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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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1:20:49
369 views
CC
McMasters’ Will: The Scheme That Made Us Virtually Free
Calvin Dark presents the story of his Great-Great Grandfather, Aaron McMasters, born enslaved around 1814 in North Carolina. When he was 20 years old, he convinced his master and biological father, Simeon McMasters, to free him but North Carolina law wouldn’t allow it. This presentation will shed light on aspects of slavery (including manumission, emancipation, anti-slavery vs. abolitionist groups, Underground Railroad, Quakers, and Black Codes), Reconstruction, and African American history in North Carolina that are lesser-known and largely omitted from mainstream teaching and discourse about the period. The presentation will also provide tips and lessons learned for using genetic genealogy to uncover and discover valuable family history.
Calvin Dark presents the story of his Great-Great Grandfather, Aaron McMasters, born enslaved around 1814 in North Carolina. When he was 20 years old, he convinced his master and biological father, Simeon McMasters, to free him but North Carolina law wouldn’t allow it. This presentation will shed light on aspects of slavery (including manumission, emancipation, anti-slavery vs. abolitionist groups, Underground Railroad, Quakers, and Black Codes), Reconstruction, and African American history in North Carolina that are lesser-known and largely omitted from mainstream teaching and discourse about the period. The presentation will also provide tips and lessons learned for using genetic genealogy to uncover and discover valuable family history.
Fri, May 6 2022: 18:00 UTC
48:52
47 views
French
Free
Découvrir la vie de nos ancêtres (militaires et civils) en 14-18
La Première Guerre mondiale a marqué la vie de nos ancêtres, mais a également laissé des traces dans de nombreuses sources d’archives. Découvrez dans ce webinaire comment rechercher et exploiter ces documents, afin de retracer le parcours de vos ancêtres durant la Grande Guerre, qu’ils soient militaires ou civils.
La Première Guerre mondiale a marqué la vie de nos ancêtres, mais a également laissé des traces dans de nombreuses sources d’archives. Découvrez dans ce webinaire comment rechercher et exploiter ces documents, afin de retracer le parcours de vos ancêtres durant la Grande Guerre, qu’ils soient militaires ou civils.
Tue, April 26 2022: 12:00 UTC
37:31
334 views
CC
3 Clues Found in Every Land Record
Land records are often the key to resolving difficult families, where there is movement and migration. Make sure you are listening to the records by reviewing the basic clues in every land transaction.
Land records are often the key to resolving difficult families, where there is movement and migration. Make sure you are listening to the records by reviewing the basic clues in every land transaction.
Sat, April 23 2022: 0:00 UTC
49:39
1.2K views
CC
Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians–Oh, My!
These 3 faiths dominated the 1800s religious scene in the United States. Learn a little of their intertwined history; explore a variety of sample records; and learn strategies for finding church records for Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians.
These 3 faiths dominated the 1800s religious scene in the United States. Learn a little of their intertwined history; explore a variety of sample records; and learn strategies for finding church records for Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians.
Fri, April 8 2022: 20:00 UTC
49:55
Doing Time – Prison Records as Genealogy Resources
The brickwalls of a family tree are no match for prison walls. From intake photo to receipts for cash and clothes when they were released, prisoners in jails and prisons were recorded and documented, often in stunning detail. Learn what records may exist – and where – about your family’s black sheep.
The brickwalls of a family tree are no match for prison walls. From intake photo to receipts for cash and clothes when they were released, prisoners in jails and prisons were recorded and documented, often in stunning detail. Learn what records may exist – and where – about your family’s black sheep.
Fri, April 8 2022: 17:00 UTC
50:36
585 views
CC
The Lady of the Scrapbook: A Newspaper Case Study
Pasted front and center on page 1 of my great-grandmother’s scrapbook was an illustration of a strikingly beautiful woman in an ostrich-plumed hat. Who was she and why was she there? No name, no date, no newspaper. Tiny bits of the page not glued down enabled me to discover clues to the paper’s likely date and possible location and allowed me to discover the identity of my mystery woman. This case study illustrates what to do with an unknown, undated clipping and how to determine its origins.
Pasted front and center on page 1 of my great-grandmother’s scrapbook was an illustration of a strikingly beautiful woman in an ostrich-plumed hat. Who was she and why was she there? No name, no date, no newspaper. Tiny bits of the page not glued down enabled me to discover clues to the paper’s likely date and possible location and allowed me to discover the identity of my mystery woman. This case study illustrates what to do with an unknown, undated clipping and how to determine its origins.
Fri, April 8 2022: 13:00 UTC
Advanced
51:02
1.6K views
CC
Everything You Need to Know About the 1950 Census
The 1950 census is exciting because it may include your great grandparents, grandparents, parents and perhaps even you! It will provide opportunities to confirm some of what we already know and clues for new research. Released just days ago, now is the perfect time to begin making discoveries. Learn from Lisa Louise Cooke what you need to know about this new census.
