The next Best of Elizabeth Shown Mills series webinar is on Friday (a members-only event). Learn more here. Become a member here.

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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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1:30:16
1.3K views
CC
The Migration of European Ancestors: Their Experiences and the Records, 1820-1920
Many factors pushed or pulled our European immigrant ancestors to come to the New World. Follow in the footsteps of those who arrived between 1820 and 1920. What did our ancestors experience when they decided to leave their homes and communities to sail to America? What was the voyage like? How did they settle into their new homes? Then discover essential and unusual resources for migration research for all US and Canadian ports in this presentation.
Many factors pushed or pulled our European immigrant ancestors to come to the New World. Follow in the footsteps of those who arrived between 1820 and 1920. What did our ancestors experience when they decided to leave their homes and communities to sail to America? What was the voyage like? How did they settle into their new homes? Then discover essential and unusual resources for migration research for all US and Canadian ports in this presentation.
Thu, November 10 2022: 1:00 UTC
1:33:55
Essential Immigration Records for Researching Your Mexican Ancestors
Did your Mexican ancestors immigrate to the United States in the 20th century? This period of history witnessed significant waves of Mexican immigration to the U.S., both permanent and temporary. The types of immigration records introduced or refined during this era, provide a wealth of information.
Did your Mexican ancestors immigrate to the United States in the 20th century? This period of history witnessed significant waves of Mexican immigration to the U.S., both permanent and temporary. The types of immigration records introduced or refined during this era, provide a wealth of information.
Fri, September 16 2022: 18:00 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
1:11:04
562 views
CC
Angel Island’s Immigrants from 80 Countries: Stories from the West Coast Counterpart to Ellis Island
While people who have heard about Angel Island might know about the Chinese poetry carved on its walls, what is less known is that over half a million immigrants from eighty countries were processed by officials on the island, and genealogical resources are still available to researchers. There were generally…
While people who have heard about Angel Island might know about the Chinese poetry carved on its walls, what is less known is that over half a million immigrants from eighty countries were processed by officials on the island, and genealogical resources are still available to researchers. There were generally…
Wed, June 23 2021: 18:00 UTC
1:15:36
1.6K views
CC
20th Century Immigrants to the West Coast
20th-century immigrants to the west arrived by ship through Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii, and overland through Canada and Mexico. Vast numbers of these immigrants were Asian. This lecture will examine the ports of entry, the records generated, and the laws which impacted those immigrants.
20th-century immigrants to the west arrived by ship through Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii, and overland through Canada and Mexico. Vast numbers of these immigrants were Asian. This lecture will examine the ports of entry, the records generated, and the laws which impacted those immigrants.
Wed, March 24 2021: 18:00 UTC
52:51
2.3K views
CC
Finding Answers in Naturalization Records
This lecture will cover two case studies using naturalization records and passenger lists in the 1930s and in the 1830s. Jump aboard as we discover your immigrant roots!
This lecture will cover two case studies using naturalization records and passenger lists in the 1930s and in the 1830s. Jump aboard as we discover your immigrant roots!
Fri, January 29 2021: 18:00 UTC
1:30:46
7.3K views
CC
Ten Best Sources for Determining Your Immigrant Ancestor's Town of Origin
Determining your immigrant ancestor's exact town of origin is the key to successful research across the pond. In this webinar, learn about the best US sources that might name your ancestor’s town or village, and how to prioritize your search and set expectations for tracking down key records in foreign…
Determining your immigrant ancestor's exact town of origin is the key to successful research across the pond. In this webinar, learn about the best US sources that might name your ancestor’s town or village, and how to prioritize your search and set expectations for tracking down key records in foreign…
Wed, December 16 2020: 0:00 UTC
55:01
17.4K views
CC
Emigration via Hamburg
From historic documents you can learn first-hand the statistics behind a big business, the human tragedies as well tips on how to research your emigrant ancestors from German and other European States.
From historic documents you can learn first-hand the statistics behind a big business, the human tragedies as well tips on how to research your emigrant ancestors from German and other European States.
Fri, March 13 2020: 0:00 UTC
54:17
879 views
CC
Discovering Immigration Stories from Both Sides of the Pond
There were number of common push pull factors that prompted mass migration from Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Learn about immigration and emigration patterns and how personal circumstances, socio-economic status, and political unrest impacted and influenced your ancestor’s decision to stay or leave.
There were number of common push pull factors that prompted mass migration from Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Learn about immigration and emigration patterns and how personal circumstances, socio-economic status, and political unrest impacted and influenced your ancestor’s decision to stay or leave.
