No More Late Fees! Check Out Free Genealogy Magazines and eBooks at Your Local Library

Your local library may offer free genealogy magazines and ebooks. Why choose them over print? So many reasons! No more late fees. Read on the go. Choose your font size. So go ahead: check out digital versions of that Genealogy Gems Book Club title you’ve been meaning to read, or the current issue of Family Tree Magazine. Here’s how.

genealogy library freebies

Here in the U.S., it’s my favorite time of year: back-to-school! The weather slowly cools. My children shake off summer’s mental lethargy. My own schedule resumes a more predictable, productive rhythm. And after months spent outdoors, I rediscover my local library. Top on my library list this fall: free genealogy ebooks and magazines I can check out on my mobile device. It’s on-the-go reading for my favorite hobby–with no searching under my bed when items come due to avoid those pesky late fees.

Free Genealogy eBooks and Magazines

Genealogy Gems Premium Member Autumn feels the same way about free genealogy gems at her local library. Here’s a letter she wrote to Lisa Louise Cooke:

“I’m really enjoying both the Premium and free podcasts. I also like the addition of the Genealogy Gems Book Club. I haven’t read all the books yet but am adding them all to my wishlist on Overdrive, a free app that allows you to check out digital books for free from your local library. They don’t have every book but they have many, many books including some from the book club. Most libraries have a lot of biographies and histories available through Overdrive for free that are of interest to genealogists as well. Some libraries are adding video to their Overdrive offerings too.

Many of these same libraries offer magazines free as well.  My library…use[s] Zinio, a magazine app. I only subscribe to a couple of magazines now because I can get so many for free through my library (not to mention keeping my home neater by not having them laying everywhere).”

genealogy book club family history readingIt makes me happy that Autumn is enjoying the Genealogy Gems Book Club. We hear from many avid readers who love browsing our list of mainstream fiction and nonfiction picks for family history lovers. As part of our book club, we interview every book club author, too–from beloved novelists like Fannie Flagg to acclaimed journalists, memoir writers, and historians who take their own unique approaches to family history themes. Hear excerpts of these interviews on the free Genealogy Gems Podcast; full interviews run on the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast, available by subscription.

Overdrive and Zinio

At Autumn’s recommendation, I started using Overdrive through my local library. I love it! I’ve listened to several digital audiobooks on the road and at the gym through Overdrive and have read several ebooks, too. (I’m always on the hunt for the next Genealogy Gems Book Club title.) The books just disappear at the end of the lending period (hence the “no late fees” bonus).

Genealogy Gems Service Manager Lacey Cooke loves Overdrive, too. She sent me these four reasons why:

1. Download for Offline Listening: “You can download the ebooks, audiobooks, magazines etc. to your device so that you can enjoy them offline (great for traveling). They’ll still disappear once your lending period expires, but having them available offline is awesome. You don’t have to worry about data charges or slow internet connections.

2. The Wishlist: Autumn briefly mentioned the Wishlist feature. I love this feature because it gives me somewhere to save book titles that I’m interested in reading at some point, but I’m not ready to check out just yet.

3. Bookmark/Syncing: You can bookmark a page, then pick up where you left off. If you have the Overdrive app on multiple devices, the app syncs. I can start reading on one device, and pick up on another right where I left off.

4. Format Adjustments: You can adjust the font style, size, and color to make it easier for you to read. I like to pick a nice, clean font in a big size so there’s no strain on my eyes.”

It’s worth noting that if you don’t already have a library card with your local library, you may be required to sign up in person to get a card, even if you only plan on using the Overdrive app to request items online. New releases or popular titles may have a wait list to check out the ebook or audiobook (especially if the library only possesses one copy). If you do have to place an ebook on hold, you will be notified via email when it becomes available to you, so if you don’t check your email regularly, keep that in mind when you place a hold. Each library system is different, so of course, your experience may vary.

Another helpful tip: not every library offers Overdrive ebook checkouts. But sometimes you can use another library’s Overdrive privileges. Autumn sent a link to these instructions on how to do so. (Thanks, Autumn!)

