Sunday, May 25, 2008

Freebies and Special Offers

I sent out the following letter to my former Online Genealogy Class students, and thought I'd share these great freebies and special offers with my blog readers as well:

"I'm sorry I'm a little late with this news, but these offers apply through the end of the month, not just Memorial Day weekend. First of all Ancestry.com:
To commemorate the NARA-Ancestry.com agreement on the eve of Memorial Day, Ancestry.com is making its entire U.S. Military Collection -- the largest online collection of American military records -- available for free to the public. From May 20 through May 31, people can log on to http://www.ancestry.com/military to view more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases of military records, the majority of which come from NARA, from all 50 U.S. states.

Ancestry is also offering a free download in .pdf format of the 79-page book Military Collections at Ancestry.com by Esther Yu Sumner. Not only does it discuss the various collections found on the website, but it gives a short, detailed history of each war or conflict in chronological order. Even if you don't have an Ancestry subscription, this book is well worth reading. Click here to download.
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"Also, Footnote has a deal:

Lindon, UT May 22, 2008 - In commemoration of Memorial Day, Footnote.com today announced their entire collection of military photos will be made permanently free on the site. The collection features over 80,000 photos from WWII and Vietnam making it the largest collection of its kind on the web.

Through their partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Footnote.com has digitized and indexed the photos, which include images of downed aircraft, aerial photos of bombings, fighter groups and combat photos. What makes the photos unique are the short captions included with the photos, which provide interesting details about the events and people featured. To view these photos click here.

The announcement follows closely behind Footnote.com's recent release of an interactive version of the Vietnam War Memorial. The online memorial is one of the largest images on the web and features a full-size photo of the memorial in Washington, DC. Visitors to the interactive memorial can search for names of fallen veterans, connect with other people, and create tributes by adding their own photos and stories to the site. To view the Vietnam War Memorial, go to www.footnote.com/thewall/.

"Footnote has also added--or is starting to add--the following databases to its subscription area:

"City Directories for: Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. They have also added the 1860 Federal Census. "So what?" you say. "A lot of subscription websites have the 1860 Federal Census." This is different. This one is interactive. In other words, let's say you find your 3rd-great-grandfather on the 1860 census. You can leave an annotation on his record, and maybe another descendant of his will come along and find it when they search for his name. Voila! You've connected with another cousin and can exchange research! This is in the subscription area, only.

"Also, I saw some news that they are going to start adding the Civil War Pension Files (they already have the index cards online). You know, those records that cost $75 a piece to order from the National Archives? Isn't this exciting?

"Don't have a subscription to Footnote, yet? You can 1) go to your local Family History Center and use their free subscription, or 2) Footnote is offering a 20% discount to their annual subscription through affiliates (like myself) only. To take advantage of this offer, click on this link.

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"FamilySearchLabs (the LDS Church) has added a number of images and indexes to its Record search area. You no longer have to go through the (free) registration process to access this information, and can start immediately with your search. Please be aware that this is a Lab (Beta) site, so some databases are incomplete (they're still adding to them), some may be inaccessible temporarily, and some may not have complete images (I noticed this with the Michigan birth and death records...some have only the first page of a two-page record set. I e-mailed them and they replied saying they are still working on getting the second pages to load up). Here are the current databases they offer:

Censuses:
* 1850 U.S. Federal Census (population schedule), Mortality Schedule, and Slave Schedule
* 1855 Massachusetts State Census
* 1855 Wisconsin State Census
* 1860 U.S. Federal Census (population schedule)
* 1865 Massachusetts State Census
* 1870 Federal Census (population schedule)
* 1875 Wisconsin State Census
* 1880 U.S. Federal Census
* 1885 Wisconsin State Census
* 1895 Argentina National Census
* 1895 Wisconsin State Census
* 1900 U.S. Federal Census (population schedule)
* 1905 Wisconsin State Census
* 1930 Mexico National Census

Court Records:
* Maryland, Cecil County Probate Estate Files, 1851 - 1940
* England, Cheshire, Register of Electors 1842 - 1900
* Freedman Bank Records, 1865 - 1874

Land and Property:
* Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900

Migration:
* New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892 - 1924

Military:
* Civil War Pension Index Cards
* United States, WWII Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Vital Records:
* Cheshire, Church of England Burial Records, 1538 - 1907
* Cheshire, Church of England Christening Records, 1538 - 1907
* Cheshire, Church of England Marriage Records, 1538 - 1907
* Czech Republic, Litomerice Regional Archive Church Books, 1552 - 1905
* England, Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts, c. 1700 - 1900
* France, Coutances Catholic Diocese, 1802 - 1907
* Freedman's Bureau, Virginia Marriages, c. 1815 - 1866
* Georgia Deaths, 1914 - 1947
* Germany Baptisms, 1700 - 1900
* Germany, Brandenburg and Posen, Civil Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1800 - 1875
* Germany Marriages, 1700 - 1900
* Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729 - 1756
* Mexico Baptisms, 1700 - 1900
* Mexico Marriages, 1700 - 1900
* Michigan Births, 1867 - 1902
* Michigan Deaths, 1867 - 1897
* Michigan Marriages, 1867 - 1925
* Norway Baptisms, 1700 - 1900
* Norway Burials, 1700 - 1900
* Norway Marriages, 1700 - 1900
* Ohio Deaths, 1908 - 1953
* Ontario (Canada) Deaths, 1869 - 1947
* Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803 - 1915
* Spain, Albacete Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1550 - 1930
* Texas Death Index, 1964 - 1998
* Texas Deaths, 1890 - 1976
* United States Social Security Death Index (records start about 1965)
* Utah Death Certificates, 1904 - 1956
* Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908 - 1949
* Virginia, Fluvanna County Colbert Funeral Home Records, 1929 - 1976
* Washington (State) Death Certificates, 1907 - 1960
* West Virginia Births, 1853 - 1930
* West Virginia Deaths, 1853 - 1970
* West Virginia Marriages, 1853 - 1970"
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