Posted in Genealogy Toolkit

Dayna’s Genealogy Toolkit

Dayna Jacobs, AG®   https://ongrannystrail.com/

toolkit piktochart

This toolkit is full of my go-to links that are (mostly) not record repositories, but rather are tools to help me find, interpret, and organize my research and records. I think you’ll want to keep them handy, too.

Abbreviations & Acronyms for Genealogy – What do they mean?

Abbreviations, Acronyms, Initialism & Postnominals in Genealogy – By NGS

Age Calculator – Calculate age based on the DOB and another date, by Cornell Univ.

Ancestor Search – Google search templates for genealogists, by Randy Majors

Archive Grid – Enter a zip code to identify nearby archives, find collections

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries – Identify U.S.  county boundaries at any point in history

BLM-GLO Records – Find U.S. federal land patents and locate parcels on a map

Census Enumerator Instructions – For U.S. censuses 1850-1940

Cheat Sheet – Boolean Genealogy Searches – Online searches made easy from OGT

Cheat Sheets – By Thomas MacEntee – A variety of helps

Cheat Sheet – Table of Wars and Ages of Servicemen –  Determine which war your ancestor might have been involved with

Citation Creator – EasyBib – Help for source citations

Cloud Convert – Convert files from one format to another

David Rumsey Digital Map Collection – Excellent map resource

DNA Painter – Tools for genetic genealogy

Earth Point township and range tools – Locate land in the public domain

Easy Google Genealogy Searcher – Google search templates for genealogists

Evernote – Organize your research

Family Relationship Chart – From the National Genealogical Society

Free Forms and Charts – Family Tree Magazine

Geographic Names Info System (GNIS) – Supercharged online gazetteer

Genetic Affairs – Tools for genetic genealogy

GPS Visualizer – Create .csv files of places in GNIS and import them to Google Earth

Historical Map Archive – A look back in time

Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps – By Randy Majors

Internet Archive – For digitized county and family histories

Learning Center – Free online courses at FamilySearch

Linkpendium – Links to genealogy resources organized by locality

Map of US – Interactive map of the U.S. and county boundaries by year

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – Order land entry files and pension files

Newspapers – Library of Congress: Chronicling America

Newspapers by Locality – From the Ancestor Hunt

Obituary links by locality – From the Ancestor Hunt

PhotoTree – Help with photograph types and dating

QuickSheets – From The Ancestor Hunt

Research Guides – From the Newberry Library

Research Report Template – Download this editable template from OGT

Research Wiki – FamilySearch – Huge knowledge base for researchers

Resources by Locality – From the Ancestor Hunt

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy – Online version of a classic

Timeline Template – Download this editable template from OGT

U.S. History Timelines and Chronologies

Vital Records – Where to write

Worldcat – Find libraries and items for interlibrary loan

The ICAPGen ℠ service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® registered marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.  All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Forts, National Archives

Plans of Military Posts in the United States, 1840–1947

Records held by the National Archives are valuable for Western States researchers. Think about it: beginning with California in 1850 and ending with Arizona and New Mexico in 1912, statehood for Western States meant that territorial records were transferred to the federal government for archiving. After statehood, federal records were created for the region.

The variety and scope of territorial and federal records pertaining to the Western States is quite interesting, and recently NARA added some records relating to military posts, or forts to their catalog.

The collection is titled “Plans of Military Posts in the United States, 1840-1947” (also titled “Miscellaneous Forts Files”). The creator is the War Department, Office of the Chief of Engineers, the NAID is 305806. Local ID is 77-MFF. It is partially available online, and searchable here.

The description on the NARA website reads: “This series consists of maps and plans of military posts primarily in the western United States. Most of these plans were originally compiled by Army quartermasters at each post before the drawings were transferred to the custody of the Corps of Engineers. Included are detailed maps, architectural plans, elevations, sketches, diagrams, and views of buildings. Also included are plats of the posts. Arranged alphabetically by name of post and thereunder numerically by sheet number.”

While this series may not have the names of personnel or other details about activities of the troops or forts, maps are valuable resources for researchers, and detailed drawings of buildings could be fascinating. The fact that part of the collection is available online is a big bonus!