Autumn also mentioned the Zinio app. My library doesn’t offer Zinio yet, so I spent a little time on its public search portal. That doesn’t have a browsable genealogy category, and searches for the terms family history, genealogy and ancestry came up empty. But I did finally find these titles:

Lisa Louise Cooke, Genealogy Gems DNA expert Diahan Southard, and I are all frequent contributors to Family Tree Magazine, which we {heart} and recommend for its easy-reading research tips, hands-on tech and DNA tutorials, and the eye-candy layout. (Click here to subscribe personally, if you don’t want to read through a library app.)

More Free Genealogy Resources at Your Local Library

Of course, your local library may offer many additional free genealogy research and reading materials. Of tremendous value is access to Library editions of popular genealogy databases such as Ancestry, Findmypast, Fold3, and MyHeritage, along with institutional versions of historical newspaper databases. (Click here to learn more about the differences between the major genealogy websites.) Call your library or browse its website to see what resources may be available with your library card on site or even remotely from your own home or mobile device. And remember to watch for your library’s e-media options like those recommended by Autumn.

As a special shout-out to all the free genealogy resources at your library, Lisa Louise Cooke has granted free access for everyone to Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode #125. In this episode, Lisa has a full discussion about more free genealogy gems at public libraries with Cheryl McClellan. Cheryl is not only my awesome mom, she rocks professionally as the Geauga County, Ohio public library system staff genealogist!

This Premium episode is usually exclusively for Genealogy Gems Premium members. If you love it, and you’re not already a member, consider gifting yourself a “back to school” subscription. It’s the most fun, energizing, apply-it-now genealogy learning experience you may ever have.

Premium Episode 105

Download the Show Notes

NEWS:

Flipboard CoverFree RootsTech 2014 Flipboard Magazine

Where Genealogy and Technology Converge

Originally designed specifically for the iPad in 2010, the free Flipboard app has moved onto all the major mobile platforms. And this cool new technology has just gotten better with a big dose of genealogy!

I invite you to explore the newly released free Flipboard magazine RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge.

Genealogy Gems has published the magazine in conjunction with the RootsTech program team in a continuing effort to help family historians embrace new technologies and present RootsTech attendees with the possibilities.

Consider what’s been happening in the mobile space this last year:

  • Smartphone usage in the U.S. increased by 50 percent (Kleiner Perkins)
  • The number of emails being opened on mobile increased by 330 percent (Litmus)
  • Tablet usage doubled in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)

The bottom line: More than ever folks are accessing websites, videos, podcasts, blogs and other online information on their mobile devices. That’s where the free Flipboard app comes in.

FlipboardThe free Flipboard app is a social-network and online aggregator of web content and RSS channels for Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. Content is presented in a captivating magazine format allowing users to “flip” through it with a simple swipe of the finger.

As a genealogy new media content creator and publisher, we’re excited to introduce a creative use of this emerging technology to the genealogy industry. RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place.

This magazine has presented an opportunity to crowd-source the know-how and talent of all of those who work to make RootsTech a success. The magazine offers an exciting look at the RootsTech experience the innovative technologies emerging in the genealogy industry, and a new vehicle for everyone in the RootsTech community to converge! The pages go beyond text and images by also delivering video and audio!

How to Access the Magazine in Flipboard:

  1. Get the free Flipboard app at flipboard.com, in iTunes or Google Play.
  2. Set up for your free account
  3. In the search box at the top of the homepage, search for ROOTSTECH
  4. Tap “RootsTech 2014″ by Lisa Louise Cooke (you’ll see a magazine icon next to it.)
  5. When the magazine loads, tap the SUBSCRIBE icon at the top of the page
  6. Starting at the right hand side of the page, swipe your finger from right to left over each page to “flip!”

Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke:

Stay tuned to the Genealogy Gems Blog and Podcast for Lisa’s upcoming exclusive interview with the folks at Flipboard!

 

Digitizing Colonial Genealogy
If you’ve got British colonial roots in North America, you know how tough it can be to learn more about your family during that time. That’s why I was excited to read a recent article in the Harvard Gazette.
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/11/a-colonial-goldmine/

According to the article, plans are afoot to digitize and make available millions of British colonial documents. And yet, there are still that many colonial-era documents sitting largely untouched in public and private archives, far from the reach of the everyday genealogist.