Fri, December 13 2019: 0:00 UTC
48:22
582 views
CC
Free
Discovering Immigration Stories with MyHeritage
Every immigrant has a story. Learn how to leverage the immigration records collection at MyHeritage to uncover key clues and make amazing discoveries about your immigrant ancestors from both sides of the pond.
Every immigrant has a story. Learn how to leverage the immigration records collection at MyHeritage to uncover key clues and make amazing discoveries about your immigrant ancestors from both sides of the pond.
Sat, September 7 2019: 0:00 UTC
1:15:57
1.6K views
CC
A Path to Distant Lands: America's Ethnic Settlements
Locating an ancestral homeland often depends on where an immigrant settled in America, and what the motivation was for making an arduous journey across the ocean.
Locating an ancestral homeland often depends on where an immigrant settled in America, and what the motivation was for making an arduous journey across the ocean.
Fri, August 9 2019: 0:00 UTC
1:31:25
5.5K views
CC
Free
Following Your Family's Immigration Trail on MyHeritage
With 9.5 billion historical records, MyHeritage gives you the tools to uncover the path your family took as they migrated across lands and oceans. Historical records can provide important clues about how your ancestors lived and the reasons they migrated to where they live today.
With 9.5 billion historical records, MyHeritage gives you the tools to uncover the path your family took as they migrated across lands and oceans. Historical records can provide important clues about how your ancestors lived and the reasons they migrated to where they live today.
Tue, March 26 2019: 0:00 UTC

Upcoming Live Webinars

View all (155)
Fri, April 7 2023: 18:00 UTC
Tick Marks and Number Counts: Understanding and Using the Slave Schedules
Fri, April 7 2023: 18:00 UTC
What exactly are the 1850 and 1860 United States Slave Schedules and what is their value to researchers? A closer look at this enumeration of “slave inhabitants” will streamline interpretation of these records and will help define the do’s and don’ts of working with them.
What exactly are the 1850 and 1860 United States Slave Schedules and what is their value to researchers? A closer look at this enumeration of “slave inhabitants” will streamline interpretation of these records and will help define the do’s and don’ts of working with them.
Fri, April 7 2023: 18:00 UTC
Thu, April 13 2023: 23:00 UTC
Liverpool: The Central Hub for Northern Europe’s 19th and 20th Century Emigration
Thu, April 13 2023: 23:00 UTC
Regular sailing schedules between Liverpool and North America began in 1818, and during the 19th century Liverpool became the primary port for emigrants from the British Isles, northern Europe and Russia to North America, Australia, and the rest of the British Empire. Learn how and why this came about, understand what the experience was like going to, in, and leaving from Liverpool. Learn how to identify, access, and use the records of the port and shipping that are available.
Regular sailing schedules between Liverpool and North America began in 1818, and during the 19th century Liverpool became the primary port for emigrants from the British Isles, northern Europe and Russia to North America, Australia, and the rest of the British Empire. Learn how and why this came about, understand what the experience was like going to, in, and leaving from Liverpool. Learn how to identify, access, and use the records of the port and shipping that are available.
Thu, April 13 2023: 23:00 UTC
Fri, April 14 2023: 4:00 UTC
We Remember: Researching, Remembering and Commemorating those who served
Fri, April 14 2023: 4:00 UTC
Researching, remembering and commemorating those in our families who served. Michelle will explore ways family historians can research, remember and commemorate those in our families who served. The presentation will include tips about where to find service records and the gems of information that can be found within. Lest We Forget.
Researching, remembering and commemorating those in our families who served. Michelle will explore ways family historians can research, remember and commemorate those in our families who served. The presentation will include tips about where to find service records and the gems of information that can be found within. Lest We Forget.
Fri, April 14 2023: 4:00 UTC
Fri, April 14 2023: 14:00 UTC
Giving Them Their Glory: First Kansas/US Colored Troops 79th Regiment
Fri, April 14 2023: 14:00 UTC
Organized in August 1862, the First Kansas Colored Infantry was the first Black unit recruited in the North, the first to see and die in battle in the Civil War. Made up of both free and enslaved men, including those from the Five Tribes, its exploits were legendary. Yet, the lives of its rank and file outside of their service were prolific and unsung.
Organized in August 1862, the First Kansas Colored Infantry was the first Black unit recruited in the North, the first to see and die in battle in the Civil War. Made up of both free and enslaved men, including those from the Five Tribes, its exploits were legendary. Yet, the lives of its rank and file outside of their service were prolific and unsung.
Fri, April 14 2023: 14:00 UTC
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Urban Mapping Tools
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
This presentation will suggest strategies to correlate large amounts of information often developed in urban research, with a significant emphasis on the use of cartographic resources. Generally, researchers of urban settings have an abundance of sources to consider. Many times, the challenge is to connect and analyze multiple, even overwhelming, amounts of information. A variety of resources will be discussed, especially, cadastral maps (land ownership), Sanborn fire insurance maps and city directories.
