Fee or Free US World War I Draft Registration Cards


The US World War I Draft Registration Cards is a popular collection for finding male ancestors because it “accounts for approximately 98 percent of men in the U.S. born between 1872 and 1900. The total U.S. population in 1917-1918 was about 100 million individuals, so close to 25 percent of the total population is represented in these records.”*

There were three primary registrations:

  • The first registration was on June 5, 1917, for all men ages 21 to 31 (specifically, men born between June 6, 1886 and June 5, 1896)

  • The second registration was on June 5, 1918, for all men who turned 21 after June 5, 1917, and a supplemental registration on August 24, 1918, for all men who turned 21 after June 5, 1918.

  • The third registration was on September 12, 1918 for all men ages 18 to 45 who had not previously enrolled.**

The US National Archives has some digitized draft registration cards for famous Americans, including this card for composer and jazz musician, Duke Ellington.

Draft Registration Card for Edward Kennedy Ellington, courtesy National Archives

Draft Registration Card for Edward Kennedy Ellington, courtesy National Archives:

It’s important to note that not all men in the United States who served in the First World War registered for the draft. I have a grandfather and great uncle, both born just outside the registration requirement windows, who volunteered and served during World War I but who never registered for the draft. Also, not all men who registered for the draft served during World War I.

If you’re fortunate enough to have ancestors who registered for the draft, there’s good information to be gleaned. “Each registration was slightly different. …However, they generally included the following information:

  • Name

  • Birth date

  • Birthplace

  • Draft registration date

  • Sometimes, father’s birthplace

  • Name of nearest relative

  • Age in years

  • Sex is implied, since all registrants were males

  • Marital status

  • List of any dependents

  • Address”***



  • has the US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 with a subscription

  • has the US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 with a subscription

  • FindMyPast has the World War I Draft Registration Cards collection with a subscription, they also link to Lives of the First World War, an Imperial War Museums effort to remember those who served during WWI, uploading photos and adding facts is free, there’s a charge to find the records or connect online with other contributors.

  • has the U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 with a subscription

  • has the US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 with a subscription

US National Archives



  • has the US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, index and images are free

Local Libraries

  • Your local library may have access to World War I Draft Registration Cards through online databases including HeritageQuest, ProQuest, JSTOR, and others (free with a library card)


Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free!

* “About U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. U.S.”, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Accessed May 22, 2017.

**”United States World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918.” United States World War I Draft Registrations, 1917-1918 – MyHeritage. Accessed May 22, 2017.

***”United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records).” United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records) Genealogy – FamilySearch Wiki. Accessed May 22, 2017.,_World_War_I_Draft_Registration_Cards_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records).


May 22, 2017 |

Fee or Free Photo Scanning

E-Z-Photo Scan at RootsTech 2017


Fee or Free Photo Scanning

If you’re like me, you have piles of old, printed photos begging to be digitized. I even took mine out of old albums & scrapbooks and threw the albums away (I don’t recommend this). But before you take on the enormous task of digitizing your photos, make sure you have the right tools. It makes no sense to hand scan small photos, one by one, on a flatbed scanner or with a phone app. There’s a better tool available that is a huge time-saver–E-Z Photo Scan.

E-Z Photo Scan sells & rents multiple scanners but my favorite by far has been the model that allows you to stack 30-60 smaller photos in a pile and it auto feeds them into the scanner, names the file (according to your instructions), and can output in multiple file formats. It will run a stack of photos through in minutes. It can take a scan of both sides of your photo as it runs it through. (There are other options for larger photos and photos/scrapbooks that can’t be bent in any way-I’m not addressing those in this blog.)

Below is a video I took at RootsTech of a patron using the E-Z Photo Scanner to scan a few photos. This doesn’t do the scanner justice because she’s just dropping photos in one-by-one with what she has on hand.

This is the vision: you will have a nicely organized box with stacks of photos and you will put a stack of photos on the scanner and let it feed them through while you sit back and watch digital versions appear on the computer, with files named so you will be able to locate and identify them in the future.

Personally, I wouldn’t attack the scanning job without this tool. If you don’t have access to this type of scanning equipment or a similar time-saving tool, prepare your printed photos now, for a time in the future when you will have access to this type of equipment. Prepping the project will take far more time than the actual digitizing. (Or work on renaming and organizing your most recent digital photo files and master the art of file naming with current photos before you attack old photos.)

E-Z Photo Scan just advertised a Monday webinar (that’s today, Monday, May 15th) at 1 pm EDT and is inviting people to pre-register. The webinar will address file naming techniques, “tools, strategies, and ways needed to turn naming file names into high-performance search bots.” I wish I’d taken a class on file naming before I scanned my photos. I should have spent time organizing the photos into the batches I wanted to scan together, labeling the piles with how I wanted the system to automatically name them, etc. I was just so excited by the time-saving technology I jumped in without much planning. (Again, I don’t recommend this.)


E-Z Photo Scan

E-Z Photo Scan sells this equipment or will rent the equipment in the United States and Canada and they offer financing for purchases. This is a display from RootsTech 2017 showing how the rental process works and what is delivered when you order.

E-Z-Photo Scan at RootsTech 2017

E-Z-Photo Scan at RootsTech 2017

If you choose to rent you will definitely want to do all the organizing and prep work before the machine delivery date. And by organizing and prep, I mean gather every possible photo you can digitize, put it in the stack you want it digitized with, have it in the exact order you want the files to appear in, and pre-label each stack with the file naming format you intend to use (ideas from the webinar or any other file naming source you trust). This is a massive project and most of the work will be preparation. You might want to ask family or neighbors if they’d be interested in sharing the rental fee and allowing them time with the equipment. I’ve heard of groups sharing the costs and taking turns using the equipment that was set up in one person’s garage. I also have a girlfriend who purchased one of these for her family (she’s a diehard librarian/archivist). So even though the rental or purchase price seems like a high start-up cost, people do it and love it.

Epson, Canon, Wolverine, etc

Epson, Canon, Wolverine are just a few companies offering similar products in my area. Search online for other digital, auto-feed, photo scanners available in your area. Some computer and office stores in my area sell this equipment but options will vary based on your location.


LDS Family History Centers

Many LDS Family History Centers located throughout the world have this equipment available for free. You’ll need to contact your local family history center and ask what digitizing equipment they have and how to reserve a time to use it. You’ll want to plan on at least 30 minutes to familiarize yourself with the system, even if a volunteer is there to assist you. (I’ve heard a few people say they’re afraid to use these facilities because they don’t want to be proselytized and in my experience, this is not the purpose of the LDS Family History Centers and religion has never been discussed when I was working, but if religion did come up, a respectful “I don’t like to discuss religion” would end it.)


Libraries and Archives

Libraries and Archives worldwide have digitizing equipment and some make it available to patrons and offer use of the equipment free-of-charge. Others may charge a fee. I used this or similar equipment at a local college (free of charge) and actually reserved two machines for 2 hours each, and had my sons feeding photos through one machine and batch naming them while I fed photos through the other. (We brought USB cards with inadequate storage space and an external hard drive with 1TB of space that was more than adequate.)


Genealogical and Historical Societies

Genealogical and Historical Societies would also be a great place to check. I suspect if they offered use of the equipment for free, that would for members only, and they would charge a fee to other patrons.


It’s been four years since we scanned our photos and I recently saw new equipment for digitizing scrapbooks that allowed the patron to flip through page after page as it digitized. The equipment took a photo, a digital version appeared on the computer, then the patron flipped to the next page, etc. No need to take apart scrapbooks and albums. Anyway, that’s another blog for another day, but the point is, don’t start a project until you’ve researched the latest and greatest tools. Nothing is more frustrating than learning you were inefficient with your time because you chose the wrong tool for the project. E-Z Photo Scan is aptly named, it’s easy to use and is the right tool for the job.

Best in your digitizing whether it’s fee or free.

May 14, 2017 |

Fee or Free 1875 Norway Census


The 1875 Norway Census (Norwegian: Folketellingen for kongeriget Norge den 31te desember 1875) began December 31, 1875 and is expected to include 99% of the population of Norway. Information was gathered by census takers throughout the country who spoke to any family member living at an address or a neighbor if family wasn’t on-site. Some people were enumerated twice because they were temporary residents in one locale but their names were also given at their home residence.

Some information contained in the 1875 Norway Census includes:

  • Name

  • Gender

  • Resident or Temporary Resident

  • Whether Absent from parish and location at time of Census

  • Position in family

  • Occupation

  • Marital Status

  • Year of Birth

  • Place of Birth

  • Religion (if not the state church)


Where to find the 1875 Norway Census?