The Gazette reports not one but two major digitizing projects underway relating to British colonial documents in the U.S. Harvard University is leading the first project, which is already funded and underway. It will capture around 30 million pages of 17th- and 18th-century material from more than 1600 manuscript collections at 12 different Harvard repositories.

As if that’s not good enough news, a much larger project is in the works, too. A larger-scale Colonial Archives of North America has plans to digitally assemble pre-Revolutionary War material from Harvard and several historical societies, archives and Libraries in New England, New York and beyond (including Montreal). I was pleased to see that records relating to businesses, poverty, public health and indigent care will form part of the anticipated collection. These kinds of documents talk about everyday folks and their living conditions; just what we want for our colonial genealogy. This second project is not funded yet but researchers are confident it will be.

Meanwhile, check out online resources like these for colonial documents:

 

National Archives Digitizing Projects: Colonial, WWII, Jewish and More
And there’s another digitizing project that also includes Colonial records Over $2 million in grants has been awarded by the National Archives (U.S.) to digitize important historical documents. Here’s how the awards break down:

  • $1.1 million to “nine publishing projects from the U.S. Colonial and Early National Period, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dolly Madison, and John Jay.  Projects to record the Documentary History of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress also received funding”
  • Nearly $700,000 to “State and National Archives Partnership (SNAP) grants to enable 28 state historical records advisory boards to carry out their mission to support archival education and strengthen the nation’s archival network;”
  • Over $500,000 to 7 projects to “digitize World War II Oral History files; the papers of Leo Szilard, the nuclear physicist; the papers of General Oliver Otis Howard,  Civil War general, Commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau, and third president of Howard University; Historical Collective Bargaining Agreements from the 1880s through the 1980s; the Center for Jewish History’s American Soviet Jewry Movement collections; Early Connecticut manuscripts; and 19th century trademark files in the California Archives, including the original trademarks and specimens from Levi Strauss & Co. jeans, 19th century medicines and tonics, and the original trademark registered to Anheuser Busch for its Budweiser lager.”
  • As you can see, there’s a lot in there to appeal to family historians. Maybe not so much the Levi  Strauss and  Budweiser artifacts, but I could see many of us being interested in the World War II oral history files; the papers of the Freedman’s Bureau Commissioner; the Center for Jewish History’s files; those early Connecticut manuscripts and more.
  • The National Archives’ press release doesn’t say where these digitized files will end up. But I’m guessing at least some will eventually be made available on Founders Online, an award-winning database on the papers of “America’s  Founders.” http://founders.archives.gov/

AncientWebcomExplore Deep Ancestry
If you’ve had your DNA tested, you may have learned that you descend that you descend from Vikings. But wondered who exactly the Vikings were. There’s a cool website about ancient civilizations called http://www.TheAncientWeb.com  and it looks like a fun and easy way to get up to speed on history.

As the title hints, this site is all about deep roots. It covers ancient societies in all parts of the world: North and South America, Europe, the Near East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. You’ll find history and images of artifacts on peoples ranging from Arabians to Vikings!

This is a great interactive tool for brushing up on ancient history. Check it out with your kids or grandkids who are exploring these topics in school.

But this is also a helpful resource if you’re looking to learn more about your “deep ancestry” as identified by DNA tests. You may never know if you descend from a famous (or infamous) warlord, ruler or explorer. But genetic tests are becoming more specific about deep geographic roots. So maybe it’s worth checking out a little Viking warrior fashion or learn about the ancient empire of the Mandingo on this site!

mailboxMAILBOX:

Jean wrote in response to Premium Episode 104 and the story of the cemetery in Philadelphia.  She send me a link to the Hidden San Diego website that tells a similar story that occurred there in California : http://www.hiddensandiego.net/pioneer-park.php

Learn more about Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA (now a part of Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park, aka Pioneer Park; aka Catholic Cemetery, aka Mission Hills Cemetery, aka Old Catholic Cemetery) 1501 Washington Place, San Diego, CA 92103

“Dedicated to the Memory of Those Interred Within This Park”
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~clement/Calvary/home.htm

She says: “ the San Diego story does not seem to indicate how this burial ground was changed into a park, but only the headstones were removed, so perhaps that is part of the rationale.  Sadly, the removal of the headstones did in many where to buy medication cases destroy the death records of those buried there.  Amazing.”

