Saturday, July 24, 2010

Researching LDS Pioneer Ancestry

If you have LDS pioneer ancestors, you may enjoy learning more about them through the LDS Church History Website Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868. The database contains information on approximately 60,000 pioneers, who traveled in more than 250 different wagon and handcart companies. Search for your ancestor specifically, look to see who else they traveled with, or learn more about the families who made up the ill-fated Willie and Martin handcart companies.

To search the database, go to and select [About the Church] and then [Church History]. Look for the Conestoga wagon in the lower left of the page. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free Websites for Cornwall Research

If you have ancestors from Cornwall, you’ll want to check out the Cornwall On-Line Parish Clerks web site. You can search birth, marriage, and burial registers, along with Protestation Oath and voter lists. 

Used in combination with the British Isles information available at FreeBMD (transcriptions of Civil Registrations of Birth, Marriage and Death records from 1837-1983) and FreeCen (transcriptions of 1841-1891 UK censuses), you can learn a great deal about your Cornwall ancestry from the comfort of home!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alabama On-Line Digital Collection

If you have ties to Alabama, check out the on-line collections at Collections particularly helpful in family history research include:

  • 1867 Voter Registration
  • Civil War Service Database
  • Index to City Directories (1837-2006)
  • Index to Church Records Collections
  • Newspapers on Microfilm
  • Confederate Officers Photograph Albums

Use the Alabama Department of Archives and History site to find out what newspapers have been microfilmed, then arrange to view the microfilms through the public library Interlibrary Loan program.

There may be a Confederate Civil War Pension file, and finding the soldier's regiment and company are key to finding the right pension file.

The search mechanism finds only those entries that have exactly that same string of characters. In the case of a last name, that string of characters can be the whole name, or just part of a name (e.g., searching for "Lay" will yield "Lay, Layden, Layet, Layton, etc.). Because names can be misspelled, try a variety of spellings when you search.

If you find someone you're interested in researching, make note of the Regiment and unit, then go back and search for that regiment and unit (no specific person's name). That way you can see the names of all the soldiers in that unit.