Finding Your Family Online
Washtenaw Community Free College Day September 26, 2015
Barbara Snow (1.5 hour)
Three Biggest Websites:
- FamilySearch.org (free)
- Family Trees
- Ancestry.com Library Edition free at many local libraries and in local Family History Centers --in library use only)
- Heritage Quest (free through all Michgan local libraries and you can use from home)
- Michigan residents: if the link above doesn't work, go to MEL or use the databases from your local library's web page.
Finding More Information on the Web
Search Birth, Marriage & Death Records
- FamilySearch.org is your first and best stop! Look at what is available
- Ancestry.com Library Edition has an incredible collection too. Some duplication with FamilySearch.org; but also MANY different records. See what is available.
- Use Joe Beine's lists and blogs to find out what is available other places.
- Check the FamilySearch Wiki for the place you are researching. Here is an example of a Wiki page for Michigan Vital Records -- check out the various links and you will find a variety of sites.
Search the Social Security Death Index
Social Security and Pension Records on Bobbie's Genealogy Classroom
Search Cemetery Records
- People love to use FindAGrave -- and no wonder! But remember, it is not complete.
- BillionGraves is a growing new comer -- and despite its name, it is smaller than FindAGrave.
- You won't find cemetery records indexed/images on FamilySearch.org, although you might find a film you can order. Here is an example from their online catalog (it costs $7.50 per film to order)
- There are many other online transcriptions.
- Chronicling America
- Some state sites
- Fulton History --a little funky looking, but a marvelous example of what one dedicated person can do.
- If you go to the University of Michigan Library, from inside the library you can search a number of historical newspapers while in the library. Probably EMU and other University libraries also subscribe to some of these.
Search Probate Records
FamillySearch.org is putting unindexed digital images online. These are the IMAGE ONLY collections. Here is an example of what is available for Arkansas. (Scroll down to view the image only part collection.) Using these collections can be time consuming (and tricky) but the information is available to any serious researcher.
Search old local and family histories (pre 1923)
- on Heritage Quest
- If the FamilySearch catalog tells you the book is part of Local Histories
- on Family Search -- use the dropdown to search books
- 3 big digital libraries
- World Cat will sometimes tell you if the book you want is available online.
- If it is published prior to 1923, google the title (in quotation marks).