This was a Catholic cemetery, all the headstones were removed, but the bodies are still interred there.  In the story you told about the Philadelphia cemetery, a University had the land condemned or “rezoned,” and the bodies transferred to a mass grave, so they could build a parking lot.

I’m just remembering your great story about the discovery of the grave and body of King Henry (and I think what Jean is referring to was my interview in Premium episode 97 with Dr. Turi King about the the discover of the body of King Richard the III.) And Jean says “Wasn’t that beneath a “carpark” in Great Britain?  History does repeat itself!”

And Jean is absolutely right. And although parks are nice as in the case of San Diego, I don’t think the historical damage done is any different whether it’s a park or a parking lot. Gravestones are so critical when they were erected prior to official records being taken.

I’ll be down in San Diego giving a seminar for the San Diego Genealogical Society http://www.casdgs.org/

Family History Seminar January 11, 2014
Register here: http://casdgs.org/upload/events/files/1383075946_2014JanuarySeminarRegistration.pdf


custom_folder_11924Ricky has a question about computer filing:
“I’m trying to reorganize my computer files.  My question is how would you name a Census image that you download (save) from the web (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc)?? I can’t remember now if I’ve heard you tell this during one of your Podcasts (GG, FTM or the Made Easy one).

I want to organize my files and then enter everything into RootsMagic. There I’ll source it correctly, I just want the best way (or a better way) to save my Census image files. My current method in which the file name contains an ancestors name can be confusing when families live near one another and there are multiple families on the same page.”

Lisa’s Answer Suggestions:
1) No matter what you do, just be consistent

2) I like to think of my naming conventions as hierachy: most important info to least import. For example a census image downloaded from Ancestry would be:

BURKETT-1910-San_Francisco-Census-Ancestry.jpg

I put the surname in caps to make them easy to browse. If you use my hard drive organization system that I show in the Premium videos, you could do away with “Census” and even the surname if you wanted because those elements of the file name are addressed in the folders. However, if you don’t mind the longer file names, it’s nice to still include those keywords because often files are shared and put in places (such as your database) that are outside of those folders.

3) If you want to take the time to enter additional meta data in the file you could certainly do that in the files “Properties.”

4) I save multiple copies when there are multiple families on one page. It doesn’t happen that often, and with my hard drive filing system each family has their own “Census” folder so they need their own dedicated image of that census.

5) Create a naming convention that works for you, easy to remember, and containing the information that is important to you.

 

GEM: Digital Archives

DPLA logoDPLA
I’ve been talking lately on the Genealogy Gems blog at my website about digital archives:

DPLA Intro to the Digital Public Library of America
https://lisalouisecooke.com/2013/12/dpla-introduction-to-the-digital-public-library-of-america/

I’ve blogged before about the relatively new Digital Public Library of America:

National Archives and the Digital Public Library of America (Introduction)
https://lisalouisecooke.com/2013/04/national-archives-and-digital-public-library-of-america/

Rumsey TAT mapOnline Historical Maps: From David Rumsey to the DPLA
https://lisalouisecooke.com/2013/05/david-rumsey-online-historical-maps-going-on-dpla/

Now the Library of Congress has posted a 31-minute webcast that features the DPLA content director, Emily Gore. She not only demonstrates some great examples of what you can find in the public portal of the DPLA, but also discusses the potential for gathering even more materials (she gives an example using local sources.) It’s a great introduction to the site, and Gore answers some questions from the audience that seem to be on a lot of people’s minds.

Watch the Webcast recording here: http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6018&loclr=rssloc

More reading: 250 killer Digital Libraries and Archives
https://lisalouisecooke.com/2013/11/250-killer-digital-libraries-and-archives/

Smaller Digital Archives:

We hear a lot about digital archives and libraries these days. They really are a boon to genealogists—if we know where to find them online, what they offer and how to use them.

