9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites

Nine (9) top FREE genealogical websites. Sites suited for the beginning researcher. This is a short yet, comprehensive list that will allow you to explore (or for some revisit) a large range of resources that will help you on your journey.
Over the next 9 days I will highlight a different website. Take time to visit the website and see what it has to offer. Every researcher should create their own toolkit of resources. This toolkit should expand and change overtime as your needs and research changes.

As I was preparing for an upcoming genealogical presentation, I did an internet search for the top FREE genealogical websites.  Specifically, I was looking for sites that were suited for the beginning researcher. This is a short yet, comprehensive list that will allow you to explore (or for some revisit) a large range of resources that will help you on your journey.

Over the next 9 days I will highlight a different website. Take time to visit the website and see what it has to offer. Every researcher should create their own toolkit of resources. This toolkit should expand and change overtime as your needs and research changes.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

USGENWeb

  1. USGenWeb Project  http://usgenweb.org/

H   R   S   FREE

Explore a directory to websites containing free genealogical resources for every US state and most counties. Quality, content and design varies from site to site. You’ll commonly find what local resources exist and how to access them, along with indexes to cemetery, marriage and other local records. Share your own records on these sites, too. This is a site with a lot of depth. You can search by state and by county as well as connect to researcher who are searching specific areas.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

Bonus – http://www.kygenweb.net/ KYGenWeb Online Kentucky Genealogy Resources.

 

USGENWeb

 

Indiana Newspapers (Digitized)

Hoosier State Chronicles

Are you looking for copies of the Indianapolis Recorder or other Indiana newspapers? Follow the link  shown above. There is a wonderful search function.

November 25 1916

Hoosier State Chronicles is operated by the Indiana State Library and funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. We seek to provide free, online access to high quality digital images of Indiana’s historic newspapers by digitizing our collection, and assisting other organizations in making their collections digitally available.

Resources in South Central Kentucky

My Paternal lines are from Kentucky. Specifically Warren and Barren Counties in South Central Kentucky. Many years ago I joined a list-serv (email group) run by Sandi Gorin. Sandi and her daughter Michelle have transcribed and copied a lot of local resources. Even more important for my research, Michelle Gorin has transcribed a large number of records that focus on African-Americans.  This information has allowed me to find birth, death and marriage dates as well as the actual records. If you have connections to Kentucky check out Sandi’s resources. To see what records are available follow the link  African American Records by Michelle Bartley Gorin VonMosch .

If you are interested in joining the list-serv here are the directions. “To subscribe to the list, please send an email to SOUTH-CENTRAL-KENTUCKY-request@rootsweb.com with the word ‘subscribe’ without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message.”

Sandi recently sent out a message discussing two books that I’m going to order this week. Both of them are e-book form, so I can get them with no wait!  I’m particularly interested in :

Freedman’s Bank Records 1865-1874 for Allen, Barren, Cumberland, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, Monroe and Warren Counties.

The Freedmen’s Bureau of Warren County, KY 1866-1868.

Once, I get the books, I’ll let you know what I was able to find.

Happy Hunting!

(This post is not a paid endorsement and I receive no compensation for any books that are purchased. Sandi has become a friend of the years and I appreciate her hard work and dedication. She gives away a lot of information on the list-serv.)

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

Rev. Ralph Edwards 1916 – 2013 ,Gone but not forgotten.

Rev. Ralph Edwards 1916 – 2013

This month on the 20th of July would have been the 100th birthday of my beloved Great Uncle Ralph Edwards. He went home to be with the Lord on January 30, 2013 at the seasoned age of 97 years old. He was the Pastor of my church and a quiet and steady influence on our family.

Uncle Ralph was born in Indiana  and raised in Kentucky. He was the oldest child born to Elonzie &  Eva. The oldest brother of Bloyd.

He was baptized as a teenager in Kentucky.  For many years he was a singer in a traveling gospel group.  He was also active in a Masonic lodge in Indianapolis.

He retired from Chevrolet Motor Company after 28 years.

He joined a local church, New Mission Missionary Baptist Church, in the 1950’s as an ordained deacon, under the pastorate of Rev. Thomas Cleveland, Sr., his father in law.   He and other church members helped to build the current church building during its first major renovation. Rev. Edwards acknowledged his call to the ministry in 1963 and preached his first sermon in January 1964. He served diligently as the assistant pastor of New Mission Missionary Baptist Church, for many years.  Later he graduated from the Central Baptist Theological Seminary with his Bachelors of Theology degree.

