Best Websites for State Genealogy

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Looking for ancestors that lived in a particular US state? These websites will lead you to state-specific genealogy resources, from Alabama to Minnesota and Washington to Virginia.
Packed with data, this Land of Lincoln website offers indexes to marriages (1763-1900), deaths (pre-1916 and 1916-1950), land sales and military records. If your global database search nonetheless comes up empty, consult guides to the Illinois Regional Archives Depositories to find out where to write for records.
Y’all need to take a look at this in-depth online encyclopedia. Whether you’re after information on boll weevils, Lane cake or the lyrics to “Railroad Bill,” the Alabama answers are here. You’ll also find a new page on the Old Federal Road, highlighting sites on or near path of this popular migration route.
Now boasting more than 400,000 individual records including selected counties from the 1825 territorial census, this Sunshine State site also has Spanish land grants, Confederate pension applications, WWI service cards and WPA-compiled church records.
Helpful how-tos augment the searchable databases of birth, marriage and death records from 1841 to 1910 and 24 volumes of the Massachusetts Archives, plus an in-progress indexing project of the 1 million immigrants who arrived via Boston from 1848 to 1891.
Use the PeopleFinder to get started at this site, which has almost as many genealogy databases as Minnesota has lakes. They include death records and certificates from 1904 to 2001, birth records from 1900 to 1934 (plus selected earlier records), state census records (1865, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905), veterans buried in Minnesota and a guide to place  names and building and house histories.
One-click search makes it easy to explore the more than 9 million records collected here from the Missouri State Archives, Missouri State Library and other institutions across the state. You’ll find records of births (pre-1910) and deaths (with images for 1910-1963), military records, naturalization documents, land patents, photographs, old newspapers and much more.
A new North Carolina Civil War Soldiers Timeline uses letters from individual soldiers plotted on a Google Map and tied to a timeline so you can follow a soldier’s path both geographically and through time. The Digital Collections link reveals digitized newspapers, family Bibles, marriage and death announcements and historic maps.
Recently added 1884 and 1894 state censuses make this Michigan site even more useful. Click Advanced Search to explore the censuses plus nearly 1 million death certificates (1897-1920), naturalization records, WPA-compiled property descriptions, oral histories, plat maps, Civil War service records and more.
The new Lost Records Localities Digital Collection attempts to replace the info lost to courthouse fires and other causes. Already available for researching your kin in old Virginny are Revolutionary War land bounties, court records, family Bibles, Civil War pension rolls and disability applications, former slaves’ “cohabitation registers,” WWI veterans questionnaires and more.
Now topping 143 million records digitally preserved, with nearly 50 million of them searchable, this site includes historical newspapers, cemetery indexes, censuses, vital records, naturalization files and land records. Click News for peeks at the collection on the site’s blog.
With a recent site makeover now complete, it’s easier than ever to milk this Dairy State treasure for pre-1907 vital records, Civil War records, old photos, obituaries and historical and biographical articles. The Wisconsin Genealogy Index (under the Research Your Family History tab) makes it simple to search.

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From the September 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine