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Historical Records

Watch webinars that focus on specific record categories including adoption, vital records, cemetery records, census records, city directories, immigration records, newspapers and more for locations around the world.

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Fri, January 21 2022: 19:00 UTC
Mexican Catholic Parish Records, Part I: Baptisms, Confirmations & Burials
Fri, January 21 2022: 19:00 UTC
Spanish colonial and Mexican Catholic parish registers are rich in genealogical information. This session will discuss the laws, customs, and significance of these particular Catholic records that essentially “bookend” the life of your ancestors; as well as where to find and how to analyze them.
Spanish colonial and Mexican Catholic parish registers are rich in genealogical information. This session will discuss the laws, customs, and significance of these particular Catholic records that essentially “bookend” the life of your ancestors; as well as where to find and how to analyze them.
Fri, January 21 2022: 19:00 UTC
Wed, February 2 2022: 19:00 UTC
CensusGenie: Down to the Wire 1950 Census Prep
Wed, February 2 2022: 19:00 UTC
For over a year we’ve met monthly and are now ready to meet weekly in prep for the release of the 1950 US Federal Census. You can play catch up by joining Cousin Russ and Myrt and discover strategies for finding ancestors in an unindexed image collection.
For over a year we’ve met monthly and are now ready to meet weekly in prep for the release of the 1950 US Federal Census. You can play catch up by joining Cousin Russ and Myrt and discover strategies for finding ancestors in an unindexed image collection.
Wed, February 2 2022: 19:00 UTC
Wed, March 2 2022: 1:00 UTC
Exploring the new 1921 UK Census
Wed, March 2 2022: 1:00 UTC
The 1921 UK Census was released earlier this year. Come explore what is new and different in this census. Learn how to search the indexed records, to understand the results, and how to take what you learn about your family further.
The 1921 UK Census was released earlier this year. Come explore what is new and different in this census. Learn how to search the indexed records, to understand the results, and how to take what you learn about your family further.
Wed, March 2 2022: 1:00 UTC
Wed, May 25 2022: 18:00 UTC
The Staff of the U.S. Census
Wed, May 25 2022: 18:00 UTC
Just who was creating the documents genealogists typically turn to first? What rules did they follow? How long did they have to complete their job? How big is an enumeration district? These questions, and more, probably occur to anyone doing extensive research in the U.S. Census reports. This talk reviews the staffing, training, search for accuracy, penalties for non-cooperation, and bureaucracy of the U.S. Census from 1790 through 1950.
Just who was creating the documents genealogists typically turn to first? What rules did they follow? How long did they have to complete their job? How big is an enumeration district? These questions, and more, probably occur to anyone doing extensive research in the U.S. Census reports. This talk reviews the staffing, training, search for accuracy, penalties for non-cooperation, and bureaucracy of the U.S. Census from 1790 through 1950.
Wed, May 25 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, June 22 2022: 18:00 UTC
Irish Emigration to North America: Before, during and after Famine
Wed, June 22 2022: 18:00 UTC
Identify push factors to emigration (internal issues influencing emigration): Identify pull factors to emigration (external forces encouraging emigration) • Discuss factors and resources for each time period • Emigration pre-1717 • Scots-Irish (1717 – 1783) • Revolutionary War to the Famine (1783-1845) • Famine years and after • How to use to find places of origin
Identify push factors to emigration (internal issues influencing emigration): Identify pull factors to emigration (external forces encouraging emigration) • Discuss factors and resources for each time period • Emigration pre-1717 • Scots-Irish (1717 – 1783) • Revolutionary War to the Famine (1783-1845) • Famine years and after • How to use to find places of origin
Wed, June 22 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, June 29 2022: 18:00 UTC
A Deep Dive into the Map Collections of the Library of Congress
Wed, June 29 2022: 18:00 UTC
The library holds the world’s largest collection of maps—over 5.2 million maps according to their website. This webinar will describe the collections most valuable for genealogical research. We are going to explore the online resources and how they can help our research. Exploring the phenomenal learning resources is also on the agenda. We will also talk about finding aids, research guides, reproduction capabilities, and alternative ways to access the map collections. Lastly, we will discuss the resources that are only available onsite, such as the cartographic library, cartographic exhibits, and other unique holdings.
The library holds the world’s largest collection of maps—over 5.2 million maps according to their website. This webinar will describe the collections most valuable for genealogical research. We are going to explore the online resources and how they can help our research. Exploring the phenomenal learning resources is also on the agenda. We will also talk about finding aids, research guides, reproduction capabilities, and alternative ways to access the map collections. Lastly, we will discuss the resources that are only available onsite, such as the cartographic library, cartographic exhibits, and other unique holdings.
Wed, June 29 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Ancestors’ Religions in the U.S.
