The NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society



A Summary of Events and Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists


Vol. 13 No. 2--April 1, 2008


compiled by Luther Olson



NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy [NEOCAG] serves Eastern Cuyahoga,

Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage & Summit Counties.


Regular meetings 2nd Saturday of each month


St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church

435 S.O.M. Road, Mayfield Village, OH.


Jerry Kliot—President




> News and Views


> USGenWeb Sites Departing RootsWeb

> Many USGenWeb Sites Leave RootsWeb

> USGenWeb - Where Are They Moving?

> The Internet Effect On Local Genealogy Societies

> Internet Effect on Membership of NEOCAG Society?

> Where Did I Come From? TribalPages Genealogy Maps Have the Answer

> Research Your Tree in Just-Updated PERSI

> Should We Call It ‘Genealogy’ Or ‘Family History’?

> BYU Family History Archive to Expand

> Everton's Best Internet Sites for Finding Living Relatives

> Research at the Courthouse, Archives or Library/

    10 Tips for Planning Your Visit & Maximizing Your Results

> NARA Posts Free Passenger Indexes Online




> News and Views


A few years ago NEOCAG members participated in efforts to recycle our old equipment. It was evident from the start that we were concerned about the problem and interested in doing what we could to help keep toxic materials out of our environment.  After a few years, however, it became obvious that we had about reached the limit in what we could do. Fortunately many of our local communities began picking up on the problem and it seemed much better for each of us to work within our own city.


At that time we published a list of each city, which I would like to do once again. This list is from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District—may I suggest that right now you bookmark this site so you can continue to go to it in the future. We are grateful to Jan Shergalis for her collection of old cell phones and empty printer cartridges each month which are recycled by the Kenston Schools.


It seems that we at the local level, including our individual communities, are carrying much of the load. A lengthy article in the PD on Thursday, 4/17, was disappointing, however, in that it appeared that the counties and the state are doing little or nothing.  You aren’t going to drive to Berea or Medina to get rid of your old batteries. Perhaps in the future we can find a way to make our officials at those levels more aware of their responsibilities.


In the meantime, thanks for your continued interest and support,






Bay Village

Drop-off April 7-18, 31300 Naigle Road, M-F 7:30-3:00 and Sat. 8:00-12:00. Questions, call (440) 871-1221 or


Year-round drop off, 2700 Richmond Road (Door # 5), M-F, 7:30-3:30. Questions, call (216) 292-1922 or


Drop-off July 1-31, 100 Solon Road, M-F 8:00-4:00. Questions, call (440) 735-6582 or

Bedford Heights

Drop-off April 1-30, 25401 Solon Road, M-F 8:00-3:00. Questions, call (440) 232-8832 or


Year-round collection. Questions, call (440) 247-5055


Year-round drop-off (Saturday only), 9023 Brecksville Road, 9:00–12:00. Questions, call (440) 526-2643 or

Broadview Heights

Year-round drop-off, 9543 Broadview Road - Bldg. 10, M-F 7:00–3:00. Questions, call (440) 526-4718 or

Brook Park

Year-round drop-off, 19065 Holland Road, M-F 7:00–3:00. Questions, call (216) 433-7192 or


Year-round drop-off, 9400 Memphis Avenue, M-F, 8:00–4:30. Questions, call (216) 635-4232 or

Brooklyn Heights

Year-round drop-off, 233 Tuxedo Avenue, M-F, 8:00-4:30. Questions, call (216) 351-0131 or

Chagrin Falls

Drop-off April 1-30, 240 Solon Road, M-F 7:00-3:30. Questions, call (440) 247-5053 or


Drop-off April 1-30, 5600 Carnegie Avenue and 3727 Ridge Road, M-F 9:00-3:00. Questions, call (216) 664-3717 or

Cleveland Heights

Year-round curbside collection. Questions, call (216) 691-7319 or

Cuyahoga Heights

Curbside collection on Tuesdays. Questions, call (216) 641-3505 or

East Cleveland

Drop-off April 1-30, 1610 Eddy Road. Questions, call (216) 681-2421 or


Drop-off April 1-30, 25200 Lakeland Boulevard. Questions, call (216) 289-8345 or


Year-round drop-off, 29555 Pettibone Road. Questions, call (440) 232-8788 or

Highland Heights

Drop-off April 1-30, 5827 Highland Road, M-F 8:00-3:30. Questions, call (440) 461-2440 or

Hunting Valley

Drop-off April 1-30, 38251 Fairmount Boulevard. Questions, call (440) 247-2902 or


