Internet Archive: Described as ‘a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.’ Internet Archive is a great site to search for just about anything. The “Wayback Machine” allows the archives of the web to be searched. Users are then able to view archived web pages even for web sites which no longer exist.
In terms of genealogical research there is a wealth of information available. Clicking on their American Libraries collection, for example, pulls up over 2,450,000 different items in over 1000 collections. A quick look under North Carolina Directories shows 925 city and business directories with a wide range of years.
You can then select a specific directory to look at. Each directory is fully searchable and easily downloaded. All collections on Internet Archive can be filtered by Media Type, Year, Topic and Subject, Creator, and Language.
The Internet Archive collection for World War II contains almost 6000 items including 2,839 movies, newsreels and audio recordings. Did you know you can see census records on Internet Archive? The United States Census collection holds over 23,000 items, with approximately 13,004,791 page images.
Several historical societies provide content to Internet Archive as a means of preserving it for the future. The Minnesota Historical Society provides newspapers and manuscripts in the 2,661 items on Internet Archive and the Georgia Historical Society has several old journals and books in its’ collection.
You can even listen to Winston Churchill as he sends his thoughts to American troops and citizens on Thanksgiving 1944, or to President Roosevelt as he calls on Congress to declare war on Japan on 8 December 1941. Both can be found in Internet Archive’s Community Audio collection.
This brief introduction doesn’t do justice to the incredible resource that Internet Archive is. It’s a great tool to add to your genealogy toolbox.
Fulton History is a historical newspaper site containing over 37 million newspaper pages (as of December 2016) from the USA and Canada, as well as a few other locations. Even more remarkable is that the site is run by one person, Tom Tryniski, of Fulton, New York. Besides access to millions of newspaper pages, there are also postcards, maps and photographs.
The site is searchable and each newspaper page can be downloaded as a PDF. There is help available in the FAQ including different ways to search the database.
To see which newspapers are available, click on the FAQ-Help-Index button at the top of the page. The first few lines contain the link to view all the newspapers available on the site. Instead of going through the index page by page, download the index as a Microsoft Excel file. The link to download it is at the top of the screen in blue.
The downloaded Excel file gives you a list of newspaper titles arranged alphabetically by County. It’s an easy way to see which counties are covered and by which newspapers.
If you have ancestors in New York State, then you have at your fingertips an incredible free resource thanks to the efforts of Mr Tryniski.
The Arizona Memory Project is a project of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. The site provides access to a wealth of primary source documents, photographs, maps and other multimedia items showcasing Arizona’s past and present.
A specific collection can be searched (of which there are over 270) or a general search of the entire site can be done. You can narrow your search by creator, coverage, date, subject or type.
I conducted a few different searches to see how the search engine worked and was impressed with the results. From a search on a specific ancestor’s name which resulted in finding an oral interview with an extended family member speaking about a second great grand-uncle and his settling of Alpine, Arizona to a general search on territorial stage-coach routes and a book detailing those routes across Arizona. A location search for the settlement of Maricopa Wells (a settlement which developed as a watering hole and rest area along the Butterfield Overland mail route and which no longer exists) resulted in several photographs of Indian ruins close to Maricopa Wells as well as photographs of various named and unnamed people standing outside their homes in the area.
A search for a specific event, in this case, for the ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ yielded scans of original documents including the recently discovered ‘Coroner’s Transmittal Page to the Clerk of the District Court concerning the Inquest of the gunfight at the OK Corral’. These missing documents were discovered in the Cochise County Courthouse in 2010 and were transferred to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records where they were scanned and preserved.
The Arizona Memory Project is a rich resource for anyone conducting research in Arizona.
Ancestry’s new collection U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, consists of passenger lists detailing all those departing from or arriving at U.S. ports on Army Transport ships. World War 1 Draft registrations show who registered for the draft but that does not mean they served. The Army Transport Services Lists show the men enlisted at the time of the war. It is important to note that these are not military service records. They include the ship name, arrival and departure date and place and the service member’s name, rank, service number, age, residence, next of kin with relationship and the regiment that they were attached to.
Private Henry Edwin Zimmerman departed Brooklyn, New York on 15 August 1918 on board the Briton sailing for Bordeaux, France. Further U.S. Army Transport Service Lists in which Henry Edwin Zimmerman appears show him departing Bordeaux, France on 7 June 1919, arriving back at the port of Hoboken, New Jersey on 18 June 1919. If we previously did not have the regiment Henry Zimmerman served with, these Army Transport Service lists provide that information. Further research can then be done on that regiment to learn more about their role in the war.
