I just learned about a Facebook page for people researching in the Western States and thought I’d share.
The FamilySearch Blog published a post in August 2016 called “Finding Your Ancestors on Facebook” which was featured in their newsletter today. Here is where I learned about a FamilySearch Wiki page called, “Genealogy Help on Facebook.” This helpful page features a table which has links to various regional research groups on Facebook, which is where I discovered the U.S. West Genealogy Research Community. It is a helpful forum where researchers can connect, ask questions, and offer suggestions to other researchers, and it covers what are often called the Mountain West States and the Pacific West States.
Thursday, October 6th, I will be presenting “Free Genealogy Classes, Webinars, and Online Learning” at the Monterey County Genealogy Society meeting. It will be at 7pm, at the corner of Noche Buena and Plumas in Seaside, California.
There are hundreds of opportunities for online learning in the world of genealogy, and some of the very best resources are FREE! This class provides an overview of all the best free resources for genealogy education today.
I love the FamilySearch Research Wiki for many reasons. One of them is the page titled “United States Online Genealogy Records.” This is a page with a link for each state page—pages which have neatly organized links to online genealogy records. It also has a few other links to pages with general U.S. records as follows:
If you like the idea of an entire page full of links to [insert favorite state name here] all neatly organized into familiar categories like births, marriages, deaths, archives and libraries, biography, cemetery, census, compiled genealogies, directories, history, military, and—well, you get what I’m saying—then you are going to love these state pages. Just take a look at the full page of Arizona links. Be sure to also check out the box titled, “Arizona Background” and its links for Biography, Gazetteers, History, Maps, Migration, and “For Further Reading.”
These are not just links to databases on FamilySearch, but links to fee-based websites, as well. The good news is that the fee-based websites appear to be those that patrons of LDS Family History Centers have access to at no charge, like Ancestry.com. The majority of links appear to be free, and are from the FamilySearch digitized collections.
Since the FamilySearch Research Wiki can be edited by anyone, presumably these pages with online links will be updated as new ones become available and alert Wiki contributors add them.
Military records are a valuable source of genealogical information—one of the best! Military service records, bounty land files, and pension files are some of the more commonly used in this record group, but don’t stop there. Draft cards, discharge papers, prisoner of war records, veteran cemeteries, soldier homes, and veteran/lineage societies can be rich resources for the researcher.
Do you know if your ancestor served in the military? The FamilySearch Wiki provides an Ages of Servicemen table to help determine this. From this table I created the Table of Wars – Ages of Servicemen downloadable cheatsheet with a timeline of wars servicemen might have been involved with, according to their birth dates at the time of the conflict. This is a table for wars the United States was a part of, but since most of these wars involved foreign countries, it can be a helpful tool for your foreign-born ancestors, as well.
We tend to think of wartime service for veterans, but don’t forget that men and women served in peacetime, too. Use this cheatsheet to determine if your ancestor might have been part of a military conflict, and then check the FamilySearch Wiki for search strategies specific to each war.