Special curbside collection on Fridays. Questions, call (216) 524-9191 or


Year-round drop-off, 12920 Berea Road, M-F 8:00–3:00 and Sat. 8:00–12:00. Questions, call (216) 252-4322 or


Year-round curbside collection. Questions, call (440) 473-5100 or

Maple Heights

Drop-off August 4-8, 5353 Lee Road. Questions, call (216) 587-9014 or

Mayfield Heights

Does not participate. Questions, call (440) 442-2626 or

Mayfield Village

Drop-off April 5-12, 610 SOM Center Road, M-F 7:00-3:00 and Sat. 9:00-1:00. Questions, call (440) 442-5506 or

Middleburg Heights

Drop-off April 1-September 30, 7375 Engle Road, call for an appointment. Questions, call (440) 234-2216 or

Moreland Hills

Drop-off April 1-25, 4350 SOM Center Road. Questions, call (440) 248-1188 or

Newburgh Heights

Call for more information. Questions, call (216) 641-2714

North Olmsted

Year-round drop-off, 5200 Dover Center Road. Questions, call (440) 716-4151 or

North Royalton

Year-round drop-off, 11545 Royalton Road, M, W, F 9:00-12:00 and T, Th 12:00-3:00. Questions, call (440) 582-3002 or


Curbside collection in August. Questions, call (440) 232-6924 or

Olmsted Falls

Drop-off April 1-30, 8045 Brookside Drive, M-F 7:30-4:00. Questions, call (440) 235-1345 or

Olmsted Township

Year-round drop-off, 26900 Cook Road, M-F, 7:30–3:30. Questions, call (440) 235-1011 or


Drop-off April 12, 5680 Chevrolet Boulevard, 7:30-2:30. Questions, call (216) 661-7375 or

Parma Heights

Drop-off August 16, 6184 Pearl Road, 9:00-12:00. Questions, call (440) 884-9607 or

Pepper Pike

Drop-off April 1-30, 28000 Shaker Boulevard. Questions, call (216) 896-6149 or

Rocky River

Curbside collection April 1-30. Questions, call (440) 356-5630 or

Seven Hills

Drop-off May 6, behind City Hall, 8:00-6:00. Questions, call (216) 525-6225 or

Shaker Heights

Drop-off April 12-13 and 19-20, 15600 Chagrin Boulevard, 8:00-4:00. Questions, call (216) 491-3282 or


Curbside collection every first full week of the month. Questions, call (440) 248-5834 or

South Euclid

Drop-off April 14-18, 4224 Monticello Boulevard, 8:00-3:30. Questions, call (216) 381-0942 or


Year-round drop-off, 16099 Foltz Parkway, M-F, 8:00-3:30. Questions, call (440) 238-5720 or

University Heights

Year-round drop-off, 2300 Warrensville Center Road. Questions, call (216) 932-7800 or

Walton Hills

Drop-off April 7-11 and April 14-18, 6800 Dunham Road, 8:00-3:30. Questions, call (216) 587-2574

Warrensville Heights

Does not participate. Questions, call (216) 587-6570 or


Drop-off April 7-11, 741 Bassett Road, 8:00-3:00. Questions, call (440) 835-6432 or


Curbside collection, Mondays and Fridays only. Questions, call (216) 292-4101 or




> USGenWeb Sites Departing RootsWeb


The free, volunteer-driven genealogy Web site RootsWeb has been transplanted to the domain of the subscription site (and RootsWeb's sibling under parent The Generations Network)


The move has spurred a large number USGenWeb Project administrators to take their sites off RootsWeb. Why—and what does all this mean for you?





> Many USGenWeb Sites Leave RootsWeb

Posted by Diane Haddad Genealogy blogger Kimberley Powell reports many USGenWeb project administrators are moving their sites off RootsWeb—a change she says has long been coming, but was hastened by The Generations Network’s (TGN) decision to transfer RootsWeb to’s domain (read more about that move in last week's blog post).


See which USGenWeb state and project sites are moving on Powell's blog. It looks like the relocated sites are adding redirects, and national and state administrators are keeping up with link updates.


A little background: USGenWeb is a network of free genealogy Web sites, one for each state and county. Each state and county site has a volunteer administrator who maintains it and adds information and links, which is why the sites look different. USGenWeb also hosts special projects on the national and state levels, such as the Family Group Sheet Project to post and link to online pedigree charts. National USGenWeb administrators link to the everything from the USGenWeb home page.


