Tools for historical search

Free Digital Magazines & Online Historical Documents for Your Genealogy Research

16226828919_8d4bd147b2_mI have mentioned Fold3 on this blog several times, but I want to pass along their most recent set of free documents. To celebrate Black History Month, the site is offering free access to various related content. The content is divided into the following categories:

  • Slavery
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws
  • World Wars
  • Civil Rights Movement

You can access the site’s promotion area — and free content — by clicking here.

Free Digital Magazines

I read a lot of books and magazines, and rely heavily on two public libraries for reading materials. One of the libraries recently started offering digital magazines using the Nook from Barnes & Noble. However, you do not need to purchase a Nook to use this feature. If you have a tablet or Smartphone, download the Nook app and follow your library’s instructions to load a magazine onto your device.

My library allows me to borrow up to three magazines at a time for seven days each. Using this tool I am able to read the current edition of American History, Family Tree and other publications.

Categories: Family History, Genealogy, Tools for historical search

Have Genealogy Stories To Tell? History Writing Challenge May Be The Answer

Gravestone for Bennie Lewis, located in Cumberland County, Ky. My family lineage is filled with lots of interesting stories. Stories of captured soldiers — one who worked with the enemy to survive. Stories of a 20-something-year-old man who wore the wrong coat and was shot by federal agents. Stories of survival, loss and hardship. The problem, though, is all the stories need to be committed to paper (or pixel) and that’s where a project I recently stumbled upon comes in. The Family History Writing Challenge is a 28-day challenge that starts February 1. It is designed to motivate and guide family historians and genealogists in a month-long effort to capture and record family stories. I’ve never attempted a challenge like this before, so I am curious to see where it leads. I have until Sunday to decide what exactly I want to zero in on (I am wavering between Civil War era Beatys and Shadrach Claywell’s children). Once I decide, though, there will be a couple entries about the stories I am trying to uncover. If you are interested in participating in the project, click here. The project is free — although donations are accepted. (Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this promotion, I’m just trying to pass along genealogy tips as I find them. Another recent tip for Kentucky researchers can be accessed here.)

Categories: Family History, Genealogy, Tools for historical search | Tags:

Free Revolutionary War records until end of July

Yohn_Battle_of_Kings_MountainIf you are interested in the United States Revolutionary War, then head over to Fold3 and view records free until the end of July. This is a great deal. Years ago, I purchased the Revolutionary War records for my grandfather of that era Shadrach Claywell and paid about $40 for the documents (not sure what the fee is now).

Based on Shadrach’s records, the documents have quite a bit of information in them. In the case of Shadrach, I learned in 1778 he served three months under Capt. Robert Adams as a private — and that, when he enlisted, he lived in Bedford County, Virginia. The file contained about 20-30 pages so I was able to learn about his other tour of duties — including his capture at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

An email from Fold3 describes the collection as:

  • Revolutionary War pension files
  • Service records
  • War rolls,
  • Payment vouchers and,
  • The Revolutionary War Manuscript File

The email further states:

If you’re interested in the historical aspects of the war, you can explore the captured vessels prize cases, Revolutionary War milestone documents, Pennsylvania Archives, Constitutional Convention records, and the papers and letters of the Continental Congress, among others.

You can access the free records here until July 31.

Categories: American History, American Revolutionary War, Family History, Tools for historical search | Tags: , ,