Monday, July 21, 2014

Finding Genealogy Gold

Genealogical research is like looking for gold.  Maybe the first attempt you don't strike it rich and maybe not even on the second attempt.  However, any good miner will tell you to keep trying but to also change your location.  There are treasures in all kinds of locations, particularly on Internet.

In a self-challenge I have been looking for gold in state archives, state libraries and state historical societies.  I have struck pay dirt and feeling philanthropic this morning, I have decided to share my luck with you.

The Maine State Archives has an extensive index to Revolutionary War Land Grants and Pension Applications.  While it is only an index, there is identifying information as to where the records are located.  There a lot more on their web page, so explore!

Working with land records and the land laws, I was pleased to learn more about Missouri's land history.  The Missouri State Archives through Missouri Digital Heritage allows you to search Missouri Land Patents.  The actual deed is not shown on the web site, but with click of the mouse you can locate sufficient information to send for a copy of it for $1 from the Missouri State Archives.  If your ancestor is listed, that's pay dirt!

Because I have an abundance of North Carolina ancestors, I am always interested in what I can locate  in that state.  Taking a trip through the State Library of North Carolina's web site, I decided to dig deeper.  I learned that they have free digitized NC Newspaper online.  Actually there is a lot  more mining to do there because I have noticed more digital images at DigitalNC.

I decided to try my luck in the deep south in Mississippi.  The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is an excellent place to explore.  Right away the Digital Archives caught my eye.  Browsing through the list of topics, I spotted Confederate Pension Applications (Mississippi).  That looked like a great place to dig.  Confederate pensions were granted only through the former Confederate states and not by the federal government.  Every good miner has to do their preliminary work, so I had my tools at hand ... names, locations, dates and more.  Browsing the images of the pension applications is easy because they are in alphabetical categories.  Once again I strike it rich!

This miner is getting tired and it is time to pull out my maps, clean up my tools and begin another day.  Look for more news of my findings of genealogy gold.  I don't even mind if you move in on my location and look for your own gold.

Ruby .... the genealogist and miner!

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