The national USGenWeb site and many of the local sites have long been hosted on RootsWeb, which TGN purchased in 2000 and has financially supported—and kept free—since then.


Powell says some USGenWeb administrators have been unhappy with slow RootsWeb servers and the lack of ability to add some of the bells and whistles today’s Web surfers are used to seeing.


Others are uncomfortable with the RootsWeb acceptable use policy—the legalese of which gives TGN license to use the data posted on RootsWeb servers (submitters retain copyright)—or feel the free, volunteer nature of USGenWeb is incompatible with a for-profit host. Of course, the connection was always there, but it's more obvious with ancestry in RootsWeb's URL.


The Family Group Sheet Project’s site, for example, has moved, and its redirect page bears a prominent message that "THIS SITE IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANCESTRY."


Read more about what USGenWeb administrators have to say on Powell’s blog, and let us know what you think by clicking Comments below.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites




Thank goodness and it's about time. I thought Rootsweb would bring the end of the USGenWeb and volunteerism.

Martha Federle



Several years ago some webmasters picked up cues that GenWeb was being bought as indeed happened. Many quietly removed county pages and moved them to LHN / ALHN - American Local History Network. This created a temporary war between the sites. Many of these dedicated webmasters did not believe 'free' genealogy could disappear. I always recommend researchers check both sites. Most of GenWeb is archived and that on LHN has a great deal available on its pages. I personally find it more difficult and time consuming to have to try to find information in archived records.


This brings up another topic. Who "owns" the information submitted by researchers? I believe that webmasters are the care takers of the information donated by people. The way the pages look is 'copyrighted' but the information is not. All donated information should remain online. But change of webmasters often creates very hard feelings and much of this donated data is lost, as in the battles between ALHN and GenWeb. Both sides have dedicated talented webmasters. However, web site information can disappear with the stroke of a key when anger sets in.

Gloria Hall




> USGenWeb - Where Are They Moving?

Kimberly's Genealogy Blog--Monday March 17, 2008 

From Kimberly Powell,


 Upcoming changes for Web sites hosted at have prompted many sites associated with the USGenWeb project to move off of the RootsWeb servers to a variety of other servers and ISPs. Many say that the change has been a long time in coming, although perhaps hurried a bit by last week's announcement of URL changes, along with a previous announcement of new co-branded RootsWeb/Ancestry mastheads to appear on all RootsWeb sites. There are many other factors involved, however - enough for me to discuss them in another blog post. The end result, however is that many of the state and county coordinators at USGenWeb have elected to move their sites, which will likely mean a bit of a disarray at USGenWeb for a while until all of the links get sorted out.


USGenWeb sites that are moving or have already moved include:

Colorado has moved with a new URL of

DCGenWeb has moved to

Georgia has moved its state pages to

Hawaii GenWeb has moved to a new server and can be found at

Illinois has moved most of its 103 ILGenWeb county sites, plus four special projects and the state pages off of RootsWeb. The new Illinois GenWeb sites can be found at

Indiana has moved its pages to a new domain at

Iowa already had its own server (, but as many as 2/3 of the counties are now planning to join the state pages on that same server.

Kentucky State Pages are also moving. They already had their own domain, so the URL ( won't change, but the pages will now be hosted on a new server.

Maryland already had its own domain name at, but has now moved off of the RootsWeb server as well.

Massachusetts has also moved to

MIGenWeb has moved the Michigan state pages to

Mississippi has moved its state pages to, with MSGenWeb county and special projects pages to follow.

Montana is in the process of moving according to state coordinator, Kevin Haddenham, and can be found at

Many North Carolina counties have left RootsWeb for another server and the state pages will likely soon follow.

OHGenWeb has moved the Ohio state pages with a new URL of

Oklahoma is voting on a move.

ORGenWeb is in the process of moving Oregon state pages to

The TXGenWeb has moved off of RootsWeb servers to

The State pages for VAGenWeb have moved to

West Virginia has moved the state WVGenWeb pages to

WAGenWeb will moving to a new server with a domain name of

The National USGenWeb pages may also move to a new server, but this is still under discussion. They already have their own domain, however, so changes if they occur will be pretty much "behind the scenes."

The Family Group Sheets Project is moving -- primarily for new features that will allow them to improve their submission form -- and can be found at The USGenWeb Census project (one of them) has also moved - to

Arizona, Tennessee, Kansas and Florida GenWeb had previously moved to their own servers prior to this month. California GenWeb has never been hosted on the RootsWeb server. Many other state GenWeb sites were also already hosted on non-RootsWeb servers, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont.


It's not just USGenWeb, either. Many WorldGenWeb sites are moving off of the RootsWeb domain as well. On the other hand, there are also many country, state and county coordinators who are happy with the free hosting they get from RootsWeb and who are planning to stay put. Many, however, are concerned that the movement of so many sites to scattered servers will be detrimental to the wonderful USGenWeb Project.


The National USGenWeb site is doing a wonderful job at keeping up with the URL changes, as are many of the state pages - so start there first if you can't find a site you're looking for. A lot of updating is going on!




> The Internet Effect On Local Genealogy Societies

By James M. Beidler, Lebanon Daily News


Longtime readers know that I usually forewarn you when there’s a philosophy column ahead. We’re going to call this the “Big Bang Theory” of genealogical societies and volunteerism.


While I’m no astronomer or astrophysicist or anything like that, my understanding that a theory about the universe was that it began as a small, tightly packed glob of material that exploded billions of years ago and sent matter speeding away.


It’s been said that eventually this process will reverse — that the universe will collapse and then begin again with another “big bang.”


OK, so what’s this have to do with genealogy?


Well, it all came together for me recently when I was talking with my friend and fellow genealogist Jonathan Stayer, the head of reference for the Pennsylvania State Archives.


He was bemoaning how many societies have lost members in the last 10 years as a critical mass of genealogical data has moved to the Internet.


Simply put, societies have lost members to age and death, while the new folks who would have been inclined to replace them (pre-Internet) instead have chosen to do genealogy in their pajamas from home on their computer desktops.


So, the first part of the heavenly analogy is this: Consider Alex Haley’s “Roots” to be the “Big Bang” of 20th century genealogy. That event helped spur the formation of geographically based genealogical societies in most of the nation’s counties as well as ethnic organizations, state organizations and other groups.


These new societies transcribed cemetery markers, indexed church records and newspapers and abstracted wills and deeds. It was a veritable explosion of activity as most of the large record groups were made easier to use by the millions of hours spent by volunteers.


Then came the advent of the Internet. Genealogical societies started shrinking. Conferences, once almost a shoo-in to be successful, became more tenuous events financially.


The astronomical parallel here is the still-theorized turnabout when the stars start moving toward one another.


But Stayer hopes that at some point Internet genealogists will get a sense of what they’re missing by sticking only to the Web.


“There are so many records and documents that the average genealogist knows nothing about,” he said. “Account books in special collections libraries, family papers in university libraries, collections in small county historical societies.”


If people do get a whiff of what they’re missing, that might cause them to gather together, literally or virtually — perhaps in smaller groups or long-distance e-societies — to begin another great age of genealogical volunteerism.


Groups such as FamilySearch, the Mormon-based group that runs the Family History Library, are already giving long-distance collaboration a try to enable many more documents to be indexed and posted on the Internet digitally.


Here’s to hoping that Stayer is right--all family historians will benefit if this second “Big Bang” comes about.


Beidler is a freelance writer and lecturer on genealogy. Contact him either at Box 270, Lebanon, PA 17042, or by e-mail to




> Internet Effect on Membership of NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society?

 Luther Olson


Since our membership and attendance has slightly declined in recent years, it could be assumed that the internet has cut into membership of our group. But there are reasons other than the internet that have unfortunately come along during this same short time span of our "golden years."


1.      During the first years that our members owned computers they needed much help and advice. Many had been doing genealogy for decades, but now it was how to use this complicated machine that was of much greater concern.


2. Software was also of concern and members looked forward with anxiety to the release of new versions that promised to have more changes and the addition of new "bells and whistles." By now we all know pretty much what to expect so new releases are hardly mentioned. Members have now gone through a half dozen new versions and know how to do most of the chores they desire.


3. Before the internet as we know it, the CD was the medium that brought all the new information to our computer. Remember the "12 free CDs with this version" and 24 if you bought the most “Super Deluxe” box. We sometimes made our decisions more by the CDs than by the software itself. Special databases were all available on CD, seldom by download.


4. The many presentation topics that we heard at our society meetings were often new to us, and we looked forward to them with anticipation. By now, many of these (or the offspring of these) have been brought back in up-to-date offerings, but it sometimes appears that the interest and enthusiasm is not what it was in earlier times.


