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Described as "The Genealogist's Resource for Interpreting Causes of Death," Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms is a collection of archaic medical terms and their old and modern definitions. The primary focus of this web site is to help decipher the Causes of Death found on Mortality Lists, Certificates of Death and Church Death Records from the 19th century and earlier. This web site will be updated often and as new information is received. My intention is to collect and record old medical terms in all European languages. The English and German lists are the most extensive to date.
Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.
If you are looking for information about English-speaking Facebook groups & pages related to genealogy & history , look no further. The professional speaker, genealogist, and artist , Katherine R. Willson, has posted at her website, Social Media Genealogy, a PDF entitled “Genealogy on Facebook List” This 288 page PDF file contains 10,000+ links to English-speaking Facebook groups and pages related to genealogy and history. The document was last updated on August 3,  2016. If users of this list are interested in being notified each time the list is updated, they are asked to “please “like”Katherine's professional Facebook page” at:
When we search for our ancestors, we often come across terms that are rarely used anymore and some that were never particularly common. We may find Latin terms in church books, medical terminology in death records (he died of what?), abbreviations on tombstones, and legalese in court records. Modern dictionaries do not always help, particularly if the word is archaic as these are often only found by searching for the modern equivalent which brings to mind the old saying “if I knew how to spell it I wouldn’t need a dictionary” although in our case the spelling could change from record to record, it is the meaning we need in order to understand the information we have uncovered. With these things in mind we have collected and selected terms from various sources and fields of study that you may come across in your genealogical research. These lists are added to and edited as terms are added and definitions are refined. Think of them not just as research aids, but as living lists of dead (or almost dead) words.
Through, the University of Strathclyde is offering free online Genealogy Course. This free online course will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history Check the "start dates" and information about the course description to learn when the course will be offered.
This article from ThoughtCo, discusses how, by tracing the possible origin of your last name, you can learn more about your ancestors who first bore the surname and, ultimately, handed it down to you. Surname meanings can sometimes tell a story about your family, one handed down for hundreds of years.
Since the first census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has collected data using a census "schedule," also called a "questionnaire” or “form." Between 1790 and 1820, U.S. Marshals conducting the census were responsible for supplying paper and writing-in headings related to the questions asked (i.e., name, age, sex, race, etc.). The PDF of the report may also be directly accessed at
Research Polish ancestry online with this collection of Polish genealogy databases and indexes from Poland, the United States and other countries.
This map shows everyone who immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 2013 (1 dot = 10,000 people). The data is from the DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics and includes only people who attained permanent resident status. Most illegal immigration is not included. NOTE: click on the phrase, "Full screen interactive map / HD video" which is below the interactive map, to enlarge the map to full-screen. In addition, use the controls below the map to move back and forth in time or to pause / resume the animation.
This vast online collection of World War I era newspaper clippings is from a single unique source: the 400-volume, 80,000-page set, World War History: Daily Records and Comments as Appeared in American and Foreign Newspapers, 1914-1926. Beginning with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 and extending to the November 11, 1918 armistice and years after, the clippings yield significant information about the political, social, cultural, and economic impact of the war as it is taking place and its aftermath. The clippings cover far beyond the valuable contemporary news reports and contain war-related editorials, features, cartoons, photos, maps, and more. Front pages and full-page features of New York City newspapers are frequently presented, while many newspapers from around the country and some foreign ones are represented through clipped individual articles and cartoons.
A project of the William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture at The Newberry Library in Chicago, the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries is a powerful historical research and reference tool in electronic form. The Atlas presents in maps and text complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes (dated to the day) in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia. It also includes non-county areas, unsuccessful authorizations for new counties, changes in county names and organization, and the temporary attachments of non-county areas and unorganized counties to fully functioning counties. The principal sources for these data are the most authoritative available: the session laws of the colonies, territories, and states that created and changed the counties. Maps can be downloaded as PDF's or GIS files. Take time to explore the "download maps" and "using the atlas" links. It is well worth the effort.
Did your ancestors obtain land through the Homestead Act? You can obtain more information by visiting the Bureau of Land Management site. Click on "Search Documents"
A project of the National Ar chivies. Citizens can help archive, transcribe and share images and resources.
To get the most out of any Google search for your ancestors, it is necessary to understand how Google works. An important consideration is to realize that Google runs different search engines in different parts of the world.
Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive, a free, fun photo genealogy research web site devoted to helping you visualize your heritage! While membership is not required to use the site, an annual membership fee gives users access to additional information, including a special photo posting area and the ability to change or delete records and photos without having to contact the staff.
