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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stay Cool This Summer Exploring Digital Records

There is an amazing epidemic happening around the country. Every week more and more counties, states and historical societies are receiving grant money for projects to digitize their records or newspapers. A few years ago I would be excited if a state or newspaper had a vital records index. Now that almost seems as old fashioned as visting a courthouse to get a copy of a birth certificate.

I have found myself spending hours on a newly digitized site filling in birth, marriage and death dates and then surfing to a local newspaper to pick up the associated news stories. Once I have the the date of death and obituary it is a quick trip to to see if the person has a memorial. If there is no memorial I can create one and if it is I may be able to suggest additions.

I call these afternoons 'passive' genealogy research. It seems to easy, but it sure helps filling in all the folks I have accumulated doing 'sideways research'.

Sunday August 7
* Use ebay for genealogy research - Search on town names to find city directories, yearbooks, postcards and misc. town celebrations.
* If there was a local photographer, search on that name to find 'lost' family or local pictures.

Monday August 8
* The Arizona Memory Project has over 67,000 digital records.
* Visit:

Tuesday August 9
* Tennessee State Library and Archives:
* Fact Sheets sheets for all counties-* Visit: Select -> County Records -> Genealogical Fact Sheets
* Digital Collections - some for the public and some for its residents - Visit:

Wednesday August 10
* Missouri became a state on this date in 1821
* Explore Missouri’s digital heritage with their online death certificate database. Visit:

Thursday August 11
* Check out the Maryland State Archives for vital records, land records, and online databases.
* Visit :

Friday August 12
* Library of Virginia - Virginia Memory Digital Collection
* Visit :

Saturday August 13
* The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive has fully searchable newspapers from 1847 to 1922.
* Visit:

So, stay out of the summer heat and rain and have fun surfing!

Take Care,

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