Is it down?

Have you ever had the aggravating experience of doing some genealogy research only to find the website you are trying to reach isn’t available?  I know I have.  For that reason, I was quite happy to find this site where you can check to see if the site is simply having problems or is no longer around.  It’s called Is It Down Right Now?.  You can see what sites are up, which ones are down and other users will post comments on sites they have tried to access and were unsuccessful.  My only question is – where do you go to see if Is It Down Right Now? is down?. . . . . .

Readex releases American Slavery Collection

Readex, a division of, has released their long-awaited American Slavery Collection of books, pamphlets, ephemera, etc.  The collection is fully searchable and is available at most public libraries.  They do not, however, offer a subscription.

In an upcoming post, I will offer a list of local libraries near me (Clinton County, PA) that has  free access to genealogy services, such as Ancestry.  If your library offers access, complete the contact form and let me know!

“Public” records?


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I don’t know about you, but I am a little alarmed at this new collection of records available for searching at My Heritage.  Their newest collection of “public” records are between the years 1970 and 2010.  They include “records that were generated from telephone directories, property tax assessments, credit applications, voter registration lists and other records available to the public.”

My concern is how they obtained credit applications, how those records would be considered public, how they protect the privacy of that information and just what are they doing with it?

Talk about an identity thief’s good fortune!  I think My Heritage should be forced to reveal how they obtained those applications and forced to destroy them.

Your thoughts?

Ireland Military Records


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The Republic of Ireland has recently launched access to their military service pension records, spanning the years between 1916 to 1923.  The site has a detailed guide to the records and you can search by keyword as well.  This is the beginning to their Department of Defence putting up some 300,000 records by 1916.  Access to the site is free!

Explore Your Irish Roots



Ancestry is offering free access to select Irish records at their site from now until midnight, March 17th.

The link above will take you to the starting point where you will find a handy downloadable guide to researching your Irish family.  It gives you general research suggestions as well as hints on using the records at Ancestry to maximum benefit.


The Valley of the Shadow


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The Civil War fascinates us all in one way or another.  When I stumbled upon The Valley of the Shadow, I knew I had to share this history treasure trove with others.

The Valley of the Shadow chronicles two families, one from the North, one from the South, from the time of John Brown’s raids through reconstruction.  The southern family’s roots are in Augusta County, Virginia and the northern family’s roots are in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

You can explore thousands of original letters and diaries, newspapers and speeches, census and church records left by men and women from those counties.  The site is neatly broken down into three eras and then further broken down into sections for easier searching or perusing.

This is truly a fascinating project and well worth a look!

Family Search Indexing Projects


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Family Search is always working on securing and digitizing records, not only US records, but records from other countries as well.  You can quickly and easily view their current indexing projects by heading over to their site and selecting the country or project you would like to view. 

The nice thing about Family Search is their site is free and they have a wealth of information to get anyone started in their genealogy quest. 

Census Finder for Northumberland County, PA



Census Finder is a great resource for folks who can’t afford a paid subscription to the big genealogy guns like Ancestry but would still like to search through the US Federal Census.  They provide links to census projects, some free, some not.

This link will take you to the listing for Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  After a recent inquiry into records for the Odd Fellows Orphanage, I thought this link might be helpful to the requester and others researching in Northumberland County.

You can easily get to the home page for Census Finders from the link if you would like to search a different county or even a different state.

Pittsburgh Census Project


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Historic Pittsburgh is working on their own census project that will allow users to search for ancestors in the 1850-1880 US census for the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City for census years 1850-1870.  They also have boundaries maps available for viewing.  It may be helpful to read over the Census help link on the Census Schedules home page.  This is a worthwhile project for researchers with Pittsburgh roots.

While you are there, check out the many other digital archives they have to offer, such as photos, maps and videos!


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