Fee Sites

  • Ancestry

    Ancestry has the Norway, Select Census, 1875 and their records came from FamilySearch, so have the same benefits and limitations of the FamilySearch collection (the records are currently from Akershus county, Hedmark county, and Østfold county in Norway)

  • MyHeritage

    MyHeritage has the 1875 Norway Census and this appears to be the same data as Ancestry and FamilySearch with records currently from Akershus, Hedmark, and Østfold. MyHeritage has excellent translation services which might help bridge any language barriers as you search these records.


Free Sites

  • FamilySearch

    FamilySearch has the 1875 Norway Census limited to partial returns for Akershus, Hedmark, and Østfold and will add data as it is acquired.

  • Norwegian Historical Data

    Norwegian Historical Data is a national institution at the University of Tromso in Norway and has a partial, searchable transcription of the 1875 Norway Census. They transcribe and index censuses and church records in Norway for statistical and historical research purposes but make their work freely available. Their 1875 Census includes more locales than FamilySearch, Ancestry, or MyHeritage and you can see a chart showing the number of transcribed census records by year and municipality (not parish) as well as a list for the 1875 Norway Census of who performed the transcriptions if it was not Norwegian Historical Data (RHD).

  • DigitialArkivet

    DigitalArkivet, the digital arm of the National Archives in Norway, has many 1875 Norway Census returns searchable online. All records at the Digital Archives of Norway are free and they have vast, online collections.

For more information on how to best search the 1875 Norway Census (and other Norwegian records), I’d recommend you follow a native blogger who has invested a lot of time in the research. I follow Martin Roe Eidhammer at Norwegian Genealogy and then some and there are probably others as well. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

May 8, 2017 |

US Census Records – Fee or Free Comparison Chart


Here’s a comparison chart of US Census Records available at FamilySearch and some partner websites including AmericanAncestors, Ancestry, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage.

Each title links to a record collection. FamilySearch is the only entirely free collection but you can use the other links to get a feel for the look of each site. AmericanAncestors links to a general search window and you’ll need to select the database, “United State Census …”

“Index only” means a site provides a name index, which is information extracted from the handwritten census record. This usually includes every name in the census, the census year, the place the record was collected, the age and gender of the family member, and possibly information about other family members living at the residence, etc.

“Index and Images” means the site provides the index and an image of the handwritten census record. The image allows you to verify the extracted information, and possibly see other census information not extracted for the index.






1790 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1790 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1790 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1790 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1790 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1800 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1800 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1800 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1800 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1800 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1810 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1810 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1810 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1810 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1810 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1820 US Census at FamilySearch

Index only

1820 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1820 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1820 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1820 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1830 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1830 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1830 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1830 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1830 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1840 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1840 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1840 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1840 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1840 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1850 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1850 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1850 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1850 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1850 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1850 US Census Slave Schedule at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1850 US Census Slave Schedule at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1850 US Census Slave Schedule at Ancestry

Index and Images

1850 US Census Slave Schedule at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1850 US Census Slave Schedule at MyHeritage

Index only

1860 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1860 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1860 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1860 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1860 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1870 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1870 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1870 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1870 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1870 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1880 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1880 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1880 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1880 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1880 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1890 US Census Fragments at Family Search

Index and Images

1890 US Census Fragments at Ancestry

Index and Images

1890 US Census Fragments at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1890 US Census Fragments at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1900 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1900 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1900 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1900 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1900 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1910 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1910 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1910 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1910 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1910 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1920 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1920 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1920 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1920 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1920 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1930 US Census at Family Search

Index and Images

1930 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1930 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1930 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1930 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

1940 US Census at FamilySearch

Index and Images

1940 US Census at AmericanAncestors

Index only

1940 US Census at Ancestry

Index and Images

1940 US Census at FindMyPast

Index and Images

1940 US Census at MyHeritage

Index and Images

April 22, 2017 |

Fee or Free online 1901 Ireland Census, 1911 Ireland Census, and Griffith’s Valuation


This updates and improves the Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census post because there’s a great free option for finding the 1911 Ireland Census as well as the 1901 Ireland Census and Griffith’s Valuation.

Fee or Free Ireland Census and Griffiths Valuation Online


Griffiths Valuation?

Everyone loves census records but here’s a quick ‘why do I care’ explanation of Griffith’s Valuation (GV). Griffith’s Valuation is a census substitute for the 1800s Ireland census records. Griffith’s Valuation is a property tax survey done by Sir Richard Griffith detailing all taxable property and agriculture in Ireland in the mid-1800s. Ireland suffered huge record losses in 1922 when The Public Record Office was destroyed. The 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 censuses were destroyed* in the fire. The 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 censuses had already been destroyed by government order. So Griffith’s Valuation is the best census substitute for the mid-1800s in Ireland. “It covers over a million dwellings, and nearly 20 million acres, recording around 80% of the population. Because the Valuation was published (and has long been out of copyright) it is by far the most widely available record used for Irish research.”**


Fee Options

You can reread Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census for the options but basically, RootsIreland, FindMyPast, Ancestry, and MyHeritage are four of the best subscription options for online versions of the 1911 Ireland Census as well as the 1901 Ireland Census and Griffiths Valuation.


Free Options

The National Archives of Ireland is the primary free option for the 1901 & 1911 Ireland Censuses and Ask About Ireland is the primary free option for Griffith’s Valuation.

Here’s one more free option: Irish Townlands. Irish Townlands uses open source code (OpenStreetMap) to map all of Ireland and her 32 counties, 326 baronies, 2,506 civil parishes, 3,438 electoral divisions, and 60,941 townlands and subtownlands. It’s incredible!

If you already know the townland where your ancestor lived you can select it and scroll down the townland information page, see where it sits in relation to the rest of Ireland, and then find links to the 1901 Ireland Census, 1911 Ireland Census, and Griffiths Valuation. If records exist for that area, the links take you to the townland records at The National Archives of Ireland for the censuses and Ask About Ireland for Griffith’s Valuation.

If you don’t already know the townland where your ancestor lived, you’ll need to go directly to and do a broad family name search (family name search instructions). Or if you’re researching an area and want to see all the residents, you can do a broad place name search (place name search instructions) and it will list all the occupants of that area with links to Griffith’s Valuation if there is one.

Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free.


*A few census returns for 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 still exist and are online at The National Archives of Ireland and FindMyPast, and parts are available at RootsIreland.

**Grenham, John. “What is Griffith’s Valuation” and “Why is Griffith’s important for Irish Genealogy?” Ask About Ireland. Accessed April 15, 2017. and

p.s. Fee sites may at times have Griffith’s Valuation searchable for free.

April 15, 2017 |

Fee or Free Online Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850



The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), The Essex Institute, and others were commissioned to publish Massachusetts Vital Records up to 1850 for various towns in Massachusetts.

From AmericanAncestors (NEHGS): “At the turn of the twentieth century NEHGS was instrumental in introducing and passing legislation to appropriate funds to produce books of vital statistics to the year 1850 for the cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. …Not all Massachusetts towns are included.”


FEE options


AmericanAncestors has a Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 Collection that includes these commissioned books as well as some substitutes for towns whose vital records were not collected/commissioned. You can search by individual town volume.

Ancestry has these individual books available online and you can search by individual town volume.

FindMyPast has this collection available online searchable across the entire collection.


FREE options


OnGenealogy has a list of the free, online Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 books including a few substitutes for towns whose records weren’t commissioned. Most of these books are out of copyright and the versions not currently available online (for the towns of Ashfield, Charlestown, Eastham, Fairhaven, Harwich, Lowell, Marshfield, Milton, Montague, Otis, Pepperell, Sandisfield, Swansea, and Taunton) may still be under copyright.

If you’re trying to find free records for a town not included in this list, Internet Archive, Google Books, or HathiTrust are great places to start searching. Also try Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915 at FamilySearch.

Best in your searches whether they’re fee or free!




April 10, 2017 |

Barbour Collection Comparison Chart – Fee or Free Options by Town


Here’s a comparison chart to go with my blog, Fee or Free options for the Barbour Collection (Connecticut Vital Records).

The first two columns are contact information for requesting vital records from local town clerks and the last three columns are online Connecticut vital records options. Best in your searches!