The point of a digital archive or library is to take valuable materials that are usually buried in manuscript collections or university libraries and make them available at the click of a mouse to a much wider audience. At some sites, you’ll find digitized images of original records: government documents, photographs, reference and history books and much more. Other sites that describe themselves as digital archives at least put extended descriptions of archival material online, so you can keyword search materials like “Montana prison records.”

Some digital archives are better-known, national or international sources of digital content, like the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America)  http://dp.la/

HathiTrust  http://www.hathitrust.org/

Internet Archive  https://archive.org/

Google Books  http://books.google.com/

National Archives Digital Collections http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html

FamilySearch Digital Books  http://www.books.familysearch.org

But did you know that a lot of smaller digital archives and libraries provide regional or statewide or provincial content? Often it’s just the kind of material a family historian is looking for. Here are a couple of examples within the U.S.

Virginia was a colonial gateway, a place where a lot of families with deep American roots began their lives in the New World. Just listen to the kinds of materials you can find in the Digital Collections of the The Library of Virginia http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/using_collections.asp: newspapers, photographs, maps, Civil War and War of 1812 documents, rare books, personal histories (including narratives of former slaves), biographical sketches, the cohabitation register which was really the legal marriage register for emancipated slaves, records from counties that have suffered a lot of record loss, an index to chancery court records and even a collection of legislative petitions. These last two, the chancery court and legislative petitions, are a fantastic thing to find online and text-searchable. Often court records are not indexed at all, are poorly or partly indexed, and aren’t online. Looking for more like this? Check out Documenting the American South, another digital archive packed with books, diaries, letters, oral histories and more at http://docsouth.unc.edu/.

If you’re searching for family on the other side of the U.S., check out the Northwest Digital Archives http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/index.shtml : This is a gateway to archival and manuscript collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alask and Washington. Some of the materials they point to are available in image form online. For others, you’ll just learn a description of what resources are available, what’s in them, and where they are. That’s the case for those Montana prison records. The Northwest Digital Archives describes this collection—over 100 years’ worth of records!—at the Montana Historical Society Research Center. You’ll find other gems like a homesteader’s description of growing up in South Dakota and a book on Jews in the Northwest.

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust Digital Library is an enormous pool of digital content: about 10.6 million volumes with about 3.7 billion pages. About a third of this content can be freely accessed by the public. A third may not sound like much, but a third of 3.7 billion pages is still a lot!

So what genealogy material do they have? You’ll find U.S. county and other local histories and about a half million government documents (state and federal) like military records and railroad commission and other reports. Many of these have lists of names you can full-text search. There are also unpublished dissertations and theses, which can be great sources for local history.

Here’s another plus. Anyone who’s a member of a participating library (or who creates a free “friend” account  http://www.itcs.umich.edu/itcsdocs/s4316/ ) can create their own collections of digital content within the site. Then you can full-text search within just that material and/or make your collection public so others can search it, too. On the collections page, if you enter “Genealogy” you’ll find several collections created by different users ranging from really small to over 1000 volumes. There are also history collections worth browsing, like Records of the American Colonies.  http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/mb?a=listis;c=855228657

HathiTrust has a mobile web site too. The current interface is limited: you can’t do full-text searches or browse collections. But you can still find and use great materials. I entered “Lackawanna Pennsylvania” as a search term on the mobile site and within seconds I had a 1897 county history on my iPad–no membership required.

New Records Include Irish Genealogical Abstracts

Explore new Irish Genealogical Abstracts that have become available this week. They are a great alternative to records destroyed in the 1922 Dublin fire! Also new are church and burial records for England, poorhouse records for Scotland, German military recruitment, documents, and colonial letters for Australia. Finally, a variety of exciting collections are now online for the U.S. for Massachusetts, New Mexico, Georgia, and more!

Irish Genealogical Abstracts

Irish Genealogical Abstracts

New this week at Findmypast are several genealogical abstract collections! First is the Thrift Irish Genealogical Abstracts, created by renowned Irish genealogist Gertrude Thrift. This collection features copies of wills, bill books, parish registers, commission books, and freeman lists, as well as detailed family trees and pedigree charts. Records in this collection date as far back as the 16th century and up to the early 20th century.