Representing the members of hundreds of genealogical societies across the United States and other nations, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is here to link the genealogical community and help its members grow.
Knowledge of first name abbreviations can be very helpful in tracking down ancestors. The list here is a compilation of common abbreviations for first names. It may be the most exhaustive list available on an important but often overlook.
GenealogyInTime Magazine is a free genealogy website. The site is much more than just an online magazine. It is a genealogy platform with tools and resources to help people find their ancestors.
GeneaWebinars is a group calendar and blog. This site, provides information genealogy-related online meetings, classes, hangouts, seminars and webinars, where there is a visual slide share and/or website or software demo for attendees to view. Currently there are over 35 entities with posting access to this calendar and blog, and over 200 hours of scheduled instruction for genealogists wishing to hone their research skills during the coming year. If you'd like to join the calendar to post your organization's events, just drop a note to
This site is a source for exploring maps from the Newberry Library Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
Looking for an informative article to explain what genealogy is all about to someone unfamiliar with what genealogy is? This article at Home can help you do this.
You can train yourself to read old handwriting. This is a necessary skill if you want to read handwritten census records or any type of record that was produced before the wide-spread use of the typewriter in the 1920s. This article lists the best free online resources and tutorials to help get you started.
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Includes census records and much more of interest to genealogists.
The Kansas Historical Society is the state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state’s history to facilitate government accountability, economic development, and the education of Kansans. This is accomplished by collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials and information pertaining to state government and Kansas history.
This site presents information about NDIIPP partners and initiatives, along with details about digital preservation standards and best practices, tools and services and education and training. There is also a substantial section on personal digital archiving that focuses on tips and guidance for how individuals and families can preserve their digital memories.
Historic Maps Restored is one of the leading sellers of historical maps in the world. The company offers over 1100 restored, high quality State, County, City, Railroad, Mining, Township, International, Civil War, Topographic, and Panoramic maps dating back to the sixteenth century.
About the Midwest Genealogy Center The Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation's preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarter of a million on-site materials. The Genealogy Center features 52,000 square feet of space to house all the resources and technology genealogists need to research.
If you have kin that lived in Missouri, the Missouri State Archives has a wonderful web resource that allows user to look up Missouri births & deaths - prior to 1910 &  1910 - 1962 free of charge.
Interested in maps? Want to know more about the US through maps including historical topographical maps? Visit the US Geological Survey site.
Have you ever wished you could find links to all the online city directories in one place? A place where they were listed by location and in date order? This is the purpose of the Online Historical Directories Website. It is meant to be used as an aid to genealogists, historians, and other researchers. There's a lot of work that needs to be done to this site, and with all the online databases available, it's likely this project will be a continuous work-in-progress!
At, users are able to generates fascinating personalized web pages that show how your life (or the life of anyone else you choose, fits into history as we know it. you may generate as many timelines as you wish. Users who create their own web pages can even take the timelines that are generated and put them on their own pages thus adding an unmatched personal touch everyone will enjoy. It is also possible to insert up to ten custom, color-coded personal time segments (events or ranges) in a time line. These might include schooling, marriages, job assignments, military service and so forth. The site is free to use. However, if you use the timelines created at, in your web page or a publication, you need to attribute the information to them and put their copyright notice on your product.
The Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress answers dozens of questions every week from the public. The topics of greatest interest are covered here and also in the Preservation FAQs and give special focus to preventive preservation measures, which are simple to achieve and are more economical than the options available once damage is done.
RootsPoint is an online community for genealogical/family history information and resources. The RootsPoint website features the 1940 United States Federal Census and the 1841- 1901 UK Census as well as additional collections including histories, military, and immigration records. RootsPoint’s GenMall provides a one-stop shop for genealogy books and resources.
This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers. A project of the Stanford University Rural West Initiative: Bill Lane Center for the American West
The State Archives of Iowa contains records of enduring value created or collected by Iowa state agencies. These materials document all facets of the state’s history. Records of vital statistics are excellent sources of genealogical information. Prior to July 1880, only marriages were recorded in public records, and then only at the county level. In 1880, legislation was enacted creating the Department of Public Health and requiring births, deaths and marriages to be recorded at both the county and state levels. Current state law requires that all records of vital statistics must be 75 years old to be made available to the public by the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI). State law also requires that all records of illegitimate births and stillborns be closed to public inspection.
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272
This time lapse map by Nick Mironenko is an incredible look at how drastically European borders have changed over the last 1000 years.