Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Genealogy Sites I use A LOT and other things.

I remember my senior year of high school I worked for Old Bridge Schools in the administration building. There was a tiny room in the back of the building where a lone woman sat all day scanning records to microfilm. I was fascinated with how it was done. I always wanted to learn the process but being a meager co-op student wasn't allowed to see "private" records of other students. I guess they didn't know who I was a new girl to public school who new NO ONE and didn't care about other peoples grades, etc.

I then started my Senior project on Family history and that is when I really fell in love with microfilm. I would spend hours in the East Brunswick library (they had census records - Old Bridge didn't) in front of a microfilm projector. I could honestly say that was my "best friend" that year. Move over Matt I have a date with a projector. Yeah, years later and he still doesn't get the obsession. His loss I guess.

Well with the age of internet we have come a long way. It know seems many towns are making it possible to search records online. Middlesex county, NJ is one of them. They have 1950 - present of land records available on the internet. This is where I find a lot of information on my hubbys family. His family is full of secrets - well they have been exposed. I know everything now :-)... just joking. I did find out a lot that Matt as well as his cousins and aunts did not know. Land records could be a treasure chest of information if you look hard enough. I have only recently discovered this not really giving much thought about them.

You can find maiden names. Names of parents if you did not have them before - when land is left in a will. Names of Uncles and Aunts, brothers and sisters, etc. I found death dates and marriage dates in some records. All have been a wonderful help in filling in the blanks I had on my in-laws.

Some towns have birth indexes and death indexes which are also a wonderful thing to be able to scan through. In both I have found children I never knew existed because they only lived a few months and were then listed on both indexes. In the death index if a certificate can not be found on a person a lot of times it lists cause of death which is always a nice thing to know. When some people die so young it is nice to know why. Influenza, drowning, etc. These are things that aren't in our genes so it helps settle the fear you may have (or I may have) of dying young.

Some wonderful sites that I am a member of (yes you do have to pay) that have many records available are:

Other wonderful sites that are free for all and have been very helpful to me are: LDS site (starting to have some census records) Connecticut site NJ State Archives-have records back to early 1700s PA state Archives Wisconsin Historical Archives American State Papers - great for VERY early settlements

Another site that is great to help as a springboard as where to look is not all links are up to date but there is a bunch of great stuff to find here.

That is all I have to add at the moment, have to bake bread for school bake sale, talk to you soon.

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