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Which pay sites do you subscribe to?
Does your library give online access to Heritage Quest or other good services?
Ancestry (thinking about paying -- usually take advantage of free offers)
I need to see what the library has -- can you believe I never thought of looking for electronic resources at the library, only books?! A quick check shows that it does have Heritage Quest...
I subscribe to Ancestry - the World package. It is becoming less useful to me since the latest "improvements." Very difficult to find anything. If you are thinking of subscribing, do not pay full price! I got a large refund after being told about one of their "special price offers" and calling to protest.
I also subscribe to GenesReunited. Hate the site, but it is the one most people in Britain seem to use. And I have recently gotten the solution to a long-standing mystery from one contact there, and am hot on the trail of another.
Just finally paid for my LostCousins.com membership. For a couple of years I'd been winning free ones in their contests, and was starting to feel guilty. I love that site! You enter your ancestors, relatives & inlaws who are found on the LDS transcriptions of the UK 1881, Canadian 1881 & US 1880 census. If someone else enters the same person, you can get in touch with the "lost cousin." What I really love is that they give you free help and advice with your research!
I have a few credits on FindMyPast. Need to find a way to use them up before they expire. I hate expiring credits.
My Library finally added HeritageQuest. I love their books search! I've found entire books for branches of the family, complete with transcriptions of sources.
OliveTreeGenealogy is great, especially for New Netherland ancestors.
My favorite site these days is Google Books! They keep adding more, so I have to remember to go back to search again. Lots of books of old church and civic records, will abstracts, Burke's, Annual Registers, etc, etc. I've found amazing stuff.
Myshelves, I will have to check out Google Books, thanks for the tip!
Does anyone know of a source for 17th and early to mid-18th century Irish records? I am stuck at 1767 when my Irish Fortunes arrived in SC and can't get the family back further. They sailed from Newry, Ireland, but I don't believe they lived there. I'm a step away from hiring a professional genealogist in Ireland, but I don't want to go to that expense if the records just don't exist anymore.
As always in Ireland, the first question is what religion they were.
Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.
Could they have been Scots-Irish? Apparently Fortune can be a Scottish surname.
Have you tried records of the Ulster Plantations?
I guess you've explored the web site for PRONI?
Any indication whether they were literate, or signs of their economic status? Might help in guessing whether they'd have been making wills or getting involved in legal actions (a popular sport) in Ireland.
Don't you just love working with a surname that is also a (very) common noun? My main A-I name in Ireland is an unusual surname, but a word that shows up all over the damn place. Makes me crazy! Hope you have some given names to try with Fortune on Google Books.
I've never tried looking for Roman Catholic records because my RC ancestors had ridiculously common surnames, floated over on rafts, and never said a word about where in Ireland they'd lived! Hopeless. I've been hearing that many of the RC records have been handed over to the Heritage centers, where they charge
substantial amounts for seaarches. Most of the Anglican records were handed in to Dublin & burned in the Four Courts fire, but I've still had luck with deeds and marriage settlements and stuff.
Hmmm. On Ancestry, have you searched that database of UK & US directories? You might find a Fortune in some business directory, or a Fortune clergyman subscribing to buy books.
And somewhere (Heritage Quest, Ancestry, Google?) there a Report of the Deputy Keeper listing the documents that were kept in Dublin before the fire. Even the bare list can be interesting - - - I spotted a 1654 Will that I'd bet was that of my Cromwellian ancestor.
That's all that comes to mind right now. If you want to bounce around ideas, feel free to do so, here or as a comment.
Also, think about checking out the online public access catalogs of any family history libraries in your area. Our genealogy society is taking a bus trip to the one at the Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison in a few weeks. I have been busy searching what they call MadCat to see what books or pamphlets are available at that library, so I can quickly request those that aren't on the shelves.
In reality, there are so many sites I frequently use -- and so many new sites coming on line each week -- it's hard to mention just a few. I pay for Ancestor.com, but my use of it is sporadic. Nonetheless, when I immerse myself in research, I find it very worthwhile. I believe the Rapid City, SD public library, which is within 50 miles, offers Heritage Quest. I've not used it, primarily because I don't frequent that library. Our local library does not have on-line genealogy services.
Right now my favorite sites are Missouri State Archives
(http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/resources.asp) and West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://www.wvculture.org/) at which one can search for and download death certificates. I've found many lost relations through these sites.
I subscribe to ancestry.com, spend a lot of money at ScotlandsPeople and recently started using Lostcousins.
That being said, I use the following sites:
Northern New York Newspapers (a fantastic site for those lucky enough to have come from Upstate New York)
my local library to access Heritage Quest
All of Rootsweb
David Rumsey's Historical Maps
They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
I am a librarian and get a monthly spreadsheet from David Rumsey that has the OCLC numbers of the new maps they are cataloging with some data about each so that we can add to the catalog eventually (probably in the not too distant future).
As far as Rootsweb is concerned, the Rootsweb Review lets you know about new sites, but they tell you when accounts are issued and sometimes it takes a little while before they are there. New mailing lists are listed as well. As far as USGenWeb is concerned, you pretty much need to check individual counties to see if they have a What's New page. Many of the states have statewide What's New pages, but it's up to individual county coordinators to send to the state coordinator. Different state coordinators update these on different time-frames. Also, many of the county and state sites are moving off Rootsweb right now.
Thanks for the input. I guess I have to read the sites more carefully. I knew about a couple of these, but most were surprises.
Google.com/books has a feature that enables you to "add to your library" books that you've already looked at. Kind of like flagging it. You can then check your library (top right of screen) and click on the books you'd like to view again. I have the same problem you have with Footnotes.com. I haven't figured that one out yet.
Ancestry.com now has Passport applications online. I recently found three separate passport applications for a great uncle who was a Salesian priest and had lost his U.S. passport while on assignment in Turin, Italy. The passport application contained questions regarding the naturalization of his father (my great-great grandfather) and I was able to determine when and where he was naturalized (Storey County, NV in 1870) based on information that he provided. The BEST part was that it gave detailed physical descriptions and passport PHOTOS!!! My mom and I were so excited.
Some other favorites are:
Bureau of Land Management Records (www.glorecords.blm.gov)
-- View and download .pdf versions of land purchases.
BYU Idaho (http://abish.byui.edu/specialCollections/westernStates/search.cfm)
-- Search Western States Marriage Records
Georgia Archives Online (http://sos.georgia.gov/archives)
-- Search and print .pdf images of vital records
I've also googled "digital vital records, state archives". Many of the states are putting digital images of records online or even just databases. I've spent a couple of weekends recently looking through the states of Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Arizona, Oregon, Utah--for free.
Let us know what you find out!