Ancestry DNA only $59?!



If you’ve been wanting to try Ancestry’s DNA but didn’t want to spend the $99 or $79 when it’s on sale, then NOW is your time to try it. From now until November 27th, you can get Ancestry DNA for only $59! That’s right, just $59 and you can see where your roots started their journey. Head on over to Ancestry and order your kit now.


Fold3 Free Native American Records


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If you have Native American ancestry in your family tree, or suspect you do, you are in luck. Fold3 is offering free access to their Native American records until Nov 15th. I just got notice of this great free offer and wanted to get it posted to you before any more time expires since it began Nov 1.

They are giving access to Ratified Indian treaties (1722-1869); Indian Census Rolls (1885-1940); Dawes Packets (1896-1914); Dawes Enrollment Cards (1898-1914); Eastern Cherokee Applications (1906-1909); Enrollment of Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller (1908-1910); Cherokee Indian Agency, TN (1801-1835); and Rinehart Photos-Native Americans (1898).

This is a great time to explore these collections while they are free.

An 1849 Philadelphia “guide”

Once in a while, something interesting will be shared on Facebook that is worth reading and sharing. Tonight was one of those nights. As I scrolled through the day’s postings, one regarding a guide for strangers in Philadelphia Genealogy caught my eye. I clicked on the link and oh, how happy I was to do so.

Many of us thing our fore-bearers were prim, proper ladies and gentlemen, but after reading these pages from A Guide for Strangers, it would seem that Vegas wasn’t the only place to visit a brothel. Philadelphia had their share of “fine establishments” and places that you’d best avoid. This seems to answer my question on how it became known as the City of Brotherly Love (just kidding!) but do go and read the pages of this guide.  It is well worth your time. I was secretly hoping one of my relatives would be listed – it would make for great conversation at our next family get-together!

Kansas Census 1895


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I don’t think I’ve ever truly appreciated the questions asked by the census taker as much as I do now. Before I embarked on learning my family’s history, I thought the census takers were just nosy. Now I wish they would ask more questions!

And this brings me to the Kansas state census of 1895. Enumerated March 1, 1895 the census provides all the normal details: name, age, sex, race, place of birth, occupation, education level and military service. The one tidbit I really like that was asked: where the person lived prior to coming to Kansas. How great is that! If you’ve been tracking an elusive relative, this piece of information would be priceless.

The records are free at Family Search. Happy Hunting.

A better calendar site? You decide


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I received a message in regards to a calendar page I suggested back in 2012 (wow, who knew I’ve been blogging that long?!). I went back in time to find that posting and yes indeed, I did suggest a site called Time and Date. The person commenting on that site suggested providing a link to the site: The Time Now. The poster said it was more user-friendly for sight-impaired people.  They do have a lot of handy tools on the site aside from the weather and current date and time.

Next I went back to Time and Date to have another look at their site. Personally, I like the latter, better.  But I shall let it up to you dear readers to decide which site fills your needs. Now you have two options.

Historical Records List


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A very enterprising man posted a link on FB this morning for records he has collected over the years and has made public for all to view.  Here is his post that describes his database:


You can view/search his records here and I’d like to offer a big THANK YOU to Ray Gurganus for his hard work and generosity.

Some Pennsylvania Counties with online records searches

As you all know how comprehensive Ancestry’s database of records is, rivaled only by Family Search, it’s nice to be able to go to one location and find many records to aid in tracing your family roots.  But for some, the monthly fees are a bit high. Family Search is free and a good, solid workaround to Ancestry. But many counties in Pennsylvania offer free online access to their records as well.  Here are just a few of the counties I’ve found that have free access. You’ll have to visit the site to see what they are offering:

These are just a few of the counties here in PA that have access to records. Be warned, some allow you to search their indexes, while actual records are fee-based. I did not include any counties that use Landex for public records access since it is fee based.

Some of these allow you to create a username/password and also offer the option for a guest login.

If you know of some counties that aren’t listed here and offer free searching, please comment and provide the URL.

Fold3 & Revolutionary War Records FREE!



If you are researching relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War, right now Fold3 is giving free access to their Revolutionary War records from now until July 15th. This is a great time to take advantage of their wonderful collections which include pensions, service records, war rolls, and final payment vouchers for pensions.  Happy searching and have a safe 4th of July!


Vanishing History


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Here is an interesting project underway – Fordham University (in NY) has begun a project to locate and document burials grounds of enslaved Americans in the US. The project is named Vanishing History.

The University is reaching out to anyone who knows of burial grounds of slaves. Their website has a submission form and access to the project is free.  A listing of burials grounds already known starts here.

I believe this will be a very interesting and insightful project to watch grow.

Researching your African-American roots

If you are researching African-American roots, finding good resources can sometimes prove challenging. Listed below are ten resources that may help you find your ancestors.

  1. Civil War African-American Sailor Search
  2. Freedman’s Bank Records 1865-1874
  3. Virginia African-American Funeral Programs 1935-2009
  4. Freedman’s Hospital & Medical Records 1865-1872
  5. Freedman’s Marriages 1861-1872
  6. NARA African-American Research aides
  7. Civil War Union Colored Service Records 1863-1865
  8. Black Revolutionary War Service Records
  9. Fugitive Slave Petition Books
  10. North American Slave Narratives

Searching for all of these records is free.

Happy hunting!