Town/City Clerk Telephone Barbour Collection
Free transcriptions
Barbour Collection
AmericanAncestors – Fee
Barbour Collection
Ancestry – Fee
Andover Town Clerk
17 School Street
Andover, CT 06232
860-742-0188 Andover BMD 1848-1851 Andover BMD 1848-1879
Ansonia City Clerk
253 Main Street
Ansonia, CT 06401
Ashford Town Clerk
5 Town Hall Road
Ashford, CT 06278
860-487-4401 Ashford BMD Ashford BMD 1710-1851 Ashford BMD 1710-1851
Avon Town Clerk
60 West Main Street
Avon, CT 06001
860-409-4311 Avon BMD Avon BMD 1830-1851 Avon BMD 1830-1851
Barkhamsted Town Clerk
67 Ripley Hill Road
Barkhamsted, CT 06063-3340
860-379-8665 Barkhamsted BMD Barkhamsted 1779-1854 Barkhamsted 1779-1854
Beacon Falls Town Clerk
10 Maple Avenue
Beacon Falls, CT 06403-1198
Berlin Town Clerk
240 Kensington Road
Berlin, CT 06037-2647
860-828-7075 Berlin BMD 1785-1850 Berlin BMD 1785-1850
Bethany Town Clerk
40 Peck Road
Bethany, CT 06524-3338
203-393-2100 Bethany BMD 1832-1853 Bethany BMD 1832-1853
Bethel Town Clerk
One School Street
Bethel, CT 06801
Bethlehem Town Clerk
PO Box 160
Bethlehem, CT 06002
203-266-7510 Bethlehem BMD 1787-1851 Bethlehem BMD 1787-1851
Bloomfield Town Clerk
800 Bloomfield Avenue
PO Box 160
Bloomfield, CT 06002
860-769-3507 Bloomfield BMD 1835-1853 Bloomfield BMD 1835-1853
Bolton Town Clerk
222 Bolton Center Road
Bolton, CT 06043
Bozrah Town Clerk
1 River Road
Bozrah, CT 06334
860-889-2689 Bozrah BMD 1786-1850 Bozrah BMD 1786-1850
Branford Town Clerk
1019 Main Street
PO Box 150
Branford, CT 06405
203-315-0678 Branford BMD 1644-1850 Branford BMD 1644-1850
Bridgeport City Clerk
45 Lyon Terrace
Bridgeport, CT 06604
203-576-1311 Bridgeport BMD 1821-1854 Bridgeport BMD 1821-1854
Bridgewater Town Clerk
44 Main Street South
Bridgewater, CT 06752
Bristol Town Clerk
111 N. Main Street
Bristol, CT 06010
860-584-6100 Bristol BMD Bristol BMD 1785-1854 Bristol BMD 1785-1854
Brookfield Town Clerk
PO Box 5106
100 Pocono Road
Brookfield, CT 06804-5106
203-775-7313 Brookfield BMD 1788-1852 Brookfield BMD 1788-1852
Brooklyn Town Clerk
4 Wolf Den Road
PO Box 356
Brooklyn, CT 06234
860-779-3411 Brooklyn BMD Brooklyn BMD 1786-1850 Brooklyn BMD 1786-1850
Burlington Town Clerk
200 Spielman Highway
Burlington, CT 06013
860-673-2108 Burlington BMD Burlington BMD 1806-1852 Burlington BMD 1806-1852
Canaan Town Clerk
PO Box 47
Falls Village, CT 06031
860-824-0707 Canaan BMD 1739-1852 Canaan BMD 1739-1852
Canterbury Town Clerk
PO Box 27
Canterbury, CT 06331
860-693-7870 Canterbury BMD Canterbury BMD 1703-1850 Canterbury BMD 1703-1850
Canton Town Clerk
PO Box 168
Collinsville, CT 06022
860-693-7870 Canton BMD 1806-1853 Canton BMD 1806-1853
Chaplin Town Clerk
PO Box 286
Chaplin, CT 06235
860-455-9455 Chaplin BMD
Chatham – see East Hampton
Chatham was renamed East Hampton in 1915
Cheshire Town Clerk
84 South Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
Chester Town Clerk
203 Middlesex Avenue
Chester, CT 06412
860-526-0013 Chester BMD Chester BMD 1836-1852 Chester BMD 1836-1852
Clinton Town Clerk
54 East Main Street
Clinton, CT 06413
860-669-9101 Clinton BMD Clinton BMD 1838-1854 Clinton BMD 1838-1854
Colchester Town Clerk
127 Norwich Avenue
Colchester, CT 06415
860-537-7215 Colchester BMD 1699-1850 Colchester BMD 1699-1850
Colebrook Town Clerk
PO Box 5
Colebrook, CT 06021
860-379-3359 Colebrook BMD Colebrook BMD 1779-1810 Colebrook BMD 1779-1810
Columbia Town Clerk
323 Jonathan Trumbull Hwy
Columbia, CT 06237
860-228-3284 Columbia BMD Columbia BMD 1804-1852 Columbia BMD 1804-1852
Cornwall Town Clerk
PO Box 97
Cornwall, CT 06753
860-672-2709 Cornwall BMD 1740-1854 Cornwall BMD 1740-1854
Coventry Town Clerk
1712 Main Street
Coventry, CT 06238
Cromwell Town Clerk
41 West Street
Cromwell, CT 06416
Danbury City Clerk
155 Deer Hill Avenue
Rm 323
Danbury, CT 06810
203-797-4531 Danbury BMD Danbury BMD 1685-1847 Danbury BMD 1685-1847
Darien Town Clerk
Two Renshaw Road
Darien, CT 06820
203-656-7307 Darien BMD 1820-1851 Darien BMD 1820-1851
Deep River Town Clerk
174 Main Street
Deep River, CT 06417
Derby City Clerk
1 Elizabeth Street
Derby, CT 04418
203-736-1462 Derby BMD 1655-1852 Derby BMD 1655-1852
Durham Town Clerk
PO Box 428
Durham, CT 06422
860-349-3453 Durham BMD Durham BMD 1708-1852 Durham BMD 1708-1852
East Granby Town Clerk
East Granby, CT 06026
East Haddam Town Clerk
PO Box K
7 Main Street
East Haddam, CT 06423
860-873-5027 East Haddam BMD East Haddam BMD 1743-1857 East Haddam BMD 1743-1857
East Hampton Town Clerk
20 East High Street
East Hampton, CT 06424
860-267-1027 Chatham/East Hampton BMD Chatham/East Hampton BMD 1767-1854 Chatham/East Hampton BMD 1767-1854
East Hartford Town Clerk
740 Main Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
860-291-7230 East Hartford BMD 1783-1853 East Hartford BMD 1783-1853
East Haven Town Clerk
250 Main Street
East Haven, CT 06512
230-468-3201 East Haven BMD 1700-1852 East Haven BMD 1700-1852
East Lyme Town Clerk
108 Pennsylvania Avenue
Niantic, CT 06357
860-739-6931 East Lyme BMD 1839-1853 East Lyme BMD 1839-1853
East Windsor Town Clerk
PO Box 213
Broad Brook, CT 06016
860-292-8255 East Windsor BMD 1768-1860 East Windsor BMD 1768-1860
Eastford Town Clerk
PO Box 273
Eastford, CT 06242
860-974-0133 Eastford BMD Eastford BMD 1847-1851 Eastford BMD 1847-1851
Easton Town Clerk
225 Center Road
Easton, CT 06612
Ellington Town Clerk
PO Box 187
Ellington, CT 06029
860-870-3105 Ellington BMD
part 1: 1786-1850
Ellington Marriages
part 2: 1820-1853
Ellington BMD
part 1: 1786-1850
Ellington Marriages
part 2: 1820-1853
Enfield Town Clerk
820 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT 06082
Essex Town Clerk
29 West Avenue
Essex, CT 06426
Fairfield Town Clerk
611 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
203-256-3090 Fairfield BMD Fairfield BMD 1639-1850 Fairfield BMD 1639-1850
Farmington Town Clerk
One Monteith Drive
Farmington, CT 06032
860-675-2380 Farmington BMD 1645-1850 Farmington BMD 1645-1850
Franklin Town Clerk
7 Meeting House Hill Road
North Franklin, CT 06254
860-642-7352 Franklin BMD 1786-1850 Franklin BMD 1786-1850
Glastonbury Town Clerk
2155 Main Street
Glastonbury, CT 06033
860-652-7616 Glastonbury BMD 1690-1854 Glastonbury BMD 1690-1854
Goshen Town Clerk