The 1950 census is exciting because it may include your great grandparents, grandparents, parents and perhaps even you! It will provide opportunities to confirm some of what we already know and clues for new research. Released just days ago, now is the perfect time to begin making discoveries. Learn from Lisa Louise Cooke what you need to know about this new census.
Thu, April 7 2022: 21:00 UTC
1:01:08
556 views
CC
Finding your ancestors in Irish land valuation records
The Tithe records, the Townland Valuation and Griffith’s Primary Valuation records are used as Census substitutes for 19th century Ireland. Griffith’s Valuation was also updated on a regular basis up to the 1930’s and we’ll look at those records too. This webinar will cover the key elements of each record, teasing out valuable information, along with where you can access these records. We’ll include search tips and techniques and use a case study to trace a family home from the early 19th century up to the present day, including how to pinpoint your ancestors house on a map and discover if it is still standing today.
The Tithe records, the Townland Valuation and Griffith’s Primary Valuation records are used as Census substitutes for 19th century Ireland. Griffith’s Valuation was also updated on a regular basis up to the 1930’s and we’ll look at those records too. This webinar will cover the key elements of each record, teasing out valuable information, along with where you can access these records. We’ll include search tips and techniques and use a case study to trace a family home from the early 19th century up to the present day, including how to pinpoint your ancestors house on a map and discover if it is still standing today.
Thu, March 24 2022: 0:00 UTC
56:25
15 views
Getting the best out of the online Local BMD indexes
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. Ian Hartas talk will cover some of the basic techniques in how to get the best out of local BMD sites and also cover a basic walk through on them to suit newcomers.
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. Ian Hartas talk will cover some of the basic techniques in how to get the best out of local BMD sites and also cover a basic walk through on them to suit newcomers.
Sat, March 19 2022: 17:00 UTC
1:32:27
739 views
CC
Exploring the new 1921 UK Census
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
1:21:35
2.8K views
CC
CensusGenie: Down to the Wire 1950 Census Prep
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
1:23:49
Mexican Catholic Parish Records, Part I: Baptisms, Confirmations & Burials
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

Upcoming Live Webinars

View all (82)
Tue, May 24 2022: 11:00 UTC
French
1939-1945, parcours de prisonniers de guerre
Tue, May 24 2022: 11:00 UTC
Quand un généalogiste se lance dans des recherches sur un combattant français de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, il est souvent amené à travailler sur un profil de prisonnier de guerre. C’est presque une affaire de statistiques, avec plus de 1,8 million de soldats capturés par les forces allemandes entre mai et juin 1940 ! La recherche prend alors une tournure particulière. Ce moment de la vie du combattant stimule la curiosité de son descendant. Et, ce qui n’est pas le moindre paradoxe, le généalogiste a parfois connu l’ancien prisonnier de guerre. Il a écouté les récits de son père, de son grand-père, il en a collecté les anecdotes. Mais une fois que le principal témoin a disparu, il se rend compte qu’il lui manque des données précises pour documenter cette histoire individuelle transmise dans l’intimité familiale. Heureusement les archives existent. Elles permettent de compléter les précieux souvenirs. Ce webinaire a pour but de recenser les sources, qui sont variées. Et, à partir de cet inventaire, il s’agira d’envisager les méthodes de recherche, et les conditions de consultation, en fonction des configurations.
Quand un généalogiste se lance dans des recherches sur un combattant français de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, il est souvent amené à travailler sur un profil de prisonnier de guerre. C’est presque une affaire de statistiques, avec plus de 1,8 million de soldats capturés par les forces allemandes entre mai et juin 1940 ! La recherche prend alors une tournure particulière. Ce moment de la vie du combattant stimule la curiosité de son descendant. Et, ce qui n’est pas le moindre paradoxe, le généalogiste a parfois connu l’ancien prisonnier de guerre. Il a écouté les récits de son père, de son grand-père, il en a collecté les anecdotes. Mais une fois que le principal témoin a disparu, il se rend compte qu’il lui manque des données précises pour documenter cette histoire individuelle transmise dans l’intimité familiale. Heureusement les archives existent. Elles permettent de compléter les précieux souvenirs. Ce webinaire a pour but de recenser les sources, qui sont variées. Et, à partir de cet inventaire, il s’agira d’envisager les méthodes de recherche, et les conditions de consultation, en fonction des configurations.
Tue, May 24 2022: 11:00 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
Wed, August 3 2022: 18:00 UTC
The Staff of the U.S. Census
Wed, August 3 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, August 3 2022: 18:00 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
Wed, May 18 2022: 0:00 UTC
Five Wives & A Feather Bed: Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Resolve Conflicting Claims
Wed, May 18 2022: 0:00 UTC
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Wed, May 18 2022: 0:00 UTC