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestors’ religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestors’ religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Fri, August 5 2022: 18:00 UTC
African Americans Heading West
Fri, August 5 2022: 18:00 UTC
After the end of the Civil War in 1865, African Americans began leaving the areas where they had been enslaved. Many went to North to larger towns where work was more plentiful. But less discussed is that a number went West to farm, using the Homestead Act of 1862 to claim land of their own. Other settled in and helped develop some all-Black towns in Kansas and Oklahoma. Still others headed to the Pacific Coast for work. What can we find out about these settlers’ lives? Where can we find records?
After the end of the Civil War in 1865, African Americans began leaving the areas where they had been enslaved. Many went to North to larger towns where work was more plentiful. But less discussed is that a number went West to farm, using the Homestead Act of 1862 to claim land of their own. Other settled in and helped develop some all-Black towns in Kansas and Oklahoma. Still others headed to the Pacific Coast for work. What can we find out about these settlers’ lives? Where can we find records?
Fri, August 5 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, August 31 2022: 18:00 UTC
Direct Your Letters to San Jose: Following Ancestors’ Migration Trails
Wed, August 31 2022: 18:00 UTC
U.S. Migration patterns trended from the east to west coasts as Manifest Destiny played out in our American ancestors’ lives. Did they write letters? Yes, they did. Did they keep a diary? Likely. But, have those documents survived, and if so where might they be located? Follow through historical documents the 100+year Westward Migration of one family who created, saved, and handed down pertinent historical documents pinpointing their migration from Kentucky to Illinois in the early 1830s, chronicled an overland journey to the California Gold Rush 20 years later in 1850, then later emigrated from Illinois to Kansas in the early days of the Civil War. Discover what brought one descendant to Kansas City, Missouri, after World War II. Where’s their next stop? This case study is studded with potential research avenues for any genealogist, anthropologist, archivist, cartographer, or automobile enthusiast.
U.S. Migration patterns trended from the east to west coasts as Manifest Destiny played out in our American ancestors’ lives. Did they write letters? Yes, they did. Did they keep a diary? Likely. But, have those documents survived, and if so where might they be located? Follow through historical documents the 100+year Westward Migration of one family who created, saved, and handed down pertinent historical documents pinpointing their migration from Kentucky to Illinois in the early 1830s, chronicled an overland journey to the California Gold Rush 20 years later in 1850, then later emigrated from Illinois to Kansas in the early days of the Civil War. Discover what brought one descendant to Kansas City, Missouri, after World War II. Where’s their next stop? This case study is studded with potential research avenues for any genealogist, anthropologist, archivist, cartographer, or automobile enthusiast.
Wed, August 31 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, October 19 2022: 18:00 UTC
Colonial Migrations to 1770
Wed, October 19 2022: 18:00 UTC
Before the Revolutionary War, geography, topography and a strong indigenous people presence shaped migration patterns. This webinar covers the dominant push-pull forces and challenges for colonial migration. Using maps and other graphics, the major migration routes by region will be described: New England, mid-Atlantic and southward from Virginia. Famous paths such as the Kings Highway, the Great Valley Road, and the Fall Line Road as well as less well-known paths such as the Greenwood Path and the Forbidden Path will be covered. Using a set of case studies, the process of locating clues in local histories, land records, and vital records is unfolded.
Ann Lawthers
Before the Revolutionary War, geography, topography and a strong indigenous people presence shaped migration patterns. This webinar covers the dominant push-pull forces and challenges for colonial migration. Using maps and other graphics, the major migration routes by region will be described: New England, mid-Atlantic and southward from Virginia. Famous paths such as the Kings Highway, the Great Valley Road, and the Fall Line Road as well as less well-known paths such as the Greenwood Path and the Forbidden Path will be covered. Using a set of case studies, the process of locating clues in local histories, land records, and vital records is unfolded.
Wed, October 19 2022: 18:00 UTC

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1:28:21
844 views
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Free
They Drew A Crooked Line and Formed a Border
The border between Kentucky and Tennessee created some unusual situations. Learn more about the Walker’s Line controversy, and where to find the land grants & deeds that may lead to your ancestors.
The border between Kentucky and Tennessee created some unusual situations. Learn more about the Walker’s Line controversy, and where to find the land grants & deeds that may lead to your ancestors.
Thu, January 13 2022: 1:00 UTC
56:19
146 views
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Getting the Most out of the Irish Census
The National Census were undertaken in Ireland every ten years from 1821 although many only have fragments remaining. The webinar will examine what remains for those years where only fragments exist and look at examples that help to build a family tree, along with the differences in the information gathered. We’ll examine the different type of returns for the Census of 1901 and 1911, such as for lunatic asylums, army barracks and prisons and examples of each of these will be shown. These records can be difficult to pin down and we will cover practical tips to help you find them. The different census forms provided interesting additional background information about the type of home and outbuildings a householder had and help to build a picture of their lives. Tips on search techniques will help to ensure you can find your ancestor and we’ll look at why you might struggle to find them or their place of residence in the census. Census Search Forms are a useful census substitute for the 1841 and 1851 Census records that were used when applying for the Old Age Pension and we will look at different examples that can expand your family tree.