42C North Street
Goshen, CT 06756
860-491-3647 Goshen BMD Goshen BMD 1739-1854 Goshen BMD 1739-1854
Granby Town Clerk
15 North Granby Road
Granby, CT 06035
860-844-5308 Granby BMD Granby BMD 1786-1850 Granby BMD 1786-1850
Greenwich Town Clerk
PO Box 2540
Greenwich, CT 06836
203-622-7897 Greenwich BMD Greenwich BMD 1640-1848 Greenwich BMD 1640-1848
Griswold Town Clerk
PO Box 369
Jewett City, CT 06351
860-376-7060 Griswold BMD 1815-1848 Griswold BMD 1815-1848
Groton Town Clerk
45 Fort Hill Road
Groton, CT 06340
860-441-6640 Groton BMD 1704-1853 Groton BMD 1704-1853
Guilford Town Clerk
31 Park Street
Guilford, CT 06437
203-453-8001 Guilford BMD 1639-1850 Guilford BMD 1639-1850
Haddam Town Clerk
PO Box 87
Haddam, CT 06438
860-345-8531 Haddam BMD Haddam BMD 1668-1852 Haddam BMD 1668-1852
Hamden Town Clerk
2750 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
203-287-7112 Hamden BMD A-G Hamden BMD 1786-1854 Hamden BMD 1786-1854
Hampton Town Clerk
PO Box 143
Hampton, CT 06247
860-455-9132 Hampton BMD Hampton BMD 1786-1851 Hampton BMD 1786-1851
Hartford City Clerk
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
860-757-9690 Hartford BMD Hartford BMD 1635-1855 Hartford BMD 1635-1855
Hartland Town Clerk
22 South Road
East Hartland, CT 06027
860-4653-0285 Hartland BMD 1761-1848 Hartland BMD 1761-1848
Harwinton Town Clerk
100 Bentley Drive
Harwinton, CT 06791
860-485-9613 Harwinton BMD 1737-1854 Harwinton BMD 1737-1854
Hebron Town Clerk
PO Box 156
Hebron, CT 06248
860-228-5971 Hebron BMD Hebron BMD 1708-1854 Hebron BMD 1708-1854
Kent Town Clerk
PO Box 678
Kent, CT 06757
860-927-3433 Kent BMD 1739-1852 Kent BMD 1739-1852
Killingly Town Clerk
172 Main Street
Killingly, CT 06239
860-779-5307 Killingly BMD Killingly BMD 1708-1850 Killingly BMD 1708-1850
Killingworth Town Clerk
323 Route 81
Killingworth, CT 06419
860-663-1765 Killingworth BMD Killingworth BMD 1667-1850 Killingworth BMD 1667-1850
Lebanon Town Clerk
579 Exeter Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
860-642-7319 Lebanon BMD 1700-1854 Lebanon BMD 1700-1854
Ledyard Town Clerk
741 Colonel Ledyard Hwy
Ledyard, CT 06339
860-464-8740 Ledyard BMD Ledyward BMD 1836-1855 Ledyward BMD 1836-1855
Lisbon Town Clerk
One Newent Road
Lisbon, CT 06351
860-376-2708 Lisbon BMD Lisbon BMD 1786-1850 Lisbon BMD 1786-1850
Litchfield Town Clerk
PO Box 488
Litchfield, CT 06759
860-567-7561 Litchfield BMD 1719-1854 Litchfield BMD 1719-1854
Lyme Town Clerk
480 Hamburg Road
Lyme, CT 06371
860-434-7733 Lyme BMD 1667-1852 Lyme BMD 1667-1852
Madison Town Clerk
8 Campus Drive
Madison, CT 06443
203-245-5672 Madison BMD Madison BMD 1826-1850 Madison BMD 1826-1850
Manchester Town Clerk
PO Box 191
Manchester, CT 06045
860-647-3037 Manchester BMD 1823-1853 Manchester BMD 1823-1853
Mansfield Town Clerk
4 South Eagleville Road
Storrs, CT 06268
Marlborough Town Clerk
PO Box 29
Marlborough, CT 06447
860-295-6206 Marlborough BMD 1803-1852 Marlborough BMD 1803-1852
Meriden City Clerk
142 East Main Street
Rm 124
Meriden, CT 06450
203-630-4030 Meriden BMD 1806-1853 Meriden BMD 1806-1853
Middlebury Town Clerk
1212 Whittemore Road
Middlebury, CT 06762
203-758-2557 Middlebury BMD 1807-1850 Middlebury BMD 1807-1850
Middlefield Town Clerk
PO Box 179
Middlefield, CT 06445
Middletown City Clerk
PO Box 1300
Middletown, CT 06457
860-344-3459 Middletown BMD Middletown BMD 1651-1854 Middletown BMD 1651-1854
Milford City Clerk
70 West River Street
Milford, CT 06460
203-783-3210 Milford BMD 1640-1850 Milford BMD 1640-1850
Monroe Town Clerk
7 Fan Hill Road
Monroe, CT 06468
203-452-5417 Monroe BMD 1823-1854 Monroe BMD 1823-1854
Montville Town Clerk
310 Noriwch-New London Tpke
Montville, CT 06382
860-848-3030 Montville BMD 1786-1850 Montville BMD 1786-1850
Morris Town Clerk 860-567-7433
Naugatuck Town Clerk
229 Church Street
Naugatuck, CT 06770
203-720-7055 Naugatuck BMD Naugatuck BMD 1844-1853 Naugatuck BMD 1844-1853
New Britain City Clerk
27 West Main Street
New Britain, CT 06051
New Canaan Town Clerk
PO Box 447
New Canaan, CT 06840
203-594-3070 New Canaan BMD 1801-1854
New Fairfield Town Clerk
4 Brush Hill Road
New Fairfield, CT 06812
New Hartford Town Clerk
PO Box 316
New Hartford, CT 06057
860-379-5037 New Hartford BMD 1740-1854
New Haven City Clerk
165 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510
New London City Clerk
181 State Street
New London, CT 06320
860-447-5205 New London BMD New London BMD 1646-1854 New London BMD 1646-1854
New Milford Town Clerk
10 Main Street
New Milford, CT 06776
860-355-6020 New Milford BMD New Milford BMD
Newington Town Clerk
131 Cedar Street
Newington, CT 06111
Newtown Town Clerk
3 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT 06470
203-270-4210 Newtown BMD 1711-1852 Newtown BMD 1711-1852
Norfolk Town Clerk
PO Box 552
Norfolk, CT 06058
860-542-5679 Norfolk BMD 1728-1850 Norfolk BMd 1728-1850
North Branford Town Clerk
909 Foxon Road
North Branford, CT 06471
203-484-6015 North Branford BMD 1831-1854 North Branford BMD 1831-1854
North Canaan Town Clerk
PO Box 338
North Canaan, CT 06018
North Haven Town Clerk
18 Church Street
North Haven, CT 06473
203-239-5321 North Haven BMD 1786-1854 North Haven BMD 1786-1854
North Stonington Town Clerk
40 Main Street
North Stonington, CT 06359
860-535-2877 North Stonington BMD 1807-1852 North Stonington BMD 1807-1852
Norwalk City Clerk
PO Box 5125
Norwalk, CT 06856
203-854-7747 Norwalk BMD 1651-1850 Norwalk BMD 1651-1850
Norwich City Clerk
100 Broadway
Norwich, CT 06360
860-823-3732 Norwich BMD 1847-1851
Old Lyme Town Clerk
52 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT 06371
Old Saybrook Town Clerk
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
860-395-3135 Saybrook BMD Saybrook BMD 1635-1850 Saybrook BMD 1635-1850
Orange Town Clerk
617 Orange Center Road
Orange, CT 06477
203-891-2122 Orange BMD 1822-1850 Orange BMD 1822-1850
Oxford Town Clerk
486 Oxford Road
Oxford, CT 06478
203-888-2543 Oxford BMD 1798-1850 Oxford BMD 1798-1850
Plainfield Town Clerk
8 Community Avenue
Plainfield, CT 06374
860-230-3009 Plainfield BMD Plainfield BMD 1699-1852 Plainfield BMD 1699-1852
Plainville Town Clerk
One Central Square
Plainville, CT 06062
Plymouth Town Clerk
80 Main Street
Terryville, CT 06786