For records that have other items of interest for researchers I recommend searching National Archives Record Group (RG) 393 titled, “U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920”, and particularly those found under 393.7 Records of Posts, 1820-1940. Those records include, “Letters sent and received, with indexes and registers; endorsements; telegrams; issuances; registers; reports; and other records of the headquarters, subordinate units and subposts, and staff offices of various posts.” Unfortunately, these records are not digitized as far as I know, so they require onsite research. Consult this NARA page to see where RG 393 is housed, as it is found in several different locations.

I previously posted about researching forts Out West, and you can access that post here for more resources and methodolgies.

Posted in Research tips

Updated links for Washington researchers

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On Granny’s Trail’s “Washington links” have been updated and include some interesting-looking immigration records, county inventories, and vital records. There are also links to records related to the Native American populations in that area.

Posted in California, Research tips, State records

Updated California Links

California: My Passion And My Love - Escalon Times

I’ve added a ton of new links to the “California Links” page. There are many resources specific to individual counties and cities, and quite a few immigration records for San Francisco and San Diego. There are a good number of links to newspapers for the state.

In addition to all of the digital collections for vital records, I would recommend checking out California, Local government records at the California State Archives, for an “Inventory of County and City Records Available at the California State Archives”.

Here is an example of what you can find in that resource: Stanislaus County – Probate, 1854–1941*; Bonds, Letters, and Wills, 1911–1921*; Naturalization, 1856–1978*; Deeds, 1854–1902*; Homesteads, 1860–1904*; Birth, 1873–1905*; Marriage, 1854–1920*; Declaration of Intention, 1854–1976*. While these records are not necessarily digitized (parts are included in various databases), they are available onsite at the State Archives.

If you are doing California research you’ll want to bookmark this page!

Posted in Research tips

Updated Arizona Links

I’m beginning a project to update and add new links to each of the state resource pages here on the On Granny’s Trail blog. If you are an Arizona researcher you’ll be interested to see what’s been added to the “Arizona links” page. I am pulling in my favorite links from a variety of places, including FamilySearch, state archives and libraries, and digital collections from various academic institutions around the state.

Stay tuned for updates to links for other western states in the coming weeks!

Posted in Mining, Research tips, Utah State Historical Society

Salt Lake County mining records – a boon to anyone researching miners

Was your ancestor a prospector? If they staked a mining claim in Salt Lake County, Utah 1863-1920 or 1976-2000, you are in luck. But even if they never set foot in Utah, this collection could benefit your research. The Salt Lake County Archives has just digitized a huge collection of mining records for the mining districts located within its boundaries. It includes

  1. Assessment Rolls, Index to Mining Claims, 1897-1938
  2. Index to Mining Abstracts, books A-F
  3. Index to Mining Deed Record, book Q
  4. Index to Mortgage Record Mining Properties, Book A
  5. Mining Claims, Index to Agreements, Book C; Power of Attorney
  6. Mining Claims, Index to Mining Location Notices, books E-F
  7. Mining Claims, Index to Patented Mines, 1898
  8. State Assessments Book B, 1977

Even if your ancestor did not mine in Salt Lake County, this collection has something for you. Take a look at the titles of the records in this collection. Did you realize these kinds of mining records existed? Do you know what kinds of mining records exist in the county where your ancestors prospected? These titles can give you some ideas for keyword searches on county and state archive sites, or in your favorite search engine.

The Salt Lake County Archives has posted an excellent guide to their collection which is also a very good overview of mining records in general. Much of it appears to have been taken from the Utah State Archives Mining Claims guide. I highly recommend reading these documents to educate yourself on the ways federal mining laws impacted state and county laws and requirements.

Guide to the Mining Records at the Salt Lake County Archives, prepared by Daniel Cureton, April 15, 2021

And if your ancestor was a Utah prospector from someplace other than Salt Lake County, be sure to check out the list of Utah mining records for other counties which were processed and are housed at the Utah State Archives. These are records which are in microfilm format. Be sure to make note of the Finding Aids associated with each county’s collection.