USA state genealogy guides

What Are Your Favorite State Specific Genealogy Sites?

There are few things more useful when conducting US research than free state specific record resources.

That’s why we’re working on creating genealogy guides for every state in the Union that feature completely cost-free sites. We’ve discovered many wonderful resources already, but we’d like your help making sure that we don’t miss anything important.

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If you know of a good genealogy site that provides free records for a specific US state, please share it in the comments to aid other researchers.

Thanks for your help!

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19 thoughts on “What Are Your Favorite State Specific Genealogy Sites?”

  1. I have found tons of info on my Virginia ancestors in the Library of Virginia’s Chancery Records, divorce details, disagreements about land, etc… Some counties do not have images for the records, but will give you the case file and names. I search Augusta County most often, and you will see the actual documents — will have to do some transcribing. 🙂

    http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/?_ga=1.3565686.736420825.1422848181

    To search the index go here :http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/?_ga=1.33128568.736420825.1422848181

    You might have to copy and paste the links.

  2. The Shelby County Register of Deeds (TN) site (http://register.shelby.tn.us/index.php) is your go to place for a variety of records for Shelby County… birth, death, marriage, probate, chancery court… many with images of original records. But wait! There are also TN Statewide Death 1949-2009, Divorce and Marriage 1980-2009 Indexes.

  3. familysearch.org – What don’t they have; wait, it’s coming? And it’s free.

    germangenealogygroup.com – Not just for German ancestors. Wonderful indexed New York databases; wildcard functionality. Free, but if you have German ancestors you really should join; their newsletter is great and covers more than New York and more than just German genealogy.

    mocavo.com – Lot’s of great sources, many not available elsewhere. A good search tool, but it’s worth the price to get the silver or gold plans for advanced functionality. Try the Gold for a month; only $10. I don’t see them advertising it, but you can use wildcards in searches.

    Online Historical Newspapers Website – Found this site through cyndislist.com another of my favotites. Cyndi Ingle provides links to all sites genealogical. OHNW is the best site I’ve found with links to the best places for each newspaper archive, see following.

    fultonhistory.com – also known as Old Fulton NY Postcards. I am so fortunate to have all my ancestors start their lives in the USA in New York. Tom Tryniski has created a search capability that is the gold standard for search engines. Just go to the FAQ_HELP_INDEX button in the upper right hand corner of his search page and follow the directions to thoroughly search over 29 million pages. Other sites have created a search for “The Brooklyn Eagle” , as an example, when they could have saved their efforts by merely linking to this site. It’s no contest.

    New York Genealogical and Biographical Society – You have to pay for membership to use this site, but their databases are great, particularly, their quarterly magazine, “The Record”, which is filled with thousands of professionally written articles, is easily searched and downloaded. Their extensive genealogy collection is housed in the New York Public Library.

    familytreewebinars.com – Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy Family Tree Software brings wonderful, knowledgeable genealogists to the site once or twice a week to present an on-line class on a genealogy subject. The webinar is then free for a week. Join up for a month or two and view past webinars. One of the recent ones “New and Must-Have Google Tips for Genealogy” by Lisa Louise Cooke will teach you some great search tips using Google.

    Please send a donation to the free sites and to sites where the value is a lot more than the cost of being a member.

  4. I need any good sites for Massachusetts, especially the 1st half of the 20th century 1900-1950. I am specifically looking for the death of my husband’s g-grandfather who disappeared off the face of the earth around 1908 but we know he was still living in the 1940’s. Thanks.

  5. For photographs of people and places in West Virginia, I recommend Images.lib.wvu.edu. Amazing what you can learn from a photograph. For manuscripts and other images, wvhrc.lib.wvu.edu. The collection isn’t all digitalized, but much research can be done online. Finally, wvgenweb.org is amazingly useful.

  6. If you want to check out the “Resources- USA” page on my blog I’ve listed several state specific sites that are very helpful for me for Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, . I’m tapping at my phone to type this or I’d give you the individual sites. Easier to give you my blog URL and let you poke about in the Resources yourself if you want to: http://jahcmft.blogspot.com.

  7. “Minnesota Official Marriage System” – statewide index to marriage records. Coverage by county varies, but generally is quite good. This is an index only; no online records.

  8. Cook County has a free index search for birth, death, marriages. You have to register (free). You can order copies of documents for a fee + handling costs (although I still can’t figure out what they “handle” since you receive a pdf of your documents.)

  9. The Georgia Virtual Vault contains digitized images of a wide variety of records useful in researching our family history. It includes images of colonial wills, marriage records, Civil War pensions, death certificates, land grant records, and a number of historical maps. This website is a great service provided by the state of Georgia Archives.

  10. This site is not state specific, but it has been invaluable to me for my related ship captains and ship builders in Ohio. The link is hard to find by googling, perhaps because of the spelling of enrolment?
    Or because when you go on maritime or Great Lake sites, it has been hard to find this exact database.
    It has been moved several times, I think, and hopefully these issues are now resolved. But for anyone who has ancestors who were ship captains on the Great Lakes, it is invaluable, especially for 1800 to 1860.

  11. The Historic Oregon Newspapers website (http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/) has been a very helpful resource when researching my Oregon ancestors. It has a wide array of digitized newspapers, is regularly adding new content, and has an effective and powerful search feature. I wish all states would have such an invaluable tool! Cheers to the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program!

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