We have to recognize that many of our members during the past decade, are either gone or, for one reason or other, are not going to be with us much longer. In spite of all these developments NEOCAG membership is holding quite well. Fortunately, we have more and more prospects for new members if we can find a way to reach them. It seems that the number of those who have an interest in genealogy is growing, not declining. Therefore one could argue that the internet could prove to be a positive, not negative to our future, and that it is up to us to adapt to the changing environment.


However, many of these new members are going to be different than those of the past. They will come to us with a greater knowledge of computers (and other digital devices) then we have, and software and the internet are just taken for granted. Hopefully, our societies can adapt quickly enough that we can attract and then keep these younger members--who will be the leaders of tomorrow. 




> Where Did I Come From? TribalPages Genealogy Maps Have the Answer

  Tue Nov 27 Tampa, FL


New Genealogy Maps from plot your family history using the industry-leading Google Maps., home to over 175,000 family tree websites, today announced the Beta release of their new Genealogy Maps. These new tools take location information already present in GEDCOM or online family trees, and provide a unique graphical view of a family history to answer some fundamental questions:


  • Where Did We Come From? - The Ancestor Map shows all known locations from an individual's ancestors. Showing many generations at one glance, this map quickly show where a person's past lies.
  • Where Did This Family Live? - The Family Map displays where the Parents and Children of an individual were born, allowing the family historian to walk step-by-step through the family's past just by following the links to each family member.
  • Where Did They Go? - The Descendants Map provides a single view of how an ancestor's offspring spread throughout the world, and provides a fascinating view of how broad an impact a single individual can have.


"We aren't trying to be the leading research site, or provide the largest database of names to search," explained Vandana Rao of TribalPages, "What we do is help you present your family history to the world. These new Genealogy Maps are a great new way to do that. Seeing where your ancestors came from and where their families ended up is a very powerful experience."


TribalPages is one of the last online services offering completely free online family trees, with no trial periods or gimmicks. "We're happy to provide these Maps to our free family trees, " says Rao, "We feel that the more usable and powerful our platform is, the more likely our free customers will choose to pay for the additional photo storage and premium features our paid sites provide."



Over the past seven years, has gained a loyal following and an outstanding reputation by providing free and inexpensive genealogy sites while protecting the site owner's content and privacy with flexible security options. Their easy to use online interface requires no external genealogy program and provides some of the best photo integration features on the web.



Vandana Rao, Business Development

TribalPages, Inc.





> Research Your Tree in Just-Updated PERSI

November 28, 2007 Family Tree Magazine

Posted by Diane Haddad


The Allen County (Ind.) Public Library genealogy staff has beefed up its Periodical Source Index (PERSI) with references to another 132,000 history and genealogy articles published in journals and magazines during 2006 and 2007.


HeritageQuest Online, the genealogy database you can search free in many public libraries, has included the updates in its searchable version of PERSI.


That brings PERSI's total article citations to more than 2 million. They reference 6,600-plus periodicals published in the United States, Canada and abroad since 1800. It’s the most extensive periodical index available for local history and genealogy research.


You can search the updated PERSI at libraries offering HeritageQuest Online and at Allen County, Ind., public libraries. The subscription site offers an older version of PERSI, dating from 1985.


Search PERSI on a name, place or subject, and you’ll get citations for journal and magazine articles that mention your term. Then, request the full article from your library, borrow it through interlibrary loan or order copies from the Allen County library ($7.50 for up to six articles, plus the cost of photocopies).


Read more about the formation of PERSI and about the Allen County library on




At one of our genealogy meetings a few years ago I asked, without warning, whether genealogy is “about” blood or family. I gave no definitions or explanation why I asked the question—I was interested in their visceral feelings at that moment, since most have done extensive work in recording information on their family. I had no idea what to expect for a response, and yet when they raised their hands I was shocked. Almost unanimously the answer was “blood.”


My surprise was that I expected a wide variety of opinions that might elicit some discussions for further meetings. As it turned out, there just wasn't much to say when everyone was in agreement. However, the program committee might consider some variation on this topic for the future. -----LO


> Should We Call It ‘Genealogy’ Or ‘Family History’?

By James M. Beidler, Lebanon Daily News,

Dick Eastman Newsletter, July 31, 2007


This week’s column comes with a warning label.


CAUTION: Philosophy ahead (Do not operate heavy machinery after reading this column).


Especially in the last few decades as ancestor hunting has become a mass sport, so to say, there has been a debate inside and outside the so-called genealogical community (that is, professionals, societies, libraries and other organizations) on what we should call ourselves.


