These have been interesting days. Perhaps you have completed that list of long postponed chores and are now looking for something else to do. Did you ever think about pursuing some genealogy research?
There are two PowerPoint presentations prepared by our library staff that are available online on our website. These will give you a good start in doing your research. The library also offers free access to two databases: Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest. You can find these by going to the library homepage and clicking on Local History and Genealogy under the Research tab at the top. Usually, Ancestry.com is only available in the library but during the current lockdown, you can access it from home. You just need your library card.
There are so many helpful things I have discovered. Some by accident. Do you ever wonder how to determine if someone is a first cousin once removed? If you want to determine someone’s exact relationship, here’s a helpful chart .
Are you trying to trace military service? There is a handy chart from Family Search titled , Age of Servicemen. It gives the typical years of birth and ages for duty in different American wars beginning with King William’s War in 1689.
Another helpful site is one for a perpetual calendar. This would be useful for when you are trying to create a timeline of family history.
Also check out the inflation calculator when you are looking at historic newspapers. I found a newspaper article about my ancestor gifting farms to his children. In 1905 it was estimated his gift was worth about $45,000. Today that would be worth about $1.3 million!
Newspapers provide lots of interesting information. The Library of Congress has digitized thousands of pages from local newspapers on its Chronicling America site. It also has a link to a listing of newspapers 1690-present which provides information about publication dates and where physical copies of the papers can be found.
Another interesting site, Old Fulton New York Postcards, is the impressive project of one man, Tom Tryniski. It provides access to more than 48 million (mostly New York) newspaper pages. You can also try an alternative search site.
Newspaper articles provide basic genealogical information such as birth, marriage and death notices. But they also include interesting social history highlights such as parties, travel, and business transactions. And newspaper ads show prices for commonly purchased items: a winter coat for $8! Get your facts and have some fun!
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services