For genealogists, ‘free’ websites with useful information are always desirable, since so much of genealogy work requires payment of some sort, and that adds up quickly. That’s not to say that pay websites are evil – they provide a wealth of information at our fingertips, allowing us to research at 4 a.m. in our pajamas, if we wish. And much of their content is not readily accessible to the general public otherwise. Even so, ‘free’ is always nice.
Because of that, and because for a while I worked in a Family History Center helping others, I began collecting websites into Word documents for my own reference. I don’t claim to have found them all on my own, and some may no longer exist. (I don’t actively curate the lists, just add what I find. If I do see duplication, though, I remove it, as well as any sites I find that are no longer there. The date I indicate is the date I put it into the Word file. If I go to the website after that date and thus confirm it still exists, I change the date accordingly.)
These originally were broken down by U.S. state and by other countries (if I ran across anything). Over the years, a few ‘specialty’ groups appeared, like Military, Cemeteries, Newspapers and Maps.
The thought occurred to me today that while these are useful to me, they are not particularly helping anyone else (unless that other person has found these sites also). To that end, I thought I would mention their existence here, in case anyone was interested in having a copy of one or more of them. If you are, feel free to contact me via the Contact page linked at the top and provide your email, specifying which ones are of interest to you – there are presently over 150 separate files. Most are currently Word documents, though some are still in rtf format (I’ve gradually been converting them to Word). At need, I could put them in PDF format, but if you wanted very many of them, that would take a while. Some have a LOT of pages (50, 80, 100+) and some have a single entry. It all depends on what I’ve found.
Anyway, there’s your freebie offer of the day.
Here’s a sample of what is in the Military document:
US – The free website Genealogy Trails is currently working on adding the 1883 Pensioners on the Roll for every county in every state. These are pension records of Union soldiers. The project is currently around 60% complete. Work has also started on transcribing the 1890 Veterans Census. This project is currently around 25% complete (note: records are not available from all states because some of these census records were destroyed by fire). Access is free. [Genealogy Trails]
The Irish in the American Civil War, Posted: 24 Mar 2014
If you’ve got Irish ancestors who fought in the American Civil War, this website/blog may have some interesting reading for you–“The Irish in the American Civil War.” (http://irishamericancivilwar.com/)
Scotland – The National Library of Scotland has put online Rolls of Honour from World War I. These are lists of casualties and those who died while on active service. The collection includes rolls from schools, universities, clans, businesses, churches and towns. Some of the Rolls of Honour contain detailed biographies of the soldiers, as shown below. The collection can be searched by keyword, such as name. Access is free. [Scottish WWI Rolls of Honour]