860-585-4001 Plymouth BMD 1795-1850 Plymouth BMD 1795-1850
Pomfret Town Clerk
5 Haven Road
Pomfret Center, CT 06712
860-974-0343 Pomfret BMD Pomfret BMD 1705-1850 Pomfret BMD 1705-1850
Portland Town Clerk
PO Box 71
Portland, CT 06480
860-342-6743 Portland BMD
Portland BMD 1841-1850
Preston Town Clerk
389 Route 2
Preston, CT 06365
860-887-9821 Preston BMD I&II 1687-1850 Preston BMD I&II 1687-1850
Prospect Town Clerk
36 Center Street
Prospect, CT 06712
203-758-4461 Prospect BMD 1827-1853
Putnam Town Clerk
126 Church Street
Putnam, CT 06260
Redding Town Clerk
Route 107
Redding-Center, CT 06875
203-938-2377 Redding BMD 1767-1852
Ridgefield Town Clerk
400 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
203-431-2783 Ridgefield BMD 1709-1850
Rocky Hill Town Clerk
761 Old Main Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
860-258-2705 Rocky Hill BMD 1843-1854
Roxbury Town Clerk
29 North Street
Roxbury, CT 06783
860-354-3328 Roxbury BMD 1796-1835
Salem Town Clerk
270 Hartford Road
Salem, CT 06420
860-859-3873 Salem BMD 1836-1852
Salisbury Town Clerk
PO Box 548
Salisbury, CT 06264
860-435-5182 Salisbury BMD 1741-1846
Scotland Town Clerk
PO Box 122
Scotland, CT 06264
Seymour Town Clerk
One First Street
Seymour, CT 06483
Sharon Town Clerk
PO Box 224
Sharon, CT 06069
860-364-5224 Sharon BMD Sharon BMD 1739-1865 Sharon BMD 1739-1865
Shelton City Clerk
PO Box 364
Shelton, CT 06484
Sherman Town Clerk
PO Box 39
Sherman, CT 06784
860-354-5281 Sherman BMD Sherman BMD 1802-1850
Simsbury Town Clerk
PO Box 495
Simsbury, CT 06784
860-658-3243 Simsbury BMD 1670-1855
Somers Town Clerk
PO Box 308
Somers, CT 06071
860-763-8206 Somers BMD 1734-1850 Somers BMD 1734-1850
South Windsor Town Clerk
1540 Sullivan Avenue
South Windsor, CT 06074
860-644-2511 South Windsor BMD 1845-1851 South Windsor BMD 1845-1851
Southbury Town Clerk
501 Main Street South
Southbury, CT 06488
203-262-0657 Southbury BMD 1787-1830 Southbury BMD 1787-1830
Southington Town Clerk
PO Box 152
Southington, CT 06489
860-276-6211 Southington BMD 1779-1857 Southington BMD 1779-1857
Sprague Town Clerk
PO Box 162
Baltic, CT 06330
Stafford Town Clerk
PO Box 11
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
860-684-1765 Stafford BMD 1719-1850 Stafford BMD 1719-1850
Stamford City Clerk
888 Washington Blvd
Stamford, CT 06904
203-977-4054 Stamford BMD 1641-1852 Stamford BMD 1641-1852
Sterling Town Clerk
PO Box 157
Oneco, CT 06373
860-564-2657 Sterling BMD Sterling BMD 1794-1850 Sterling BMD 1794-1850
Stonington Town Clerk
PO Box 352
Stonington, CT 06378
860-535-5060 Stonington BMD Stonington BMD 1658-1854 Stonington BMD 1658-1854
Stratford Town Clerk
2725 Main Street
Stratford, CT 06615
203-385-4020 Stratford BMD Stratford BMD 1639-1840 Stratford BMD 1639-1840
Suffield Town Clerk
83 Mountain Road
Suffield, CT 06078
860-668-3880 Suffield BMD 1674-1850
Thomaston Town Clerk
158 Main Street
Thomaston, CT 06787
Thompson Town Clerk
815 Riverside Drive
N. Grosvernordale, CT 06255
860-923-9900 Thompson BMD Thompson BMD 1785-1850 Thompson BMD 1785-1850
Tolland Town Clerk
21 Tolland Green
Tolland, CT 06084
860-871-3630 Tolland BMD 1715-1850 Tolland BMD 1715-1850
Torrington Town Clerk
140 Main Street
Torrington, CT 06790
860-489-2236 Torrington BMD 1740-1850 Torrington BMD 1740-1850
Trumbull Town Clerk
5866 Main Street
Trumbull, CT 06611
Union Town Clerk
1043 Buckley Highway
Union, CT 06076
203-452-3770 Union BMD 1734-1850 Union BMD 1734-1850
Vernon Town Clerk
14 Park Place
Vernon, CT 06066
Voluntown Town Clerk
PO Box 96
Voluntown, CT 06384
860-376-4089 Voluntown BMD Voluntown BMD 1708-1850 Voluntown BMD 1708-1850
Wallingford Town Clerk
45 South Main Street
Wallingford, CT 06492
203-294-2145 Wallingford BMD Wallingford BMD 1786-1850
Warren Town Clerk
50 Cemetery Road
Warren, CT 06754
860-868-7881 Warren BMD 1786-1850 Warren BMD 1786-1850
Washington Town Clerk
PO Box 383
Washington Depot, CT 06794
860-868-2786 Washington BMD 1779-1854 Washington BMD 1779-1854
Waterbury Town Clerk
235 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
203-574-6800 Waterbury BMD Waterbury BMD 1686-1853 Waterbury BMD 1686-1853
Waterford Town Clerk
15 Rope Ferry Road
Waterford, CT 06385
860-444-5831 Waterford BMD 1801-1851 Waterford BMD 1801-1851
Watertown Town Clerk
37 Deforest Street
Watertown, CT 06795
860-561-7430 Watertown BMD 1780-1850 Watertown BMD 1780-1850
West Hartford Town Clerk
50 South Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06107
West Haven Town Clerk
355 Main Street
West Haven, CT 06516
Westbrook Town Clerk
866 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
860-399-3044 Westbrook BMD 1840-1851
Weston Town Clerk
PO Box 1007
Weston, CT 06883
203-222-2616 Weston BMD 1787-1850 Weston BMD 1787-1850
Westport Town Clerk
110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT 06880
203-341-1000 Westport BMD 1835-1850 Westport BMD 1835-1850
Wethersfield Town Clerk
505 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109
860-721-2880 Wethersfield BMD Wethersfield BMD 1634-1868
Willington Town Clerk
40 Old Farms Road
Willington, CT 06279
860-487-3121 Willington BMD 1727-1851 Willington BMD 1727-1851
Wilton Town Clerk
238 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
203-563-0106 Wilton BMD 1802-1850 Wilton BMD 1802-1850
Winchester Town Clerk
338 Main Street
Winsted, CT 06098
860-738-6963 Winchester BMD 1771-1858 Winchester BMD 1771-1858
Windham Town Clerk
PO Box 94
Willimantic, CT 06226
860-738-6963 Windham BMD Windham BMD 1692-1850 Windham BMD 1692-1850
Windsor Town Clerk
275 Broad Street
Windsor, CT 06095
860-285-1902 Windsor BMD 1637-1850
Windsor Locks Town Clerk
50 Church Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Wolcott Town Clerk
10 Kenea Avenue
Wolcott, CT 06716
203-389-3425 Wolcott BMD 1796-1854 Wolcott BMD 1796-1854
Woodbridge Town Clerk
11 Meetinghouse Lane
Woodbridge, CT 06525
203-389-3425 Woodbridge BMD 1784-1832
Woodbury Town Clerk
281 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT 06798
203-263-2144 Woodbury BMD 1674-1850 Woodbury BMD 1674-1850
Woodstock Town Clerk
415 Route 169
Woodstock, CT 06281
860-928-6595 Woodstock BMD Woodstock BMD 1848-1866 part II Woodstock BMD 1848-1866
April 2, 2017 |