Rev. Edwards was called to pastor New Mission Missionary Baptist Church in December 1996. He was ordained as Pastor on April 13, 1997. During that time he led his flock as a distinguished man of God. Pastor Edwards served in this capacity until he was called home to be with the Lord. He was known as a Christian man with a quiet strength and humble spirit.

Uncle Ralph (he’s my uncle-in-law growing up I didn’t know that term) married my Aunt Zet and lived their entire married life in Indianapolis where they nurtured their son, granddaughter and grandson as well as the extended family.

His  Favorite Bible Passages were:  Psalm 24 & Psalm 150. His Favorite Hymn was Amazing Grace. He would often sing this while he stood in the Pulpit.

Uncle Ralph Edwards was called home to be with the Lord on January 30, 2013 after an extended illness. During that time of his illness he remained faithful to the Lord. He would often say when being asked how he felt, “Like Paul I am pressing on toward the mark for the high calling of Christ Jesus and I won’t complain.” I often reflect on those words when I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired. Uncle Ralph showed our family us by his example the importance of hard work, loyalty and faith.  Uncle Ralph is gone but not forgotten. He is missed.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

IMG_0585
Ralph Edwards, Sr. perhaps 2 years old. Riding in a wagon pulled by a goat.
206
Uncle Ralph & Aunt Zet
HPIM0296 copy
Uncle Ralph 90 Years Old.

204

 

Community Celebration and Remembrance ‪#‎Bethel‬ African Methodist Episcopal Church of Indianapolis

If your ancestors worshiped at a particular church, have you documented that church and how long they were members? See below for information on historic Bethel AME in Indianapolis. If your ancestors worshiped their this might be a good time to visit and take pictures before it is sold.

Bethel AME
Historic Bethel AME Church Indianapolis, IN

Experience ‪#‎BlackHistory‬: Community Celebration and Remembrance ‪#‎Bethel‬ African Methodist Episcopal Church of Indianapolis
414 W Vermont St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
July 24, 2016 – Time: 12pm to 3pm

The event is a collaboration between the Bethel AME Congregation and the IUPUI’s JustIndy: Tracing Race and Place Project.
On July 24, the greater Indianapolis community is invited to join in the celebration of the physical place that is currently home to the oldest African American congregation in the city. The congregation is relocating and starting a new chapter in its long life.
Bethel, the oldest African American church in the city of Indianapolis, founded in 1836, was once a vital part of a thriving African American community located in the heart of the erstwhile Indiana Avenue Jazz District. Over its 180 years of existence, the Bethel AME Church has played a vital role in the Underground Railroad, the founding of the NAACP in Indiana, the founding of the first formal School for Black children in Indianapolis, and the development of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.
The church building and the property are in the process of being sold.
Transition and change are a part of any vital society but so is honoring and remembering those that have made those changes possible.
Visit the sanctuary, see and hear the A. B. Felgemaker Co., Opus 878, 1905, one of a kind organ, and take photos, share stories, and participate in this historical moment. At 1pm, Joyce Moore from the Urban Patch will speak on the importance of communities using their histories to enrich their futures. For more information, please contact Kisha Tandy, KTandy@Indianamuseum.org and Andrea Copeland, ajapzon@iupui.edu

Finding Records for African-Americans Prior to 1870

Slave Schedules
Tax Records
Databases – Louisiana
Wills
Probate Records
County Records
Plantation/Farm Records
Manumission Records

Enslaved persons were not noted (by name) in the, most, census schedules prior to 1870 (the first census after the Civil War and Emancipation.) This is known as the 1870 Brick Wall. Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk a little more how to break down brick wall. It is critical to start with yourself and then work your way back with proper documentation. This is critical so that you don’t spend time researching a family line that isn’t yours. Some people are fortunate enough to have oral history passed down which tells which ancestors were enslaved. Others have to do the research the hard way. To find out about enslaved people you must also research the life and records of the enslaving family. Enslaved people were considered property so often their names were listed with other farm resources, tools, animals. Enslaved person were often times used as collateral for loans. Names were also listed in wills and probate records. In South Central KY Sandi Gorin and Michelle Gorin have transcribed many county courthouse records that are available for purchase. See if anyone has done this for the area you are researching.
Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby
Nichelle

More pictures from Midwestern Roots Conference 2016, Indianapolis, Indiana. IAAGG (Indiana African-American Genealogy Group) had a huge contingent of  members attend the conference. The group also had a booth in the exhibit which was well attended. Here are some more pictures.