The National Census were undertaken in Ireland every ten years from 1821 although many only have fragments remaining. The webinar will examine what remains for those years where only fragments exist and look at examples that help to build a family tree, along with the differences in the information gathered. We’ll examine the different type of returns for the Census of 1901 and 1911, such as for lunatic asylums, army barracks and prisons and examples of each of these will be shown. These records can be difficult to pin down and we will cover practical tips to help you find them. The different census forms provided interesting additional background information about the type of home and outbuildings a householder had and help to build a picture of their lives. Tips on search techniques will help to ensure you can find your ancestor and we’ll look at why you might struggle to find them or their place of residence in the census. Census Search Forms are a useful census substitute for the 1841 and 1851 Census records that were used when applying for the Old Age Pension and we will look at different examples that can expand your family tree.
Sat, November 27 2021: 0:00 UTC
1:19:50
474 views
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Court Records for People of Color Family History Research
What’s the difference between circuit and chancery court? Are probate and succession the same thing? Why bother looking at court records when it’s not involving slavery? Get the answers to these questions and more during this session, where we’ll cover court records from top to bottom, from the perspective of…
What’s the difference between circuit and chancery court? Are probate and succession the same thing? Why bother looking at court records when it’s not involving slavery? Get the answers to these questions and more during this session, where we’ll cover court records from top to bottom, from the perspective of…
Fri, November 12 2021: 19:00 UTC
Advanced
1:14:09
Private Land Claims—Complicated? Yes, but worth it! (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
When the United States acquired land that had been under the governance of foreign nations (Great Britain, France, Spain, and Mexico), the U.S. government agreed to grant title to landowners who could prove prior legal land rights from those foreign governments. This webinar shows how to access and use records…
When the United States acquired land that had been under the governance of foreign nations (Great Britain, France, Spain, and Mexico), the U.S. government agreed to grant title to landowners who could prove prior legal land rights from those foreign governments. This webinar shows how to access and use records…
Fri, October 8 2021: 22:00 UTC
59:54
Seven Immigration Methodologies, with Case Studies Across the Centuries (a 2021 Reisinger Lecture)
Family historians face significant challenges tracing immigrant ancestors. Changes in language, culture, family composition, given name, surname, country of residence, and occupation tend to obscure the origins of many immigrants. This presentation introduces seven methodologies to effectively trace immigrant origins, illustrated with examples from the early 1600s to the early…
Family historians face significant challenges tracing immigrant ancestors. Changes in language, culture, family composition, given name, surname, country of residence, and occupation tend to obscure the origins of many immigrants. This presentation introduces seven methodologies to effectively trace immigrant origins, illustrated with examples from the early 1600s to the early…
Fri, October 8 2021: 16:15 UTC
59:38
228 views
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Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Researching the Civilian Conservation Corps
Tens of thousands of young men came together to serve in the vanguard of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Discover some of your ancestors who may have worked and served in the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 to 1942. The New Deal era in American History has many great resources that have been untapped for years, and seldom used by genealogists and family historians.
Tens of thousands of young men came together to serve in the vanguard of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Discover some of your ancestors who may have worked and served in the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1933 to 1942. The New Deal era in American History has many great resources that have been untapped for years, and seldom used by genealogists and family historians.
Fri, September 24 2021: 0:00 UTC
1:15:43
“Twelve Good and Lawful Men”: Jury Lists in Genealogy
One of the most common experiences of our ancestors with the courts was the requirement of jury service. Learn to understand who could and couldn’t serve, how jurors were called, and how to use jury lists in family research.
One of the most common experiences of our ancestors with the courts was the requirement of jury service. Learn to understand who could and couldn’t serve, how jurors were called, and how to use jury lists in family research.
Fri, September 24 2021: 0:00 UTC
1:16:07
Federal Records Relating to Rivers and Canals
Many federal records pertain to the development and use of waterways in the United States. This lecture shows examples and explains the relevance of some of the applicable records found at the National Archives in Washington, DC, in its online holdings, and at its regional facilities like Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas…
Many federal records pertain to the development and use of waterways in the United States. This lecture shows examples and explains the relevance of some of the applicable records found at the National Archives in Washington, DC, in its online holdings, and at its regional facilities like Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas…
Wed, September 22 2021: 0:00 UTC
54:09
Out of the Ballot Box: Voter Registrations & Records
This lecture introduces a little-used record group that will open new research avenues into ancestors’ lives. Find how to use early voter registration records and where to find them. These records may make or break your family puzzle. Did your ancestor naturalize in the United States before 1906, but you can’t find the court his papers were filed at? Voter registrations are sometimes a valuable clue, they often ask about the court of naturalization.
This lecture introduces a little-used record group that will open new research avenues into ancestors’ lives. Find how to use early voter registration records and where to find them. These records may make or break your family puzzle. Did your ancestor naturalize in the United States before 1906, but you can’t find the court his papers were filed at? Voter registrations are sometimes a valuable clue, they often ask about the court of naturalization.
Fri, September 17 2021: 0:00 UTC