The Barbour Collection – Fee or Free


The Barbour Collection is the best early vital records collection for Connecticut birth, marriage, and death records, aside from town vital records. It’s named after Lucius B. Barbour, Connecticut’s examiner of public records in the early 1900s. It’s a statewide index of Connecticut birth, marriage, and death records listed alphabetically and by towns.

The date ranges vary by town, based on when the town was created and started keeping records. In Connecticut, by law, each town was and still is responsible for keeping and maintaining the birth records, marriage records, and death records for that town.

Barbour, as well as those he enlisted, went town to town copying these vital records. They attempted to compile records through 1850 but some towns have records up to 1870. The Barbour Collection is not complete, and AmericanAncestors (NEHGS) has a great article explaining some known deficiencies.


David Rumsey Map Collection 1855 Map of Connecticut published by Desilver & Butler Cowperthwait

David Rumsey Map Collection 1855 Map of Connecticut published by Desilver & Butler Cowperthwait


Fee options for the Barbour Collection

AmericanAncestors has the Barbour Collection published as images from typescripts donated to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) by Mr. Barbour’s family in 1938. It’s organized first by town, then alphabetically. 

Ancestry has the Barbour Collection online searchable by either births, deaths, marriages, or towns and their data comes from The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Vol. 1-55, Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002, edited by Lorraine Cook White. – books

Genealogical sells individual volumes of  The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Vol. 1-55, Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002, edited by Lorraine Cook White. – books

Amazon sells individual volumes of  The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Vol. 1-55, Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002, edited by Lorraine Cook White.

FamilySearch microfilm

FamilySearch has microfilms of the Barbour Collection available for research at any of their participating facilities. Search for a facility near you to order and view these films.

Connecticut town clerks 

Connecticut Town Clerks have the Barbour Collection and more. They have records from the time the town was formed to the present. There is usually a fee for requesting a record look-up at the town clerk’s office and they may require a request for a certified copy. As far as the specific Barbour Collection goes, according to AmericanAncestors/NEHGS, “a copy was sent to each town clerk. The town books are labeled “The Arnold Copy” and are known to many town clerks only by that name.”

VitalChek for a few towns

VitalChek doesn’t have the Barbour Collection, per se, but VitalCheck has access to birth, marriage, and death records for a few Connecticut towns for a fee.


FREE options for the Barbour Collection

Online Transcriptions

Several sites have posted free transcriptions of parts of the Barbour Collection. The two websites with the most transcriptions are CtGenWeb and New Horizons Genealogy. I’ve found about one-third of the Barbour Collection town records available online as free transcriptions. (For example, CtGenWeb has Barbour collections posted for Windham County.)


Some libraries and archives, including NEHGS, have the complete set of The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Vol. 1-55, Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002, edited by Lorraine Cook White


I’ll be updating this blog with a link to a comparison chart* where you can access the fee & free online Barbour Collection sites. Best in your research whether it’s fee or free!

*Comparison chart for Fee or Free Barbour Collection options

March 27, 2017 |

Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census


The 1911 Census is the most recent Ireland Census available online. The Irish censuses are tricky to search because many people spoke Gaelic and their answers may have been written in Old Gaelic, then transcribed into modern Gaelic but not translated into English, so you’ll need to explore all possible search options. (Each site will have tips and tricks for searching the 1911 Ireland Census including using wildcards (*). Be sure to exhaust all your search options.)

Fee or Free 1911 Ireland Census OnGenealogy


Fee 1911 Ireland Census

“Find ancestors from all over Ireland in the most recently available complete census for the country. A great place to begin your search, the 1911 Census can show you where your Irish ancestor lived, the members of their immediate family, their ages, occupations and whether they could read and write. For the first time you can search for more than one family member at the same time and by year of birth, and our powerful search can also look for name variants. Start your journey and see who you can find.” This is a subscription site but they’ve got some helpful search tools for getting around the variations in spelling that are problematic in Irish records.

“All data in this third-party database was obtained from the source’s website. does not support or make corrections or changes to the original database. To learn more about these records, please refer to the source’s website.” Ancestry has the 1911 Ireland Census and it’s records came from the National Archives of Ireland.

The 1911 Ireland census covered all 32 counties of Ireland and enumerated the entire Irish population (about 4.4 million people). This census was conducted on the night of Sunday, 2 April 1911. The “Household Return”—also known as “Form A”—enumerated one household per page, recording information such as name, relationship to head of household, age, marital status, occupation, and birthplace. …Images and index to this census were created by and obtained from the National Archives of Ireland.”

RootsIreland is an all Irish records subscription site and currently has a few 1911 census returns by county, but it’s very incomplete at present. “The Irish Family History Foundation has been the coordinating body for a network of county genealogy centres and family history societies on the island of Ireland for over thirty years.” “A computerized index of the 1901 and some 1911 returns was compiled by many of our member centres in the early 1990s. …You will need to check what is available in the Online Sources list for each county.”



Free 1911 Ireland Census

The National Archives of Ireland

The 1911 Ireland Census is free at The National Archives of Ireland. This online database was a cooperative effort in partnership with Library and Archives Canada. The basic search on this site searches by surname/last name, forename/first name, county, District Electoral Division, townland/street, and age and gender. The advanced search allows you to search by religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, county/country of origin, and more.

“It is important to remember that the names on this site have been transcribed as they were written into the census forms. We have not corrected spellings. Some names are illegible, or appear on a damaged form. You may, therefore, have to try a number of strategies to find the person you seek.” Tips for searching surnames. Do a general search or search by county/parish and select transcription or image.


March 20, 2017 |

Fee or Free African American Newspapers


African American newspapers are one place to look for news about black communities that wasn’t always reported in the popular press. It’s possible to find names, marriages, and births and deaths in these collections. (And for African American research you won’t want to limit yourself to strictly African American newspapers, just don’t overlook them.)

I’m easily distracted in newspaper research and find myself just reading random articles which isn’t a very efficient use of time, but I have one relative I could only trace through newspapers. He was in the theater circuit and moved from city to city and lied about his age. I found his family by following him through newspapers. They’re a valuable resource but it’s easy to get sidetracked and just soak up the historical context. That’s my disclaimer if you lose a day or more in newspapers.

Fee or Free African American newspapers


Fee/Subscription African American Newspapers

Accessible Archives

Accessible Archives has 9 African American newspapers ranging from 1827 to 1909. “The collection also provides a great number of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements all of which embody the African-American experience.”

Ancestry has a collection called US, African American Newspapers, 1829-1947 with over 200 African American newspapers.

Genealogy Bank

Genealogy Bank touts itself as being the “largest newspaper archive for genealogy research.” I’ve used their site before and it was a fast and efficient way to get newspaper search results.  From what I remember, I paid for limited access, so only a certain number of searches/month but they have an unlimited access subscription price of $35.00 for 6 months which seems very reasonable. “Search our expansive collection of African American newspapers to discover the details about the daily lives of millions of Black Americans from 1827-1999.”


ProQuest used to be the company for digitized papers and they have a collection called ProQuest Historical Newspapers – Black Newspapers. “Each of the nine Historical Black Newspapers provides researchers with unprecedented access to perspectives and information that was excluded or marginalized in mainstream sources. And, all are cross-searchable with all other ProQuest Historical Newspapers–including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times–allowing researchers to evaluate history from multiple points of view. …The ProQuest platform offers powerful and easy-to-use tools, including: full-page and article images in easily downloadable PDF format, complete newspaper runs, and the ability to search 21 different article types.”


Free African American Newspapers

The Ancestor Hunt summarizes African American newspaper collections by state and has online tutorials for newspaper research. This site will list both fee and free collections. links to current Black/African American newspapers and says some of these papers have online archives. “Listed below are links to major African American newspapers, magazines and journals.  In some instances these links also include the archives of these media sources.”

Chronicling America

Chronicling America is the US Library of Congress’ website with free, digitized collections. They have a list of all known African American newspapers and where they can possibly be found (over 2,000 exist but most won’t be online). Or a list of 55 African American newspapers digitized and online at Chronicling America. There’s a new free app, OldNews USA, currently only for Android phones, which aids in searching newspapers at Chronicling America. OldNews USA won the 2017 RootsTech Innovator Showdown so it’s worth checking out if you want to search these papers on a handheld device. (Be sure to search all the papers at Chronicling America, not just the African American ones I linked to above.)


I’ve added smaller collections as I’ve found them including runaway slave advertisements from newspapers, and collections related to slaves (not newspapers and not necessarily African American), and also some general African American collections, not just newspapers. My site is a bit slow to search so my apologies in advance-site speed is on my to-do list.


Wikipedia has a good article on African American newspapers as well as a couple of books that are recommended as “essential starting points for understanding the early history of African American newspapers.” This article also includes the names of some African American newspapers, not nearly as complete as the one found at Chronicling America.


I’ve had my best newspaper successes with subscription sites, because they do the work for me and return the specific newspaper page I need to see, so it’s harder to just browse the paper. But, some of these papers and free sites will have search engines that may yield similar results. Again, I almost hate to recommend newspaper research because it’s so easy to lose track of time, but if you’re learning the history and culture of the area where your ancestors lived, I guess that’s time put to good use. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!



March 13, 2017 |

Fee or Free Online Books


I use online books all the time in my family history research. From city directories to county histories to family genealogies, I’m always turning to online books for hints as to where my family might have lived. Here are some fee and free offerings that I’ve found helpful (and a few that I’ve never needed but that might be helpful in your research).


Fee or Free Books



Ancestry catalog

The Ancestry Card Catalog (I linked to a random page in their book search) has many useful genealogy books that are only available with an Ancestry Subscription. If you don’t have a subscription at Ancestry you can always copy the title of the book and author and search the free sites to see if it’s available somewhere else. (FamilySearch Books, Internet Archive, HathiBooks, and Google Books-free are the first places I would look.) Ancestry does offer a couple great resource books for free, please see below for more info.