Comparing Draft Registrations with U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists
An interesting comparison can be made between a Draft Registration and the Army Transport Service Lists to determine if someone who registered for the Draft ultimately ended up serving.
Henry Edwin Zimmerman was one of five Zimmerman brothers eligible for service during World War 1. All five registered for the Draft. Two of the brothers claimed exemption, one on medical grounds and one based on his employment in the farming industry. Of the three who did not claim any exemption, one was aged 32, married with an infant and was a farmer. He was temporarily exempted under Draft Category III: ‘Temporarily exempted but available for military service. Registrants employed in agricultural labor or industrial enterprises essential to the war effort’. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917)
Youngest brother, Charles Stephen Zimmerman, aged 21, was drafted under the second Draft registration, on June 5, 1918, for those men who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. Charles S. Zimmerman was training with the Merchant Marines which exempted him from military duty. The third brother who did not claim an exemption was 22-year-old Otto Emil Zimmerman. He registered for the draft on 5 June 1917. As of this post, military service records for him have not been found. Otto Emil Zimmerman was single with no dependents and would have been eligible and liable for military service.
It is interesting to note that the two brothers, Henry Edwin Zimmerman and Louis William Zimmerman who both claimed an exemption, were called up for service.
 Third Draft Registration for men aged 18 to 35. George had married in 1917 and had a 4-month-old child in September 1918. Perhaps exempted Class III: ‘Temporarily exempted, but available for military service. Registrants employed in agricultural labor or industrial enterprises essential to the war effort’.
 First Draft Registration, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. Henry was unmarried with no dependents therefore was eligible and liable for military service.
 First Draft Registration, on June 5, 1917. Louis was unmarried with no dependents, therefore was eligible and liable for military service.
 Second Draft Registration, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. Charles was in training with the Merchant Marines in June 1918 and therefore exempt from military service.
Army Transport Service Passenger Lists are another great resource for research into World War 1. In addition to troop information, this collection also contains information on non-military passengers traveling on these ships, including any family members traveling with their military spouses.
What makes people different from each other? What made our ancestors different from each other? Why are some people happy and optimistic, able to weather any storm with great inner fortitude? And what makes some people anxious and pessimistic, susceptible to depression? No doubt our ancestors displayed these same variations in character. Are those character or personality traits random or could it be that we carry in our genes some kind of ‘genetic memory’ of our ancestors’ experiences?
I’ve long been fascinated with the idea that we may not only have Grandma’s hands but that maybe we also have Grandma’s predisposition towards anxiety. Could our ancestors’ experiences, whether traumatic or favorable, leave a mark on our DNA? Scientists studying the field of what is now called ‘Behavioral Epigenetics’ think so.
Animal studies seem to support the idea that the environment can affect an individual’s genetics, which can in turn be passed on. An Emory University School of Medicine study in 2013 showed that mice trained to fear the smell of cherry blossoms would, when bred, pass along that fear to their children and grandchildren. Those mice descendants had never been exposed to the smell of cherry blossoms before but exhibited a negative reaction to it. Not only was their behavior affected but the brain showed a physical change in the area that processes odor and a marker was found on the odor gene of the mouse DNA.
According to an article written for Discover Magazine by Dan Hurley. “Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories”.
It’s highly unlikely that we will suddenly remember Great Granddad’s wedding day but the idea that perhaps our genomes carry some type of genetic marker from an ancestor’s experience doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibility to me. The results of the research currently occurring may even help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors. Thanks then to whichever of my ancestors passed along a decidedly unreasonable fear of moths that I have had since I was a child!
Arizona Territorial Census records are unique in that they fall in the interim years between federal censuses. Arizona became a U.S. territory on February 24, 1863. By February 1864 Milton B. Duffield, U.S. Marshall for Arizona, provided instructions for the first census to be taken. The information collected on the census varies from year to year but may include name, place of residence, age, nativity and occupation. A territorial census was taken in 1864, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1874, 1876, and 1882. Instructions were given that no settlement, mining district or ranch was to be excluded. A daunting proposition considering the size of the territory.
Good news for Arizona researchers, especially those who do not have paid Ancestry subscriptions is the partnership between Arizona State Archives and Ancestry.com which makes these Territorial Censuses freely available online to residents of the State of Arizona. You do need to set up a free Ancestry.com Arizona account which is easily done by going to https://www.azlibrary.gov/arm/research-archives/archives-resources/ancestry-arizona. The State Archives of Arizona has much more available than only the Territorial censuses so it is well worth a look.