This presentation will suggest strategies to correlate large amounts of information often developed in urban research, with a significant emphasis on the use of cartographic resources. Generally, researchers of urban settings have an abundance of sources to consider. Many times, the challenge is to connect and analyze multiple, even overwhelming, amounts of information. A variety of resources will be discussed, especially, cadastral maps (land ownership), Sanborn fire insurance maps and city directories.
Wed, April 19 2023: 0:00 UTC
Fri, May 5 2023: 18:00 UTC
Working on the Railroad: Pullman Porters and Maids
Fri, May 5 2023: 18:00 UTC
The Pullman Company was one of the leading employers of African Americans, primarily male Porters, who worked on the railroad in the late 19th and early 20th century. This presentation will look briefly at the general growth of the railroad as well as the Pullman Company which built rail cars and rented them to rail companies. Pullman hired primarily African American men and women to staff the dining and sleeping cars. What was the job like and what were lives like for the Porters and Maids? How do we find records of ancestors who were Pullman Porters or Maids?
The Pullman Company was one of the leading employers of African Americans, primarily male Porters, who worked on the railroad in the late 19th and early 20th century. This presentation will look briefly at the general growth of the railroad as well as the Pullman Company which built rail cars and rented them to rail companies. Pullman hired primarily African American men and women to staff the dining and sleeping cars. What was the job like and what were lives like for the Porters and Maids? How do we find records of ancestors who were Pullman Porters or Maids?
Fri, May 5 2023: 18:00 UTC
Fri, May 12 2023: 18:00 UTC
Spies, Slackers, and Aliens: Records of the American Protective League
Fri, May 12 2023: 18:00 UTC
Organized in Chicago, IL in 1917 by citizens who believed the United States Department of Justice was understaffed and not up to the task of fighting against espionage. They grew to a volunteer force of more than 250,000 members. The APL was given absolute power to stop ordinary citizens in the streets by checking whether men were legally registered for draft, or were sympathetic to the Germans, or those unregistered aliens living in the United States. Long believed to be a pseudo-patriotic organization. The APL documented both members and their activities in rich genealogical and historical details at the time the United States entered World War I.
Organized in Chicago, IL in 1917 by citizens who believed the United States Department of Justice was understaffed and not up to the task of fighting against espionage. They grew to a volunteer force of more than 250,000 members. The APL was given absolute power to stop ordinary citizens in the streets by checking whether men were legally registered for draft, or were sympathetic to the Germans, or those unregistered aliens living in the United States. Long believed to be a pseudo-patriotic organization. The APL documented both members and their activities in rich genealogical and historical details at the time the United States entered World War I.
Fri, May 12 2023: 18:00 UTC
Wed, May 31 2023: 18:00 UTC
Finding Chinese Railroad Worker Files in the U.S.
Wed, May 31 2023: 18:00 UTC
There is little documentation about Chinese railroad workers who built the Transcontinental and many other railroads in the U.S. starting in the 1860s. This webinar will describe some of the materials that do exist and other sources to use to learn more.
There is little documentation about Chinese railroad workers who built the Transcontinental and many other railroads in the U.S. starting in the 1860s. This webinar will describe some of the materials that do exist and other sources to use to learn more.
Wed, May 31 2023: 18:00 UTC
Wed, June 28 2023: 18:00 UTC
A Fresh Light on Old Newspapers
Wed, June 28 2023: 18:00 UTC
Researching in old newspapers no longer means sitting at a microfilm reader for hours on end, winding through a seemingly endless string of news stories and advertisements. Today, the results we seek could be a matter of minutes away, thanks to the many digitization projects that have placed millions of newspaper pages on the Internet. But what are the pitfalls? This presentation takes you through the digitization process, from hard copy to your computer screen. It is designed to help you achieve the best results from your work. (Note: Dave Obee has worked in newspapers for 50 years, has researched with them for 50 years, and has been behind a major digitization project. This talk draws from real experience.)
Researching in old newspapers no longer means sitting at a microfilm reader for hours on end, winding through a seemingly endless string of news stories and advertisements. Today, the results we seek could be a matter of minutes away, thanks to the many digitization projects that have placed millions of newspaper pages on the Internet. But what are the pitfalls? This presentation takes you through the digitization process, from hard copy to your computer screen. It is designed to help you achieve the best results from your work. (Note: Dave Obee has worked in newspapers for 50 years, has researched with them for 50 years, and has been behind a major digitization project. This talk draws from real experience.)
Wed, June 28 2023: 18:00 UTC