MyHeritage Book Matching

MyHeritage has over 400,000 digitized books and if you have a subscription with MyHeritage you’ll get free book matching. If they find your ancestor’s name referenced in any book they’ll give you a book matching hint. If you don’t have a subscription with MyHeritage there’s currently a way to search these books yourself for free, please see their free offering below (and I have no idea how long this deal will last but I’ve been aware of it for a couple of years.)

Some Google Books

Google Books search engine will return fee and free books. If you just do a general search at Google Books your search will be returned with mixed results including books that are digitized and online and freely available as well as books that have no eBook available with prompts for where to purchase the book or where to find it in a library. If you’re only interested in free, online books at Google Books, please read the free Google Books entry below.


Canadiana has many free books but it searches 40 partnering institutions and sometimes (often) you’ll hit a paywall and have to subscribe for at least one month ($7.50 US) to have full access to books. I’ve paid the one-month subscription fee because I wanted something behind the paywall.

Genealogy Gophers

Their database includes over 80,000 digitized books from FamilySearch and their partner institutions, including the Allen County Public Library and the BYU Library. Genealogy Gophers is currently adding another 100,000 books to their online collection. The benefit of Genealogy Gophers is it serves as a search engine for genealogy books and similar to MyHeritage’s Compilation of Published Resources, will return only books with your search query highlighted inside the book, so less hunting around for you.  There’s a subscription option (pay a $19.95 yearly subscription fee) or for the free option, please see below.



MyHeritage free offerings

MyHeritage’s collection of over 400,000 family history books can be searched for free using this link to their Compilation of Published Sources. Read more about the collection using this link.

FamilySearch books

“Family History Books is a collection of more than 325,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications from the archives of some of the most important family history libraries in the world. The collection includes family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees.” This is a great free collection but if you haven’t used it before, visit this listing and please read the notes about searching the site to make the most of your research time.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive has over 10 million free books/texts you can view online or download to your computer. Here’s a blog to show you how to search Internet Archive.

Google Books

Google Books has free books as well as books you need to purchase to view. Here’s a blog to walk you through how to get to the free books but the short version is: go to, enter a search, select “Tools”, go to the drop down menu “Any books” and select “Free Google eBooks” and this will return only free books. If you choose to search all the books you’ll have options to look for that book in a library or find it at a book reseller.


Here’s a short blog entry on HathiTrust books. I use them all the time. My one tip is when you search for a book, select “category view” then any books with “full view” (there are books that allow only limited views/searches) then, here’s the most important hint, be very careful to use the “search in this text” window which is inconveniently right below the regular search window. If you use the second search window you’ll be starting a new search of all of HathiTrust. Been there done that and that’s what the back arrow is for.

Ancestry free offerings

Ancestry has at least two amazing resource books available for free at their site. Check out Red Book and The Source as you’re doing your research.


I use WorldCat when I’m truly desperate to find a book. Chances are slim that you’ll find a digitized version of the book you’re looking for (although I have occasionally found digitized items here) but this is a great resource for searching libraries and archives around the world to locate a resource. “ lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. WorldCat grows every day thanks to the efforts of librarians and other information professionals.” And it’s available in multiple languages!


ArchiveGrid gets 90% of its content from WorldCat but if you’re looking for something that happens to be in that last 10% it’s worth a once-over. ArchiveGrid focuses on material that is specifically archival and has metrics it uses to decide which collections are included in ArchiveGrid. “Collection descriptions from around 1,000 institutions – libraries, museums, historical societies, etc. – are included in ArchiveGrid.”


Héritage is a free, searchable database for books at Library and Archives Canada. Read more about it here.

Library Ireland

Library Ireland has some free online genealogies, street directories, biographies, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis, and more. A great site for Irish resources.


Europeana has a free online collection of books as well as other mediums available for searches. I rarely use this site but it may prove helpful for European researchers.

World Digital Library

WDL is a cooperative effort between the US Library of Congress, UNESCO, and many libraries, archives, etc to make materials from 193 countries available for free online. One benefit of the World Digital Library is the site can be navigated in seven languages. Here’s a link to for a more in-depth description of their offerings.

British History Online

BHO has over 1,200 digitized primary and secondary source volumes and focuses on the history of Britain and Ireland between 1300 and 1800. Their collection includes maps, texts, primary sources, datasets, and more.

Peel’s Prairie Provinces

Peel’s is a free resource of the University of Alberta in Canada and has over 7,000 digitized books, more than 66,000 newspaper issues, more than 1,000 maps, and more. This is a well-known site for online research.


Trove (Australia) has free books and so much more available for online searches. At Trove you can select which type of “Book” you’re interested in researching, including “Search personal and organisational archives, including diaries, manuscripts, letters, business records, photographs, posters, pamphlets, ephemera …”

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg offers over 50,000 free digitized books. “Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and his memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.” They ask for donations, but none are required.

University of Michigan Digital General Collection

You may want to try searching holdings at the University of Michigan’s Digital Collection. Some search returns can only be viewed at the U of M but others are available online. “Books from the University of Michigan collection, scanned for preservation purposes. Only those volumes not included in other online collections are now available in the General Collection. Access to many of these is restricted to library use only.”

Genealogy Gophers

As mentioned above, their database includes over 80,000 digitized books from FamilySearch and their partner institutions, including the Allen County Public Library and the BYU Library. If you opt for the free offering, you “pay” by watching ads or responding to surveys.

Free Irish Genealogy books 

Free Irish Genealogy books is a blog that has links to over 4,000 free Irish-related genealogy books online.


Yizkor books at NYPL (Holocaust Memorial books). “Yizkor (memorial) books document the history of Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust. Most often privately published and compiled through the collective efforts of former community residents, they describe daily life through essays and photographs and memorialize murdered residents. Most are in Hebrew and/or Yiddish, although more English translations are being published now, especially through JewishGen, in online and print format.”


I’ll keep adding online book resources as I find them. Best in your book searches whether they’re fee or free!

March 6, 2017 |

Fee or Free – Online Family Trees


Here’s a quick look at some Fee and Free Family Tree offerings. Online Family Trees-fee or free-OnGenealogy

Fee Family Trees and Limited-free Family Trees


I have a premium family tree on MyHeritage and with their premium offering I have multiple separate trees (one I uploaded for my family, one I uploaded for my husband’s family, and one I uploaded for my cousin’s take on our shared ancestry). I love the Smart Matches (tree to tree matching of ancestors), Record Matches (tree to record matches of ancestors), Record Detective II matches (the hints they send when someone from one record you’ve sourced to an ancestor matches info on that ancestor from another source at MyHeritage), and the Book Matching (tree to book matches-they constantly search online books collections for you). I have hundreds of potential tree matches at MyHeritage and thousands of potential Records Matches. I also have DNA matches at MyHeritage.

Portrait Chart view MyHeritage’s tree only has the “ancestral view” which goes from the bottom (you or your children) upward through your ancestors and all their family. This allows you to see your direct line with all their siblings & spouses & children which is amazing, but sometimes more than you’re needing to see depending on what you’re researching.

Here’s the MyHeritage free family tree offering:

MyHeritage provides excellent free family tree products. On MyHeritage, you can:
� Create a free family tree
� Print a free family tree chart
� Perform a free family tree search
� Use it as a blank family tree, family tree template, or free printable family tree chart
� Learn how to make a family tree online

My understanding is a free family tree limits you to 250 people in your tree, so choose them wisely! If you’re considering getting an account at a fee site, I’d absolutely recommend trying them out first with their free offerings.


I have a premium family tree at Ancestry and I’ve also created a free account. With my premium account I like the leaf hints I get from Ancestry that match my ancestors to other trees and records. Ancestry has great US records and some Canadian records I love. As with MyHeritage, I have multiple trees at I have hundreds of potential tree matches at Ancestry and thousands of potential Records Matches at Ancestry. I haven’t submitted my AncestryDNA test yet, but I have one and I’m sure I’ll get some matches here too. With my free account I can build a tree and I really  like the tree-building set-up but in order to see any matches to records or matches to trees I have to sign up for a trial account with a credit card. If you’d like to use Ancestry for just the ability to create a free tree online-it’s great!

Pedigree chart viewPortrait Chart viewI like Ancestry’s option to look at my family tree as a pedigree chart (left to right) or an ancestral chart (bottom to top). I usually choose to look at the pedigree chart when I’m focused on my direct-line ancestors and the ancestral chart when I’m working on siblings of ancestors.

