Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Favorite Places

I love travelling and I love surfing - the web that is. Over the years I've come across a few great freebie genealogy gem sites. They are not in any kind of order, except how they come to my mind. Click on the link to go to the site.

Family Search Labs. This is a pilot site hosted by The LDS Family Search. It is a collection of records world-wide that the LDS is putting online. Some are just indices, others are indexed images of census, birth, marriage and death records, probate records, funeral home records. This site is free. I've gotten tons of good stuff from this site and I eagerly anticipate more additions.

Old Fulton New York Postcards. This site is so misnamed. It ought to be New York Newspapers, scrapbooks and other historical data or another ridiculously long name. If you have New York State research, this is a great site for obits, marriage announcements and miscellaneous stuff. The search engine is fairly sophisticated and the results are pdf images of whatever has been scanned. This site is free, but the webmaster will accept donations.

Find-A-Grave. I have been nicely surprised by this site. I've added records to the site. And photos. One of the great things about this site? Volunteers who will go to the cemetery and take pictures. Again, it is a free site, but you can "sponsor" a record which removes the ads.

Online Searchable Death Indexes for the USA. This is a great site. Some of the links it will take you to are pay sites, such as Ancestry, but there is a wealth of information on the linked sites. Some links will take you to GenWeb sites, others state archives sites. If you scroll almost to the bottom you will see a link to take you to marriage, divorce and other records.

Missouri Online Death Records 1910-1958 (for now.) It originally started out as images from 1910 to 1956. They've added 1957 and 1958 as the 50 year anniversary rolls round and I have great hopes of them continuing this database. Their search engine is pretty advanced once you click on the advanced search option. Best of all you can save and/or print the image for free. I have pulled hundreds of death certificates off this site. And if you click on the collections link at the top of the page, you will find links to other items in their digital collection. Some newspapers, photographs, coroner's reports. If you find information but not a digitized image, generally you can send them a $1 and they will send you a copy.

Seeking Michigan. An attempt by the Library of Michigan to digitize the death records not indexed by the LDS - 1897 to 1920 Death records. It is incomplete and there are serious issues with counties they say are complete. For instance, 1909 Iosco county has one record. Since I have two relatives that appear in the county records for that time frame, I would say there is a serious problem with it. With budget cuts and the dissolution of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries, I don't know if this project will ever achieve completion. But it is free and there are a lot of records. I found some real surprises on this site.

There are many more great free sites out there that I will cover in another post.


  1. Old Fulton NY Postcards is a fantastic site, I found death notices and even my great grandparents engagement announcement there. I highly recommend it for Buffalo researchers, as it is the only place I have found digitalized, searchable Buffalo newspapers. Thank you for telling others about it.

  2. The Missouri death records site is super. My great grandfather happened to die across the state line in Missouri, so that was convenient for my research. I didn't realize they have added years to the collection so thanks for the update.

  3. Amy, it is a super site. Even though most of my family left Missouri before the depression, I found much on collateral lines. And while they don't have a soundex search available, you can search for portions of a name.

    I know they had a lot of physical assistance from outside sources when initiating the site and last year a call for volunteers to index. Hope they keep it updated.

    And what does MLIS stand for?