 Should we stick with the traditional term “genealogist”  — which, strictly defined, is the study of bloodline ancestors — or use the broader term “family historian”?


While I’ll admit to using the terms somewhat interchangeably, there is a philosophical difference that is not insignificant. For one example, would we want to omit adoptees from the genealogies that are compiled? True enough, these folks do not share the bloodline, but they share the experience of life with their adopted families. And, in these days of “open” adoption as well as more reunions with birthparents, it makes sense to me that adoptees “belong” in both families — one by blood, the other by physical bonding. No one should have to choose one or another family when he or she can be part of both.


As another example, with the introduction of DNA into genealogy, not a few lineages that previously relied on the “paper proof” of documents all of a sudden crumbled. Every so often one even hears of a story about DNA proving that someone who has been the No. 1 researcher in a family isn’t related by blood via what is delicately termed a “non-paternity event.” These individuals sometimes are emotionally disenfranchised — even feeling like an imposter — in the families that they’ve lived in.


But using the phrase “family historian” instead puts these people back in the game, since here we are talking about the people who lived together, supported each other (and, yes, probably fought with each other, as families also do). Of course, this whole thing can be expanded further. When I recently spent a week as an adult chaperone for a church youth mission trip, I felt the “crew” of teens that I spent the week with were like a family — even telling one of the boys that if I had a son, I’d want the kid to be like him.


Perhaps we have a lot of different “families” in a lifetime. That’s probably taking the concept a little too far. But I think it’s fair to say that even when we use the word “genealogy” today, we’re no longer using it in that strict way of bloodline-only. Using the phrase “family history” shows that it’s more than genes that make a family.


  Beidler is a freelance writer and lecturer on genealogy. Contact him either at Box 270, Lebanon, PA 17042, or by e-mail to




> BYU Family History Archive to Expand

From Kimberly Powell, Your Guide to Genealogy. August 20, 2007


An often unheralded, free resource that I love is the BYU Family History Archive, a collection of family histories and other genealogy books online. Now this great resource is set to expand dramatically due to a joint partnership of three genealogical libraries - The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, and FamilySearch's Family History Library in Salt Lake City. When complete, this massive digitization effort promises to be the most comprehensive collection of city and county histories one the Web. Best of all, access will remain free!


The digital history project is targeting over 100,000 published family histories and thousands of local histories, city directories and other related records from the collections of the three libraries. Once they are digitized, the collections will have "every word" search capability, with search results linked to digital images of the original publication. New additions will be announced and linked to in the Family History Library Catalog at FamilySearch as they are digitized.




> Everton's Best Internet Sites for Finding Living Relatives

Evertons Newsline, September 19, 2007


 The following sites were selected as Evertons Best. Note that I am only including the links. In the magazine you will find 16 pages of Dollarhides in-depth reviews of these sites. We believe that these sites are the ones to look to immediately if you wish to find cemetery records online. See the article for far more information. Enjoy!

FIRST SEARCH TOOLS   =  Advanced Search -  - Free site.   =  Directory & Public Records Indexes -  -Subscription site.  =  Genealogy Sleuth Pages -  - Free site.

ReferenceUSA  =  Library Subscription Database -  - Free to library patrons only.
Telephone Directories and Locators  =  SL County Library Page -  - Free site.

FREE DIRECTORY LOOKUP SITES  =  Free People Search -  - Free

U.S. lookups  =  premium service linked to

411.INFO  =  National Online Directory -  - Free lookups. U.S. and Canada directory listings.

DA+ (Directory Assistance Plus)  =  A Service of infoUSA -  - Free lookups.

U.S. and Canada directory listings.  =  Free People & Company Finder -  - Free site.
The Ultimate White Pages  =  Search Six Directory Databases  -  - Free U.S. lookups  =  Free People & Company Finder -  - Free U.S. lookups  =  premium service linked to  =  Free People Search -  - Free site.  =  Free People Search -  - Free lookups  =  premium service linked to

U.S. PUBLIC RECORDS DATABASES  (1-800-U.S.Search)  =  Public Records Databases -  - Free U.S. lookups  =  fees charged for details.  =  Public Records Databases -  - Free U.S. lookups  =  fees charged for details.  =  Public Records Databases -  - Free U.S. lookups  =  fees charged for details.

PEOPLE AMD ADDRESS DATABASE FINDING TOOLS  =  Public Records Portal -  - Subscription site.   =  A Portal to Real Estate Records Online -  - Free site.  =  Private Investigator Tools -  - Subscription site.  =  Free People Finder Lookup (and much more) -  - Free site.

