We have been hearing a lot lately about voters and/or their records. Voter records may be a valuable asset if you are searching for a missing ancestor. Such a record will not reveal for whom or what your ancestor voter but it can help track the movement of an ancestor and verify the residence of someone who had been listed in the lost 1890 census.
Begin with the state and local archives and libraries as one may have lists of county or town registered voters or those who paid poll taxes. Also try the Family Search (https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_Voting_Records) and Ancestry.com.
“Must Do” at the library
Here are a couple of hints to remember to do whenever you make copies of pages in a book, whether the book is in a library or belongs to a friend.
Always, always, always make a copy of the title page. This is an important page as it gives the title, the author and other publishing information. Don’t save a dame by writing down such details — there are thousands of books titled My Family History. You need this full information to accurately identify the book.
Add this book to your research log so you will not waste time in looking for it again. And it might get you into the habit to recording your findings.
Added resources to Ancestry.com
· U.S., Southern Claims Commission
Update adding names of witnesses
· Swedish American Church Records
Lutheran Church records from Swedish-American congregations
· Boston Catholic Parish Records
Update to existing collection
· Colorado Springs, Colorado, Catholic Parish Records
· Wisconsin State Censuses, 1855-1875, and 1885
Adding to the collection of 1895 and 1905
· U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970
Update to existing collection
· Children in New York Orphanages
Lists of children, some of whom were later sent west on Orphan Trains
Remember that you have free access to this website at the Lawton Public Library.
Canadian newspapers online
Free access to digitized Canadian newspapers is offered by Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Nationwide and provincial newspapers were originally published beginning in the 1880s but a few date to the 1830s. They are weeklies and dailies, some in French and Japanese, student newspapers or specific religious groups.
One on Ontario, Voice of the Fugitive (published 1851-52), was the first black newspaper in Canada and advertised Canada as a destination for runaway slaves. Go to http://libguides.bgsu.edu/CanadianNewspapers.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the largest collection of Irish records in the United States and the only way to access these records was to visit it. Not so these days as many often overlooked sources are now available online.
For a list of Irish records held by the Family History Library, go to https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list/?cqs=Ireland.
Old city directories
City and county directories are treasure troves for genealogy research. They are published every year or two, far more frequently than the census. Begin with your local library for the local and county directories to learn how far back it has volumes. And don’t hesitate to ask where to locate older volumes. Or do an internet browser search using the city or county name plus city / county directory.
If you have a genealogy regret, you’re not alone. We all have them. All we can do is to learn and share. Here are a few we all have faced in our genealogy years.
• Not citing sources.
• Not asking dad or grandma or a great-aunt about your family history.
• Not backing up digital files.
• Not organizing research from the start.
• Keeping old photos and records in an attic or basement.
• Not copying the old photos in the beautiful late-1800s family album.
• Not hanging onto the oral history interview you had with your grandma.
Phyllis Young lives in Lawton.