Tag Archives: genealogy

Resource of the Month: Ancestry Library Edition

AncestryGive yourself a gift in honor of Genealogy Day (March 12, according to daysoftheyear.com) by paying a visit to the library!  In addition to the expected family history resources located on shelves, you’ll have access to Ancestry Library Edition at any of the public computers.

You might have seen ads for Ancestry.com or watched “Who Do You Think You Are” on TLC and thought about doing some research of your own.  That used to mean time-consuming — often expensive — trips to courthouses, Register of Deeds offices, churches, and archives, but now much of the legwork can be accomplished virtually, with an internet connection and access to digital collections.

According to its website:  “Ancestry Library Edition provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.”  And it’s free to onsite library visitors!  There are two dedicated Local History and Genealogy computers, but any of our public computers will provide access to the amazing and ever-expanding collection of Ancestry.com.  Library visitors can explore records and research guides at  www.AncestryLibrary.com.

The significant differences between a paid, individual subscription and the Library Edition have to do with personalization, so library visitors cannot upload documents or add to online family trees.  However, patrons are able to search most of the databases, save/email/print information, and take advantage of forms and tips and tutorials.

Staff at the Reference Desk are happy to assist you in getting started with this resource.  We also have genealogy volunteers available every Thursday to assist you with researching your family history.  Call 919-545-8086 for details and to schedule an appointment.

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Resource of the Month: African American Heritage

African American HeritageIf the genealogy bug has caught you, Chatham County Public Libraries can help! In addition to offering access to Ancestry Library Edition in the library and to HeritageQuest from anywhere, the library offers access to African American Heritage in our branches and off site with a password.

This resource provides genealogical and historical records useful for exploring the lives of African American ancestors, a process complicated by the disruptions of slavery and the dearth of centrally-accessible records.  African American Heritage helps family history researchers by bringing together some of the scattered records and by offering expert guides through references and social networking possibilities.

Starting at the library’s home page, www.chathamlibraries.org, click on Online Resources, then the link for Genealogy, followed by the icon for African American Heritage.  Outside of the library, you’ll need a password which staff at the Reference Desk will be happy to share with you.

You’ll find census, Freedman’s Bank, and slave records; birth, marriage, death and North Carolina cohabitation records; church, military, court, and legal records; as well as genealogies and family histories.  In addition, you’ll have access to guides for locating resources in all fifty states, Canada, and the West Indies.

From the home page, you can search and browse the collections, search and browse how-to and reference books, and link to AfriGeneas (a partner site), where you can interact with a community of interested and experienced researchers. During your research sessions, it’s possible to track your search history and to save your discoveries to a notebook for later printing, emailing, and downloading.

Call 919-545-8086 for African American Heritage login information or to discuss this and other tools for genealogy research.  Happy searching!

Resource of the Month: HeritageQuest

heritagequestIf you’re interested in researching your family history, HeritageQuest is a great place to start.  Provided through NC LIVE, HeritageQuest delivers an essential collection of genealogical and historical sources that include:

  • Census records:  Find ancestors in the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790 – 194, including name indexes for many years.
  • Books: Find information on people and places described in over 28,000 digitized family and local histories.
  • PERSI (Periodical Source Index):  Find information about people and places from this index of over 2.3 million genealogy and local history articles.
  • Revolutionary War records:  Search selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application files.
  • Freedman’s Bank records:  Search for individuals in Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874), which was founded to serve African Americans.
  • U.S. Serial Set:  Search the Memorials, Petitions, and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress in the LexisNexis U.S. Serial Set.

To access HeritageQuest, visit the library’s website or go to www.nclive.org and look for the “Genealogy & Historical Maps” category.  Click on the link for HeritageQuest below the heading.  (You will be prompted to log in with your library card number.)

Need help getting started with your family history?  Genealogy volunteers are available by appointment every Thursday from 9:00 am to noon, and from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  Call 919-545-8086 to make an appointment.