INTERNATIONAL DATABASES  =  A Portal to World Directories Online -  - Free site.  =  A Portal to World Directories Online -   - Free site.  =  UK People, Businesses & Places -  - Free directory lookups  =  fee-based premium databases.
The Phone Book  =  BT Business & Residential Listings -   - Free site.
UK  =  Free White Pages Lookups -  - Free site  =  membership required.




This week (on March 8) I celebrate my 8-year anniversary writing for About Genealogy. It's hard to believe it's been so long! To each and every one of you, thank you for allowing me to share my passion for genealogy with you. It's been a blast!…..Kimberly


> Genealogy Research at the Courthouse, Archives or Library/10 Tips for Planning Your Visit & Maximizing Your Results

From Kimberly Powell,

Your Guide to Genealogy.  3/3/08


The process of researching your family tree will eventually lead you to a courthouse, library, archives or other repository of original documents and published sources. The day-to-day joys and hardships of your ancestors’ lives can often be found documented among the numerous original records of the local court, while the library may contain a wealth of information on their community, neighbors and friends. Marriage certificates, family histories, land grants, military rosters and a wealth of other genealogical clues are tucked away in folders, boxes, and books just waiting to be discovered.


Before heading for the courthouse or library, however, it helps to prepare. Try these 10 tips for planning your visit and maximizing your results.


1. Scout the Location

The first, and most important, step in onsite genealogy research is learning which government most likely had jurisdiction over the area in which your ancestors lived during the time they lived there.


In many places, especially in the United States, this is the county or county equivalent (e.g. parish, shire). In other areas, the records may be found housed in town halls, probate districts or other jurisdictional authorities. You'll also have to bone up on changing political and geographical boundaries to know who actually had jurisdiction over the area where your ancestor lived for the time period you're researching, and who has current possession of those records. If your ancestors lived near the county line, you may find them documented among the records of the adjoining county. While a bit uncommon, I actually have an ancestor whose land straddled the county lines of three counties, making it necessary for me to routinely check the records of all three counties when researching that particular family.


2. Who Has the Records?

Many of the records you'll need, from vital records to land transactions, are likely to be found at the local courthouse. In some cases, however, the older records may have been transferred to a state archives, local historical society, or other repository. Check with members of the local genealogical society, at the local library, or online at the local GenWeb site to learn where the records for your location and time period of interest can be found. Even within the courthouse, different offices usually hold different types of records, and may maintain different hours and even be located in different buildings. Some records may also be available in multiple locations, as well, in microfilm or printed form. For U.S. research, The Handybook for Genealogists, 11th edition (Everton Publishers, 2006) or Family Tree Resource Book (Family Tree Books, 2004) both include state-by-state and county-by-county lists of which offices hold which records.


3. Are the Records Available?

You don't want to plan a trip halfway across the country only to find that the records you seek were destroyed in a courthouse fire in 1865. Or that the office stores the marriage records in an offsite location, and they need to be requested in advance of your visit. Or that some of the county record books are being repaired, microfilmed, or are otherwise temporarily unavailable. Once you've determined the repository and records you plan to research, it is definitely worth the time to call to make sure the records are available for research. If the original record you seek is no longer extant, check the Family History Library Catalog to see if the record is available on microfilm. When I was told by a North Carolina county deed office that Deed Book A had been missing for some time, I was still able to access a microfilmed copy of the book through my local Family History Center.


4. Create a Research Plan

As you enter the doors of a courthouse or library, it's tempting to want to jump into everything at once. There usually aren't enough hours in the day, however, to research all records for all of your ancestors in one short trip. By planning your research before you go, you'll be less tempted by distractions and less likely to miss important details. Create a checklist with names, dates and details for each record you plan to research in advance of your visit, and then check them off as you go. By focusing your search on just a few ancestors or a few record types, you'll be more likely to achieve your research goals.


5. Time Your Trip

Before you visit, you should always contact the courthouse, library or archives to see if there are any access restrictions or closures which may affect your visit. Even if the Web site includes operating hours and holiday closures, it is still best to confirm this in person. Ask if there are any limits on the number of researchers, if you have to sign up in advance for microfilm readers, or if any courthouse offices or special library collections maintain separate hours. It also helps to ask if there are certain times which are less busy than others.


