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Sunday, March 13, 2016

State by State Research : Colorado

Continuing with my review of state history and genealogy research, let's explore Colorado.

Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

Wow, over 200 newspapers are searchable at this site.  That is impressive.  Let's see what I can find.

The years range from 1859 to 1966.  Not too shabby.  You can search, browse by title, name or place. There is also a topics page, listings are  alphabetically arranged, which helps a lot when you looking for that certain event that could have dozens of articles written and posted.  The articles are arranged by newspapers and date of publication.  Now that makes things easier.

I looked up "Knife Throwing", and 20 articles suddenly appeared.  Cool.  Of course these are all from Colorado newspapers, but that is the neatest thing.  You can get much closer to a specific geographic area.

There are "Help" and "Forums" to help you with search suggestions.  But let's be honest, isn't it fun to just fumble around and do some hunting without help?  OK, ask for help if you want to.

Colorado State Archives

Looking for birth and death registers?  How about divorce indexes?  Probate, yep.  Other documents of naturalization, teacher licenses, tax lists, Supreme Court case files, etc. This site is for you if you have Colorado research  ambition...

Want Probate information? Go to Menu tab, scroll down to Public Records (or Genealogy....all roads lead to Rome you know), then scroll to Legal Records....scroll down to Probate. There is a list of Counties and the years that are held at the state archives. Only those cases prior to 1985 are listed.  But, not all of these records are at the archives.  You can order document copies.

Did I forget to mention Military records?  How about Penitentiary records? School records?

Folks, there is just so much on this website that I can't possibly write about all of it.  You will just have to visit it yourself.  But I promise you, you won't regret it...ever.  It would be nice if every state have such a  comprehensive collection such as  this.

Job well done, Colorado!

And let me remind you, Family Tree Magazine published an fantastic article about the many state websites available...I still have mine from December of 2011.  Be sure to visit Family Tree  A great publication!

Monday, March 7, 2016

California : Research State by State


Have some family ties in California?  There are a few websites mentioned by Family Tree Magazine.

California Digital Newspaper Collection

This site, a project by the University of California at Riverside, has newspapers that cover 1846 through the present.  They have a search feature, so I decided to use it.  Looking for my great uncle and information on his career as a stunt man in western films.

I didn't find him, or his son, Carl.  Better luck next time.

I did a search for Reagan....guess what....over 12,000 hits.  Go figure.

California Genealogical Society and Library

This site seems more promising to me.  It talks about membership, research, look ups, libraries, etc.

I used the California Names Index.  Just as before, after entering the surname of my great uncle, no results appeared.

There is a free manuscript database, so once again I looked for the surname.  No luck.

In the Members section, there are many databases to explore.  I am not a member, but there seems to be a sizable list of subjects to browse :

Church membership listings
Marriage listings for Brides and Grooms
Vital Records listed in the San Francisco Newspapers
Enrollment of the Association of Territorial Pioneers
Archives of the CGS news and The California Nugget

Under the tab Research, you can find how to hire a researcher, tip for researching in California, Name Look ups for $10, upcoming classes and events.

Under the tab Library, you can find many recommended links for further research in California.
Links to libraries, newspapers, societies and groups are plentiful.  I might spend a bit more time in this section of this site.

Under the tab Publications, you can find about a dozen or so books that are for sale.  Of course, members get a better deal than non members.  Seems to be quite a variety here, so take a look and there might be something that you want to order.

There is a lot more to this site than I have just mentioned.  I think that this could be a very good resource for those who have an interest in the history of California.