Next is the Crossle Irish Genealogical Abstracts collection. Explore the various notebooks of 19th-century genealogists Dr. Francis Crossle and Philip Crossle to reveal a wealth of Irish genealogical resources including copies of records destroyed in the fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922.

Finally, the Betham Irish Genealogical Abstracts features abstracts and genealogical sketches created by herald Sir William Betham, the Ulster King of Arms. The notebooks are an excellent substitute for missing records and include abstracts of wills, reconstructed family trees, and detailed pedigrees.

Also new for Irish genealogy this week is the Cork, Pobble O’Keefe Census 1830-1852. Search these records to discover who your ancestor was living with as well as their occupation, birth year and marital status.

Findmypast is the leader in genealogical records for Ireland, the UK, and now including U.S. and Canada. Get a two-week free trial of their premium subscription and explore millions of Irish record and more!  Click here to subscribe now.

England Parish Records

Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1837 for Nottingham, England are now available online at Ancestry.com. The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records.

Over 75,000 records have been added to Findmypast’s collection of Yorkshire Burials, covering Anglican parishes and municipal cemeteries. Find your ancestor’s name, age at death and burial place, with more than 4 million records covering over 400 years.

Scottish Poorhouse Records

New for Scotland are Kirkcaldy, Fife, Poorhouse Records, 1888-1912. This collection includes records for those who received help from the Abden Home Poor Law Institution, originally named the Kirkcaldy Combination Poorhouse.

German Military Records

Stadtarchiv German Military Records

Halle(Saale), Military Recruitment Lists, 1828-1888 are now online at Ancestry.com.

From the collection description: “These recruitment lists are arranged in chronological-alphabetical order and contain detailed information about male military personnel in the city. Typically records for young men begin at age 20. Therefore this collection includes age groupings for men born beginning in 1808 up to and including 1868.”

Australia – New South Wales

At Ancestry.com, you can now explore the New South Wales, Colonial Secretary’s Letters, 1826-1856 collection. If you had ancestors living there during that time period, you can find a wealth of information in this collection, including petitions by convicts for sentence mitigation, marriage permission requests, character memorials for potential settlers, land grant or lease applications, official visit reports, information about court cases, and lists of assigned servants.

United States – Maps & More

Confederate Maps. The Cartographic Branch of the National Archives has announced the digitization of over 100 Confederate maps from Record Group (RG) 109.  All are now available to view or download through their online catalog. “These maps can include rough sketches created quickly before or during a battle, but can also include maps that were drawn to accompany official reports or even post-war publications. Many are highly detailed and colorized.”

Massachusetts. At AmericanAncestors.org (the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society), 12 new volumes have been added to the parish of Immaculate Conception in Salem to Massachusetts collection, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1900. This update consists of 23,972 records and roughly 90,300 names.

New Mexico. Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Marriage Index, 1888-2017 are now available online at Ancestry.com. The original records come from Bernalillo County Record’s Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Georgia. From a recent press release: The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is celebrating its 1 millionth digitized historic newspaper page. The premier issue of the Georgia Gazette, Georgia’s first newspaper, published from 1763-1776 in Savannah, will become the 1 millionth page of historic newspapers to be made freely available online through the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN).

Colorado. Also celebrating a 1 million milestone is the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC), from the Colorado Virtual Library. The millionth page came from the Montrose Daily Press, Volume XII, Number 247, April 21, 1921, which is part of a digitization project supported by Montrose Regional Library District.

If you’re ready to get started researching your Irish ancestors, then our Irish research guides are exactly what you need! Start with Preparing for Success in Irish Records Research to get a solid foundation, and then dig deeper with Irish Civil Registration & Church Records. Get three research guides written by Irish genealogy expert Donna Moughty are available as a discounted bundle at our store Click here to get your copies.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting the free Genealogy Gems podcast and blog!

How to Research Your Irish Ancestors: Irish Genealogy and Family History

If you want to find your ancestors in Irish records, you have come to the right place!

I want to introduce you to Donna Moughty, EXPERT Irish genealogist. She’s going to explain what you need to do in order to be successful:

Irish Genealogy Quick Reference Guides

irish genealogy cheat sheetThe Irish Research Quick Reference Guides Donna referred to walk you through the critical steps to Irish genealogy success.

