Saturday, March 27, 2010

Digital Books

There are several places to locate scanned books on Internet. One of my favorite places is at the FamilySearch Family History Archive. They have many family genealogies and histories. Where do they get those books and periodicals? Primarily from the FamilySearch Family History Library, the Houston Public Library, Mid-Continent Public Library, Allen County Public Library, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library and the BYU Hawaii Joseph F. Smith Library.

By clicking on the link, you can perform a search by surname, author or title ... or you can browse the collection or perform an advanced search.

Another way to see if books have been scanned, is by checking the Family History Library Catalog. Click on surname and enter your surname of interest. On some of the entries that you see, there may be links to view a digital version. Click and you will be shown information about the book or publication. On the left side of the web page you will see a list of pages and information pertaining to the book, along with information on the printing version. By clicking that, the book will eventually appear in PDF format that can be saved to your computer for future reading and reference.

Check these options for searching often. As of a few days ago there were 60,144 items at the FamilySearch Family History Archives. New books and publications are being added frequently. It's another good thing for genealogists!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Digital State Archives

Before Internet (remember those days?) where did you go to do genealogical research? Libraries, archives, courthouses, newspaper offices? Seriously, I hope you still venture to those places. However, it is great to know that many state archives are going digital.

The web page, Digital States Archives, is a great place to begin looking for archives that have digital collections. There is a goldmine of information to be had for a click of the mouse. To date there are 18 states represented on this web page.

Documents, deeds, photographs, artifacts, court records, newspapers, military records, and much more can be found at various state archives. A good deal of these records are in digital format, which makes it great for genealogists who cannot travel to distant states.

This is not a one time web page to check. More state archives are being added, so be sure you bookmark it and check often for updates. It's a good thing!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Vital Records

Vital records are the very being of our genealogical research. If your ancestors or relatives lived during a time when vital statistics were recorded, add it to your list to obtain vital records.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a web page devoted to Where to Write for Vital Records. They provide links which send you to information regarding each state of territory. From there you will find information on birth, death, marriage and divorce records, when kept, where located, along with cost for copies. By clicking on further links you will see more information on the requirements to obtain the copies. Sometimes there will also be online downloadable forms provided.

At the top of the list of states and territories is a link for a PDF Version. Click on that to obtain a PDF of 68 pages showing all of the information you will find online. This is very helpful if you are not connected to Internet. The information is on your computer at your finger-tips.

Begin your list of vital records and then see how many you can obtain!