If your kin were hitched in Arizona, Idaho or Nevada you are really, really in luck, and if they tied the knot in California, western Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, eastern Washington, New Mexico or Wyoming you are just plain in luck. If they ran off to Alaska to get married you are out of luck, unless you are descended from one of the 33 couples whose records are included in the Western States Marriage Record Index. Continue reading “Hitched Out West? Find it in the Western States Marriage Record Index”
The first thing that comes to mind when I mention “Memory Projects” is something I am fond of saying: “I have a mind like a steel sieve.” Yes, we could all use a good Memory Project, and today I’d like to share with you a great resource for western states research on the Library of Congress website. Continue reading “Memory Projects and More…Digital Collections to Remember”
I recently posted about interesting federal record groups at the National Archives that most of us have never heard of, but are pretty awesome. I thought you would like to learn about some of them, so here is Part 2 of Record Groups to Rock Your Socks. Refer to the original post for a step-by-step guide to finding these and other great records.
Did you have a veteran ancestor who was a resident of an Armed Forces Retirement Home? Today’s gem is “Records of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, 1803-1943.” Notice the link to search the OPA (Online Public Access) for entries from this record group.
The NARA website gives this summary of the retirement home history: “Established as the Military Asylum, Washington, DC, by an act of March 3, 1851 (9 Stat. 595), with branches (1851-58) in New Orleans, LA, and East Pascagoula (Greenwood’s Island), MS, and at Western Military Asylum, Harrodsburg, KY.”
Look at the cool things you can find for both inmates (residents) and employees:
Here’s a fun and informative website that is not just for California researchers, even though it is a part of the University of California system. “Calisphere” is loaded with interesting content in the form of primary sources—images and documents organized into subject areas or historical era.
Topics like “Everyday life” and “Popular culture”, along with “The Transcontinental Railroad” and “Japanese-American Relocation” are just a few of the interesting things to explore which could add perspective to a family history.
I also found a helpful guide to primary source analysis, intended to help history students but applicable to family historians:
Calisphere is worth a visit—I know I plan on spending some time there. I’d be interested in hearing what you find!
Those of you researching in Nevada will be excited to discover “Nevada in Maps” online, through the University of Nevada, Reno. This database is available on the Nevada Historical Society‘s website under “digital collections.”
Take your pick from topographical, Sanborn fire insurance, mining, historical, highway, and state land plats:
If you have never seen a Sanborn fire insurance map you are in for a treat. You can see the details of every block in a city, like this 1885 map of downtown Carson City:
Notice the Opera house, wagon shop, millinery, candy store, tailor, and barber, among other shops. In residential areas the homes and outbuildings can be seen, and you can see every nook and cranny of your ancestor’s neighborhood.
Sanborn fire insurance maps are available for other states and cities, but can sometimes be hard to access online. This Nevada collection is a real find!
Check out the Library of Congress Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Online Checklist . The L.O.C. has over 675,000 sheets of Sanborn maps! Those that are out of copyright (printed before January 1st, 1923) are scanned and available online via links in the checklist.
To find a Sanborn map for a town or city that is not available online at the Library of Congress, just Google it. You may have access through a state library or university collection, or through a terrific website like “Nevada in Maps.”