Step 1 – Preparing for Success in Irish Records Research
Without the right preparation, researching in Ireland can be frustrating! Before you jump the pond, start your research at home to determine a place in Ireland, as well as details to help differentiate your person from someone of the same name. This guide shows you how to idenitfy records in the US to set you up for success in your Irish research.

Guide #2 – Irish Civil Registration and Church Records
Civil Registration for all of Ireland began in 1864, with Protestant marriages dating back to 1845. Even if your ancestors left before that date, they likely had relatives that remained in Ireland. Prior to Civil Registration, the only records of births (baptisms), marriages or deaths (burials) are in church records. This guide explains how to use the new online Civil Registration records as well as how to identify the surviving church records for your ancestors in Ireland.

More Free Irish Genealogy Records and Strategies

Here at Genealogy Gems we continually cover Irish genealogical records and provide research strategies. To find our blog posts, click the Home button  in the menu…

…and then select Irish from the menu. Our blog posts that mention Irish genealogy will appear in a continuous thread, starting with the most recent.

Find It Fast!

Some posts mention Irish records along with other records. If you’re in a hurry, use Control F (Mac: Command) to search for the words  “Irish” or “Ireland” to jump to what you want.

Get Our Free Genealogy Gems Newsletter

Finally, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter (below) to stay up to date on our newest content including free blog posts, podcast episodes, and videos.

National Archives Facilities Closing

National Archives, Washington, D.C. Wikimedia Commons Image by Edbrown05.

National Archives, Washington, D.C. Wikimedia Commons Image by Edbrown05.

National Archives (US) facilities are closing or restructuring in three locations. But steps are being taken to maintain access (local or online) to the treasure trove of research materials at these facilities.

A recent press release states, “As part of ongoing budget adjustments, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced the permanent closure of three National Archives facilities.  This year, the National Archives facility in Anchorage, AK, will close and two facilities in the Philadelphia, PA, area will be consolidated to a single site.  Within the next two years, two Archives’ facilities in Fort Worth, TX, also will be consolidated to a single site.  These closures and consolidations will result in estimated annual cost savings of approximately $1.3 million.”

“The National Archives budget is devoted primarily to personnel and facilities, both of which are essential to our mission,” the Archivist stated.  “I recognize these cuts will be painful; however, we are committed to continuing to provide the best service to our customers and best working conditions for our staff nationwide.”

Here’s the scoop on each of the affected locations:

National Archives – Anchorage, AK, facility closing:

The National Archives’ facility in Anchorage, AK, will close permanently in FY 2014. The employees who work there will be offered positions at other National Archives facilities, with the National Archives paying relocation expenses. The less than 12,000 cubic feet of archival records in Alaska will be moved to the National Archives at Seattle, WA, where the National Archives will digitize these records so that they remain available to Alaskans through the internet. In addition, we will move approximately 7,500 cubic feet of records center holdings to Seattle, WA.

National Archives – Philadelphia, PA, facility consolidation:

The National Archives currently maintains two facilities in Philadelphia—a records center and archives at Townsend Road, and a small “storefront” archival facility at 900 Market Street in the city center.  These facilities are in the same commuting area, and archival records are currently moved between the two for research use. The Market Street facility will close in FY 2014, and those employees will move to Townsend Road or telework locations. The less than 5,000 cubic feet of archival records stored at Market Street will be moved to Townsend Road, where the majority of the archival records already are stored. The Townsend Road facility’s research room will be modified to better provide appropriate access to researchers, and community outreach programs will continue.

National Archives – Fort Worth, TX, facility consolidation:

The National Archives currently maintains two facilities in Fort Worth: a combined records center and archives at John Burgess Drive, and a smaller “storefront” facility at Montgomery Plaza. The National Archives will permanently close the Montgomery Plaza facility in FY 2016. All employees at the Montgomery Plaza location will move to John Burgess or telework locations. No original records are stored at Montgomery Plaza, and researchers will have continued access to archival records through the research room at John Burgess Drive.

What’s at National Archives facilities for family history researchers? Learn more here.

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