6. Learn the Lay of the Land

Each genealogical repository you visit is going to be slightly different - whether it's a different layout or setup, different policies and procedures, different equipment, or a different organizational system. Check the facility's Web site, or with other genealogists who utilize the facility, and familiarize yourself with the research process and procedures before you go. Check the card catalog online, if it is available, and compile a list of the records you want to research, along with their call numbers. Ask if there is a reference librarian who specializes in your specific area of interest, and learn what hours he/she will be working. If records you'll be researching use a certain type of index system, such as the Russell Index, then it helps to familiarize yourself with it before you go.


7. Prepare for Your Visit

Courthouse offices are often small and cramped, so it is best to keep your belongings to a minimum. Pack a single bag with a notepad, pencils, coins for the photocopier and parking, your research plan and checklist, a brief summary of what you already know about the family, and a camera (if allowed). If you plan to take a laptop computer, make sure that you have a charged battery, because many repositories do not provide electrical access (some do not allow laptops). Wear comfortable, flat shoes, as many courthouses don’t offer tables and chairs, and you may spend a lot of time on your feet.


8. Be Courteous & Respectful

Staff members at archives, courthouses and libraries are generally very helpful, friendly people, but they are also very busy trying to do their job. Respect their time and avoid pestering them with questions not specifically related to research in the facility or hold them hostage with tales about your ancestors. If you have a genealogy how-to question or trouble reading a particular word that just can't wait, it is usually better to ask another researcher (just don't pester them with multiple questions either!). Don't request records or copies just before closing time, either!


9. Take Good Notes & Make Plenty of Copies

While you may take the time to reach a few on-site conclusions about the records you find, it is usually best to take everything home with you where you have more time to examine it thoroughly for every last detail. Make photocopies of everything, if possible. If copies aren't an option, then take the time to make a transcription or abstract, including misspellings. On each photocopy, be sure to make note of the complete source for the document. If you have time, and money for copies, it can also be helpful to make copies of the complete index for your surname(s) of interest for certain records, such as marriages or deeds. One of them may later make an appearance in your research


10. Concentrate on the Unique

Unless the facility is one you can easily access on a regular basis, it is often beneficial to begin your research with the parts of its collection that aren't easily available elsewhere. Concentrate on original records that haven't been microfilmed, family papers, photograph collections, and other unique resources. At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, for example, many researchers begin with the books as they are generally not available on loan, while the microfilms can be borrowed through your local Family History Center.




> NARA Posts Free Passenger Indexes Online

Posted by Diane Haddad

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has added passenger lists of Russian, German and Italian immigrants to its free Access to Archival Databases (AAD) service. (Irish passenger lists already were available here.)


Each collection consists mostly of immigrants who identified their nationality as Russian, German or Italian and arrived at the ports of New York, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans or Philadelphia during the 19th century.


The database for each nationality also contains some names of immigrants from other places. For example, 90 percent of people in the German records said they were from Germany or a “German” area—the other 10 percent came from elsewhere.


The data are from passenger list indexes created by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies. Keep in mind they’re not complete listings of all Russian, German, Italian or Irish immigrants.


For each collection, you'll see a Manifest Header Data File and a Passenger Data File. The search isn't the most intuitive we've ever seen, so get started with these tips:


1. From AAD, click Passenger Lists under Genealogy/Personal History. Then, click the Search button to the right of a Passenger Data File to look for an ancestor. (NARA calls the search terms you enter “values.”)


2. In your results, click View Record on the left to see first and last name, age, sex, occupation, last residence, destination and other information.


3. Use the ship manifest identification number to determine the port of arrival. Click View the FAQs and scroll to the chart showing ports and the range of manifest numbers assigned to each port’s records.

If you think you've found an ancestor, you can search the database for his or her passenger manifest identification number. That lets you see all passenger records from that ship—handy for finding traveling companions.


In the Manifest Header Data File, you can search for all ships with a particular manifest identification number, ship name, departure port or arrival date. For example, say you know your German ancestor arrived March 16, 1846. Click the Search button next to the German Manifest Header Data file and enter 03/16/1846 in the Arrival field. You'll get all the ships included in this database that arrived that day. Then you can go back to the Passenger Data File and search for the passengers on each ship.


I highly, highly recommend reading the FAQ document—each database has its own, linked at the top of the search screen. It’ll help you search the databases and understand your ancestor’s record.


Some places of origin or other data are difficult to interpret. You’ll want to see your ancestor’s original passenger list, which you can do on microfilm at major genealogy libraries, NARA facilities and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Library. You can view records online through the subscription Web site





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