some ports).

Search Tips
  • Clues in the Census: the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 US federal censuses have a column for year of arrival for immigrants. This can help narrow down the search. Be careful as census records may contain errors.
  • Naturalization Records: Naturalization records created September 27, 1906 and later will usually give the name of the ship, port and date of arrival. Naturalization records before that usually do not give this information (although some might). You may sometimes find errors in these records.
  • Be sure to try alternate spellings of names when searching online databases or other indexes.
Port by Port Search
If you're having difficulty finding your ancestor's passenger list you might try a more specific search at each port. If you don't know the arrival port or don't know where to start, you can find some ideas at: Tips for Determining Your Ancestor's Probable Port of Arrival
Indexes for Various Ethnic Groups: Germans to America, Italians to America, Irish Immigrants, etc.
Some ship passenger indexes have been created for various ethnic groups and these may be helpful as alternate resources if you can't find your immigrant ancestor in other indexes.
Disclaimer: you might not find the person you're looking for in any of the indexes or records listed here; these are merely suggestions.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Online Military Records and Indexes - New Additions and Updates

Links to the items listed below have been added to the Directory of Online Military Indexes, Records and Rosters of Soldiers

Revolutionary War
- Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements (partial collection)
- Alabama: Alphabetical List of Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama

War of 1812
- Indiana Territory: War of 1812 Collection (consists of muster, pay and receipt rolls of Indiana territory volunteers or militia)

Civil War
- Arkansas Confederate Pension Records Index
- Delaware: Records Related to Delaware's Involvement in the American Civil War (from the Delaware Public Archives)
- Georgia Confederate Veteran Grave Database (work in progress)
- Kansas Virtual Civil War Cemetery Tombstone Photos (not complete, but has over 11,000 photographs of grave markers of Civil War veterans buried in Kansas - searchable by name)
- Mississippi Confederate Grave Registry
- Nebraska Civil War Veterans Database
- South Carolina: The New South Newspaper 1862-1866, Port Royal and Beaufort, South Carolina (digitized and searchable)

Spanish American War
- Kansas Troops in the Volunteer Service of the United States in the Spanish and Philippine Wars

World War One
- Denver Public Library World War I Indexes (includes: Fallen Heroes of World War I from Denver, Colorado; Colorado World War I Draft Registration Cards Index; Colorado World War I Draft Registration Index - Minorities; Colorado World War I Casualties Buried in Europe)
- Oregon WWI Draft Registration Index
- International WWI Section, Australia: World War I Service Records
- International WWI Section, New Zealand: New Zealand and World War One Assorted Indexes

World War Two
- Iowa: World War II Iowa Press Clippings Digital Collection
- Ohio: Cleveland Servicemen's Photographs Index 1940-1955
- International WWII Section, Canada: Second World War Service Files Canadian Armed Forces War Dead

Korean War
- Korean War/Access to Archival Databases (AAD) includes Korean War casualties, wounded, prisoners of war and missing in action

Vietnam War
- Vietnam War/Access to Archival Databases (AAD) includes Vietnam War casualties, wounded, prisoners of war, missing in action, and more items

See: Online Military Indexes and Records

Monday, April 06, 2009

Online Death Records and Indexes - New Additions and Updates

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Directory has been updated with links to the following items...

Alabama
- Montgomery County Cemeteries

Arizona
- Arizona Death Records Index 1844-1958 (update: year 1958 added)
- Maricopa County: Double Butte Cemetery Burials (2nd listing)

California
- Riverside County: Lake Elsinore Cemetery Burials

Colorado
- El Paso County Cemeteries (from the Colorado Tombstone Transcription Project)
- Larimer County: Local History Archive (includes burials in Grandview and Roselawn Cemeteries and indexes for some obituaries)

Florida
- Escambia County: St. John's Historic Cemetery Burial Search (Pensacola, Florida)

Illinois
- Kane County: St. Charles Public Library Local Newspapers Index 1993-present (includes obituaries)
- Madison County Genealogical Resources - includes Cemetery Burials (from the Edwardsville Public Library and the Illinois Digital Archives)
- McHenry County Historical Society Obituaries Index
- Winnebago County Death Index 1844-1981

Indiana
- Morgan County Cemeteries Index

Kentucky
- Jefferson County: Herman Meyer & Son Jewish Funeral Home - Burials and Headstone Photos (Louisville, KY) ongoing project

Maryland
- Early Maryland Probate Indexes
- Allegany County: Percy Cemetery Burials and Obituaries (small older cemetery in Frostburg, MD)
- Washington County Obituary Locator 1790-2007

Massachusetts
- Barnstable County: Barnstable Patriot Newspaper Archive 1830-1930

Michigan
- Michigan Death Records 1897-1920 (ongoing project - not yet complete)
- Delta County Genealogical Society - Genealogy Indexes (includes: probate index 1873-1975, and a cemetery burials index)

Mississippi
- Monroe County Book of the Dead: Cemetery Burials (work in progress)