Many Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) families heeded the call to settle parts of Arizona Territory, including the Judd family. Called by Brigham Young to settle the Little Colorado river area, the first families arrived in Sunset in Apache county, Arizona Territory in March 1876. Hyrum Jerome Judd, a herdsman by occupation, and his family were living in Sunset, Apache, Arizona Territory when the 1880 U.S. Federal Census was taken.
Hyrum Jerome Judd’s brother, Don Carlos Judd and family had arrived from Utah Territory about 1879 and settled in Smithville (Graham County) on the Gila river. Smithville would later become the Town of Pima. Hyrum Jerome Judd and Don Carlos Judd lived about 300 miles from each other in 1880.
These early pioneers faced many obstacles including flash floods, crop failures due to poor soil, long cold winters and summer droughts and by 1881 many had moved on to other areas. By 1881 the Sunset settlement had failed and the pioneers looked to the settlements in the southern part of the territory as a better option. The 1882 Arizona Territorial census indicates that by 1882 Hyrum Jerome Judd and his family had moved south to join his brother Don Carlos Judd in Pima. Their father and mother, Hyrum and Lisania Fuller Judd had also moved to Pima with 4 of their younger children: Lucius Hubbard Judd (24), Daniel Judd (17), Lyman Perry Judd (13), Lafeyette Judd (12).
The Judd’s were only one of many stalwart pioneer families who took on the challenge to settle parts of Arizona Territory. The Arizona Territorial censuses are unique records that help to find those pioneer settlers in the years between U.S. Federal censuses.
Probate documents are created by a court after an individual’s death. They relate to the distribution of the deceased’s estate and often contain information of great genealogical value. One of the records created at probate is often a list of creditors and accounts of debts owed. At first glance these may not seem of as much value as a will for example. However, a closer look at the debts incurred by Experience Case Fuller and her husband Lucius Hubbard Fuller allow us to create a more in-depth picture of the last year or so of their lives.
Experience Case Fuller was 39 years old when she died in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois in 1846. She had lost her husband, Lucius Hubbard Fuller in April 1845 and had been left a widow with 4 children still at home. Her probate record contains 18 pages, consisting mostly of accounts and administration paperwork. Together with Lucius Hubbard Fuller’s probate records we are able to put together a timeline of the family from 1844 to Experience’s death in 1846.
One of the first creditors owed money by Lucius and Experience Fuller is a Dr. Jonathan Berry. In September 1844 the account states that Experience was sick and had been treated with quinine.
Quinine was used to treat malaria, so rife in the swampy land of Warsaw, IL. Malaria is the probable diagnosis although the actual cause of death is not given in the probate record. Malaria was the most common cause of death in this time period in Illinois.
In the probate records of Experience Case Fuller we see continued doctor visits, this time for Lucius Hubbard Fuller. The last entry is on 27 April 1845, the day Lucius died.
A few pages later there is another account for visits to treat Experience, a daughter and a child. The first account is dated two days after Lucius died. It would appear that many in the family were sick in 1845 including Experience. The accounts show the doctor continued to care for Experience and one of the children in August.
Hancock County, Illinois probate records, ca. 1831-1942; Author: Hancock County (Illinois). Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999; http://www.Ancestry.com, citing Experience Case Fuller.
The final account payable tells the story of the last few months of Experience’s life. On Christmas Day 1845 Experience is bled by the doctor and attended to for a few more days. Nothing is noted until March 2, 1846 where the Doctor’s account states that she was attended to in her ‘last illness’. Experience was 39 years old. Her youngest child Josephus was 2 years old. The account in the probate record indicates that Josephus and older brother Lucius were also sick and the doctor continued to attend to them until November 1846.
In thoroughly exploring a probate record we can discover information that may not be found anywhere else. In this case, that the Fuller family experienced sickness, most likely malaria, which undoubtedly contributed to the deaths of Lucius Hubbard Fuller at age 43 and his wife Experience Case Fuller at age 39. Not only do we have an idea of the cause of death based on the accounts in the probate record but we can see history reflected in the individual lives of our ancestors: “Epidemics of cholera, malaria and typhoid took their toll on the struggling Mormons until the swamp was drained” Brooks, Juanita (1962), John Doyle Lee, Zealot, Pioneer, Builder, Scapegoat, Glendale, California: Arthur H. Clark Co.
Lucius Hubbard Fuller and Experience Case Fuller are my husband’s fourth great grandparents. Their eldest daughter, Lisania Fuller married Hyrum Judd in 1844 and set off across the plains in 1849, reaching the Salt Lake Valley between 22 – 24 September 1849.