USA

This is a page of resources I’ve found helpful for genealogical research in the USA.

NATIONAL

Find a Grave, and

Interment.net

Cemetery records are invaluable – for me, the first place to look when searching for long lost ancestors are cemeteries and death certificates. Start with Find a Grave, then go to Interment.net, even if Find a Grave locates your person. Also, I find that sometimes, a specific search for a name on the landing page might come up with no good results, while a more general search for a location might uncover the person you’re looking for… or their relatives. Remember too, that families are often buried together, so searching nearby is a good practice.

After I spent a weekend locating long lost ancestors in far-flung places, I joined the volunteer community at Find a Grave in February, 2018. It feels great to be able to assist someone else’s genealogical research this way.

Library of Congress – Historic American Newspapers

As of this writing, there are over 2500 newspapers available from nearly all the American states and territories. Hopefully, the last holdouts will get on board, as this is an incredible resource for genealogists and historians alike. It’s also absolutely free, unlike the more well known newspapers.com.

Niagara Falls Honeymoon & Visitor Register

Did your family vacation at Niagara Falls for their honeymoon?

For the years 1949-2011, Ancestry holds the records of couples who opted to sign the Niagara Fall register as honeymooners, and they helpfully provided their last names, addresses, and dates of marriage. Niagara Falls attracts couples from all over the world, but especially North America, so try a few of your names and see what pops up.

NOTE: This is a link that goes to the Ancestry file. You will need to have access to Ancestry, either with an account, or perhaps at your local library. If you’re at the library, you are looking for the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registers, 1949-2011. Double check that you’re searching this particular file, because Ancestry has a habit of defaulting to the general SEARCH.

US Ports of Arrival and their Available Passenger Lists 1820-1957

From Joe Beine comes this exhaustive list of links and resources, which breaks down available passengers lists by state. Why is this useful for a Canadian-based researcher? Because our ancestors found the borders a lot more fluid than we do today. One of the family lines I dug into this year had family members in south Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and Washington state, i.e., the states bordering Canada.

WASHINGTON STATE

Seattle Public Library – Special Collections Online

Newpapers, photos, and more, digitized, searchable and free. Of special interest to the genealogist are the Seattle City Directories.

University of Washington Digital Collections – Photos

Free resources for the history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, including Western Canada.