Missouri
- Missouri Death Certificates Index and Images 1910-1958 (update: year 1958 added)

New Hampshire
- Belknap County: Sanbornton Historical Society Cemetery Burials (ongoing project)
- Sullivan County: Cemeteries of Washington, NH

New Jersey
- New Jersey Death Records Index, June 1878-June 1884 (from the NJ State Archives)

New Mexico
- Bernalillo County: Burials in 4 Albuquerque Cemeteries
- San Juan County Genealogy Indexes (includes an obituary index 1982-Feb. 2000, and cemetery burials)

New York
- Chautauqua County Cemeteries (also has some church death and burial transcriptions)
- Western New York Genealogy Indexes from the Painted Hills Genealogy Society (includes cemetery burials and other indexes for Allegany County, Cattaraugus County, Chautauqua County and Steuben County)
- Northern New York Historical Newspapers (for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, and Saint Lawrence Counties)
- For more historical NY newspapers see the New York section at: Historical Newspapers and Indexes on the Internet - USA

Ohio
- Clermont County Cemetery Photo Project
- Cuyahoga County: Western Reserve Historical Society - Genealogy and Other Indexes (includes index to McGorray Brothers Funeral Home Ledger Books; Marriage and Death Notice index from the Jewish Independent, and Jewish Review and Observer 1889-1964; and other items)
- Trumbull County: Warren-Trumbull County Public Library Obituaries Index

Oregon
- Multnomah County: Portland Oregonian Newspaper Index Search 1851-1987, includes obituaries index 1975-1987
- Washington County Cemetery Records

Pennsylvania
- Assorted Pennsylvania Cemeteries/WebCemeteries (a collection of mostly small cemeteries in PA; includes a genealogy search)
- McKean County Cemeteries
- Philadelphia County Cemeteries (USGenWeb Archives)
- Potter County Cemeteries
- York County Death Indexes and Genealogy Indexes (update: new URL and new indexes added)

South Dakota
- South Dakota Gravestone Photos (ongoing project)

Tennessee
- Rutherford County Cemeteries

Texas
- Nueces County: Corpus Christi Obituary Index and Old Bayview Cemetery Burials (update: Bayview cemetery added)

Washington
- Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State Cemetery Project

West Virginia
- West Virginia Death Index 1917-1958; coverage varies by county (update: year 1958 added)
- Huntington Herald Dispatch & Charleston Gazette Obituaries Index 1990-2005 (PDF files; has some gaps)

Wisconsin
- Milwaukee County: Wisconsin Jewish Death & Burial Index, and Jewish Chronicle Obituary Index

See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michigan Death Certificates 1897-1920 Online

The Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center have made nearly a million death records from 1897-1920 available on their "Michiganology" website (previously at the "Seeking Michigan" website). Update: more years are now available.

You can download copies of the currently available death certificates for free at: Michigan Death Records 1897-1920

For a list of more online Michigan death records and indexes see: Online Michigan Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries

For information about online death certificates for some states, see: Online Death Certificates (USA)

This article was updated on 3 February 2020

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Tips for Finding German Genealogy Records for Your German-American Ancestor

After I posted Tips for Finding Your German Immigrant Ancestor's Hometown in Germany last month, someone asked me what the next step was. She already had the name of her immigrant ancestor's hometown and didn't know where to look for further research. So here are some suggestions that may be helpful...

Is Anything Online? - German Genealogy Records on the Internet
Some German genealogy indexes and digitized records are available online. Here's a handy starting point: Online German Genealogy Indexes and Databases.

German Genealogy Records at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City
I usually start a German genealogy research project by checking the FamilySearch Catalog to see if they have any digitized microfilm records for the place where my German ancestor lived. Doing a "Place Search" in their online catalog for the name of the town can tell you whether they have digitized microfilmed records for that town. You may also want to search for the broader region or for nearby towns.

Be aware that other German towns across Germany may have the same or similar names as the town you're looking for. To help find the correct location you might try checking German maps or German gazetteers.

Church records are often used for doing genealogy research in Germany so it is helpful to know your ancestor's religious affiliation. If your ancestral family's place of residence doesn't have a church they may have gone to one in a nearby town.

German Genealogy Records in Germany (if not available from FamilySearch)
If FamilySearch doesn't have the records you need, then you can try writing letters or emails to local parishes, civil or religious archives, or civil registration offices in Germany. The book, Ancestors in German Archives: A Guide to Family History Sources, can be a helpful reference (try your local library). Some German archives have websites. Many of these are listed in the book, or you might try a Google search for the name of the archive you need. This directory may also be helpful: Deutsche ArchivPortal

The Germany Letter Writing Guide from the FHL may be helpful for writing to German parishes and archives. There will usually be fees for any research requests you have (even if records are not found). In some cases, you may want to hire a local researcher in Germany, especially if you need extensive research done.

Disclaimer: you may not be able find records for your German ancestor using this guide. These are merely suggestions.

The next article in this series: How I Found Some Genealogy Records for My German Ancestors

This article was updated on 12 May 2020