Here’s the Ancestry free family tree offering:

One name is all it takes to start your family tree. But the more you add, the better we can help you—every name is another piece of the story. Look for the leaf. Very soon, leaves will begin to appear on your family tree—these are Ancestry Hints. And each one is a potential discovery. Follow the leaves and watch your family tree grow. Billions of records. Millions of fellow family history seekers. You could find an infamous relative. Or perhaps a photo of your great-grandma as a little girl. But whatever you find, it’s sure to change the whole way you look at your family history, and yourself. After all, the story of your family is the story of you.” The only thing I’d add is once you see the leaf and try to connect to records and other trees, you’ll have to start a trial subscription account. So it’s no longer “free”.

Again, if you’re considering getting an account at a fee site, I’d recommend trying them out first with their free offerings.


I have a family tree at FindMyPast, and like MyHeritage and Ancestry, I use the premium product and it’s hard for me to assess the limitations of their “free” offerings. If you have a lot of British/Irish/Welsh ancestry FindMyPast is pretty amazing. FMP has more images of these original records than any other site. Finding your ancestor can be a pain because of naming patterns and they have to tighten the year range you’re searching to limit results, but it’s a very useful site, especially for this type of UK research and they also have offerings throughout the world, I just think they excel in the UK.

 Pedigree chart viewPortrait Chart viewFamily Group view FindMyPast allows you to view your tree with both the pedigree chart and ancestral chart (they call it the family view) and they show a family group limited to just one immediate couple with their parents.

Here’s the FindMyPast free family tree offering:

“Keep track of your family history discoveries with an online family tree. It’s free to use and you’ll be able to access your research from any computer or tablet with an internet connection.”  I’m sure as with other subscription sites, as you build a free family tree you’ll get offers to subscribe to a premium account for access to more services at FindMyPast. If you’re considering getting a subscription account at FindMyPast, I’d absolutely recommend trying them out first with their free offerings.


Geni is now owned by MyHeritage (as of 2012) and offers a free family tree service as well as a subscription service. I just built a free family tree on Geni up to the ancestor where I’ve hit a brick wall. It gives me a record match with another family tree at Geni that appears to have that same person but I’ll have to subscribe to their site ($119.40 US) for access to other members’ trees. Here’s the message I received: “Match profiles from other family trees to your tree instantly with a Geni Pro account. Start your 14-day free trial to merge duplicate profiles and add new branches to your family tree.” And even though they’re owned by MyHeritage, the owner of this tree doesn’t appear to have their tree on MyHeritage (where I could access it with my premium account) so I’ll have to decide how much I’m willing to pay to connect with this lead. If you’re using Geni just to have your own free tree online and not to have access to other people’s trees-I like their tree building capabilities. If you want to pay for a subscription they appear to have a set of users/trees that are unique to their parent company, MyHeritage.

Portrait Chart viewGeni uses the ancestral/portrait (bottom to top ancestry) view for ancestry.

Here’s what Geni says about their free family tree offerings:

Your free family tree includes photo and video sharing, birthday reminders, events and timelines, and more!” “Geni is solving the problem of genealogy by inviting the world to build the definitive online family tree. Using the basic free service at, users add and invite their close relatives to join their family tree. All Geni users can share photos, videos, and documents with their families. Geni’s Pro subscription service allows users to find matching trees and merge those into the single world family tree, which currently contains over 100 million living users and their ancestors. Additional pay services include enhanced research tools and premium support.”

If you’re considering getting a subscription account at, I’d recommend trying them out first with their free offerings.

Totally Free Family Trees


I have an account with WikiTree but haven’t added my family tree here yet. WikiTree is a completely free family tree; they don’t have subscription offerings. They also have a “one-tree” model that is a shared, collaborative tree but they allow you to upload your genealogy and retain privacy and editing rights.

Pedigree chart view WikiTree uses the pedigree chart (left to right).

Here’s what WikiTree’s site offers:

“Our community’s mission is to grow an accurate single family tree that connects us all and is freely available to us all.”

“WikiTree is 100% Free – All the genealogy on WikiTree has been contributed by members like you. It doesn’t cost money to contribute to WikiTree, and it doesn’t cost money to access what you and others have contributed.

1.) All the tools are free. All the benefits of membership, every feature and tool, is available to all members who sign the Honor Code. There are no “premium” memberships.

2.) All the content is free. Although some content is privacy-restricted and some content may be copyrighted by members, such as family photos, nobody pays to access anything on WikiTree. Ever. We also encourage open source developers to make use of the tree in other free applications and projects.

The costs of operation are covered by modest ads on public pages.”


FamilySearch has two offerings. A one tree model that allows everyone to edit the group tree and a private “genealogy” that allows you to upload your private family tree that no one can edit. I use FamilySearch’s free family tree all the time. I haven’t added my private “genealogy” that no one else can touch because I keep a private tree on my home computer. As my tree goes back 5 or more generations at FamilySearch there are some unsourced/uncited ancestors I don’t agree with (others have added) but I don’t try to correct them and get into disputes.

I love using the FamilySearch free family tree because there are some sites (Relative Finder, TreeSeek, etc) that pull data from the FamilySearch family tree and offer you other fun services. For an idea which sites use the FamilySearch tree for their products, visit and you can see which ones are free and which ones cost money.

Pedigree chart viewPortrait Chart viewFan Chart viewDescendancy chart viewFamilySearch allows you to look at your tree 4 ways: the typical pedigree chart (they call it landscape), the ancestral chart (they call it portrait), a fan chart, and a descendency chart (top to bottom from a single ancestor through the lineage to you).

So, all that said, many sites allow you to build a tree for free, but if your purpose in building a tree is to connect with other genealogies and family trees, WikiTree and FamilySearch are the only options that remain free and will never charge anything.

Have fun with your family tree building, whether you choose fee or free!


February 22, 2017 |

Fee or Free 1841 Scotland Census


I thought I’d throw this one out there because I was surprised to learn what a near monopoly the National Records of Scotland (Scotland’s Archives) has on Scottish records, including census records.

There are censuses for Scotland every 10 years starting in 1801 (they didn’t take one during WWII in 1941). Scotland has a 100-year privacy rule so the 1911 Scotland Census is the most recent census available to the public. The 1841 Scotland Census is the first year the censuses took names of residents so I’ll start with options for this census. Spoiler alert: it’s a tad bleak.


Fee or Free 1851 Scotland Census



  • ScotlandsPeople – the online census website for the National Records of Scotland, i.e. a government-owned website. This is a fee site and it’s not cheap. It is the only online site with an index AND images.

  • FindMyPast – this is a subscription site with an 1851 index, no images available

  • Ancestry – this is a subscription site with an 1851 index, no images available



  • FreeCen – this is a free, collaborative site where volunteers have transcribed census records to build their own index.  They don’t have images. They have a chart showing how complete the index is for different areas in Scotland.

  • – this is a free site that has links to websites with census records, including the 1841 Scotland Census. You’ll find census substitutes and partially transcribed census records, including some indexes created by Graham Maxwell of ScottishIndexes.

  • FamilySearch – has an 1841 Scotland Census index from FindMyPast but the information contained in the index is limited. They don’t have online images. They also have microfilm of the original 1841 Scotland Census images that can be ordered and viewed at any local Family History Center.

  • The National Records of Scotland – has the original 1841 Scotland Census and microfilms of the images that can be viewed on-site if you find yourself in Edinburgh.


You might also check at your library to see if they subscribe to an online database that gives you access to the Scottish Census records. AncestryUK and FindMyPast would be the best ones to look for. If you’re not in Scotland but are willing to order microfilm and view it at a local Family History Center, ordering film from FamilySearch may be your best free option to see the images.

Best in your searches, whether they’re Fee or Free.

February 5, 2017 |

The 1930 US Federal Census – Fee or Free


The 1930 US Federal Census is a valuable collection for US family history research and subscription sites have invested a lot of time and money in their indexes, search capabilities, and extra features to help subscribers get the most bang for their buck.

Free 1930 US Federal Census

Quite a few subscription sites have the 1930 US Federal Census.

But, never fear, free alternatives exist, including:

  • FamilySearch – with a free index and images online

  • HeritageQuest – if your library subscribes to HeritageQuest, a product of ProQuest, you may have free access from your home, with a library card, to the 1930 US Federal Census index and images.

  • (Updated as of 1/4/2018) MooseRoots no longer has the 1930 US Federal Census available.

That said, I love to use a subscription site because I enjoy the ease of saving records to my online family tree, etc. But these are some good options if you don’t have a subscription.

Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

January 29, 2017 |
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