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More Useful Websites for Genealogy and History Researchers
Posted 04 March 2009
Compiled By: Fawne Stratford-Devai   Biography & Archived Articles

This week`s issue includes links to history and genealogy resources concerning UK, naval history, world history, Russia, Scotland, Germany and United States. Enjoy...

  • British History Online
    British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, the site aims to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research. The site contains a rather staggering array of material, ranging from the journals of the House of Commons to ordnance survey maps from across the nation.

  • Derbyshire, England and the British Isles - Yesterdays Journey
    Yesterdays Journey records the names of those people who had dealings with a variety of events through the paperwork involved. The documents that sent them back to their legal settlement or let them stay in a new parish. The warrants for their arrest, or the Indentures that gave them a start in working life and the papers that named the fathers of illegitimate children, or the Wills that folks left. They are all found on the Yesterdays Journey site. Dealing primarily with Derbyshire it does however cover the whole of the British Isles as people moved around seeking work, travelled as vagrants through the County or were chased throughout the realm as the responsibility of fatherhood and law caught up with them. There are references to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America, as well as other lands overseas, as some moved further afield. The site includes a search engine. Try typing in Canada into the search engine and it will display all pages that mention Canada.

  • Naval History
    This websites is an absolutely splendid resource. It is invaluable for unraveling the intricacies of naval warfare - the perfect complement to the more general history of the wars. The articles and lists available are too numerous to mention in this short summary but include such databases as Royal & Dominion Navy Casualties by Name and Date/Ship, including Royal Marines totaling over 125,000 names.

  • HistoryWorld
    HistoryWorld is a general-knowledge website, designed for anyone with an interest in history. It approaches history in a way that is traditional but until recently unfashionable - as a narrative, making full use of chronology. 'What happened next?' is for all of us a fascinating question, and one of direct relevance in this context. At the heart of history there is inevitably a sequence of events. The website also attempts to address a familiar problem. We all know separate bits of history, of different places and times, but it is often extremely hard to relate them to what was happening in other subjects or in other parts of the world. This is one area in which the internet has a distinct advantage over the printed word. Links are much more easily made online than in books. Through the medium of Timelines, linked to extensive background content, and interconnecting 'Tours through Time', HistoryWorld can provide the user with an unparalleled view of the fabric of world history.

  • Russia - The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
    Researchers are only now beginning to uncover important family archives that tell of life in Russia during the reign of Joseph Stalin. One team from the Memorial Society in St. Petersburg was able to successfully recover family archives that included letters, personal papers, memoirs, and photographs. Led by Orlando Figes, this team of researchers has created this website to offer the public a selection from these powerful documents. The materials on the site are divided into sections such as "Family Histories", "Interviews", "Sound", and "Photographs". The "Interviews" area contains dozens of interview transcripts, but the majority of them are offered only in Russian. Fortunately, visitors can click on the "English" tab to review extracts from four of the interviews in English. Moving on, the "Photographs" area contains photos culled from the various family histories. Finally, the "Family Histories" area contains brief profiles of each family's history and their experiences in Stalin's Russia. Source: Internet Scout Report

  • Scotland - University of St. Andrews Photographic Archive
    This website offers you access to the amazing wealth of photography held within the Special Collections Department of the University of St Andrews Library. Here you will find masterpieces of very early photography from one of the world's outstanding collections, as well as thousands of images taken by masters of the art, both professional and amateur, over the last century and a half. The whole collection currently numbers in excess of 300,000 images, and is constantly increasing. The photographs available on this web site are a cross-section of the whole collection - a sample which will be regularly increased in size until virtually the whole collection will be searchable from remote sites.

  • German Originality
    This website is dedicated to German American heritage and is a partnership between the German National Tourist Office and the German Information Center USA. The heritage section includes a Timeline of Emigration The Genealogy section helps you to get started on your research by providing resources, tools and databases.

  • Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming - Rocky Mountain Online Archive
    The Rocky Mountain Online Archive is a central source of information about archival collections in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Specialized guides, give detailed descriptions of primary source materials located at twenty different repositories. Search the finding aids to discover what historical materials are available for study and where those collections are located. In another project component, three institutions in New Mexico have created new digital collections as part of the Rocky Mountain Online Archive project. Those collections, along with many others from Colorado and Wyoming, can be accessed via the Collaborative Digitization Program's Heritage West Take a few minutes and browse the Heritage West site to discover thousands of digital objects from the collections of museums, libraries, historical societies and archives across the Western United States.

  • Michigan - Genealogical Death Indexing System
    The Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics of the Michigan Department of Community Health has provided Internet access to information from archived death records through the Genealogical Death Indexing System (GENDIS). This system allows the user to search for records using key pieces of information such as the decedent's name, father's last name, and year of death. The data in this system were obtained from microfilmed death ledgers for Michigan, which have been transcribed by genealogists from Michigan's local genealogical societies. The current system contains information on 170,000 Michigan death records from 1867-1884. GENDIS is updated regularly and reflects the most current efforts of the genealogists and data entry staff.

  • New Jersey - Historical Maps
    Courtesy of the Rutgers University Cartographic Services, this site contains over 150 maps that cover glacier movements, historical county boundaries, early city maps and plans, and historical railroad maps. Scroll down the page to the section called "The Changing Landscape of New Jersey" and you can select a specific county and discover a diverse set of maps complete with a brief set of facts about each county. Also included for each county are links to the county's historical society (if available), other historical collections for the county.

  • New York Genealogy Guide
    The New York Genealogy Guide links to all the hard work that is posted all over the web for New York. The pages provide a staggering list of links for New York Genealogy that includes Birth Records, Death Records, Obituaries, Marriage Records, New York Biographies, Military Records, Cemetery Inscriptions and more.

  • North Dakota - W.P. Davies Newspaper Columns
    William Preston Davies, known as W.P., was born on a farm in Brant County, Ontario, near Brantford, on October 29, 1862. He spent his youth on a farm just south of Brantford, and attended a country school until he was fifteen. When he was 20 he headed for North Dakota where he became a railroad surveyor in the James River Valley. In his 30s WP began a career as a journalist and by 1930 Davies began writing a daily column called "That Reminds Me". This digital collection from the University of North Dakota's Chester Fritz Library gives users access to his daily insights and observations on North Dakota life. The first column available online dates from April 1930 and the last one is from September 1943.

  • Virginia-Liberia: Virginia Emigrants to Liberia
    Between 1820 and 1865 more than 3700 African Americans from Virginia emigrated to Liberia. Some went eagerly, others left reluctantly in exchange for their freedom. In 1847, they helped establish the first African republic. The heart of the project is a database with two searchable tables. The Emigrants table contains--when available--full names, ages, family relationships, place of origin and destination, literacy, occupation, and more. The Emancipators table includes county, year of emancipations, and other information on more than two hundred Virginians who manumitted emigrants to Liberia. Other resources include stories of some emigrants and emancipators and related primary sources.

Note: For more links to useful genealogy and history websites, visit Fawne Stratford-Devai's biography page where you will find links to many more articles from this series.

About Fawne Stratford-Devai
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography

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