Military Monday: A New World War I Resource

As part of the commemorations for the start of World War I, Ancestry has released a new resource. Called U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, it’s a database containing images of the passenger lists for ships that carried U.S. troops during the time period 1910-1939.  Each list includes details on the ship’s departure or arrival (if they were coming to the United States), the names of the passenger, their service unit, and their next of kin and where those next of kin were living.

Why is this database helpful? First, it confirms someone’s service in the military. You even have unit information, so you can learn more about their service by searching regimental history.  Second, it can prove relationships. Some next of kin listings include how the two are related: cousins, mother, etc.  I found a few Connecticut families who might benefit from checking out this source.

Military Monday: Connecticut in World War I

Does your family have original material from World War I, such as service records, photos, and more? Are you researching an ancestor’s experience during the War?

Be sure to check out Connecticut in World War I (http://ctinworldwar1.org/). Run by the Connecticut State Library, the site includes a list of World War I events, details on their efforts to digitize historic documents, access to the digitized collections, and more.

If you’re researching the little documented World War I period, this resource is priceless.

Happy hunting!

Connecticut Resident?: Did you know you can get free database access?

Using Fold3, The New York Times, or other databases for personal research? Are you a Connecticut resident? Did you know that you can get access to a number of genealogy databases for home for free?

All you need is a Connecticut State Library card. To get one, complete this application and mail it back. The card will be mailed to you.

Once you receive it, go to the database section on the Connecticut State Library website. Anything with an open lock or a blue library card image can be accessed from home. Just be sure to read the directions on the log in screen.

 

Research tip: Connecticut Newspapers have been digitized

Looking for Connecticut newspapers? Contrary to what you may have heard, a few of Connecticut’s historic editions are available online…

  1. The Hartford Courant is available to Connecticut residents on www.researchitct.org. Notice missing years? They can be accessed with a Connecticut State Library card on www.ctstatelibrary.org.
  2. The New London Day is on Google News at news.google.com.
  3. Smaller run newspapers from Bridgeport, New Haven and Norwich are on Chronicling America and from smaller towns on Newspapers of Connecticut.

Happy hunting!

Worth it? Irish records on Find My Past

Find My Past is celebrating St Patrick’s Day with free access to Irish records through tomorrow – and of course, I had to try it out.

My conclusion: unless your family left Ireland in the late nineteenth century or were land owners, it probably isn’t worth your time.

Find My Past is known for its index to the Irish parish registers. Digitized but not indexed by the National Library of Ireland, these parish records are one of the few ways to trace Catholic families prior to the 1840s. Once Find My Past made the registers searchable, finding your ancestors should have gotten much easier.

Unfortunately, at least with the names I tried, the search function doesn’t work. I checked two names, for whom I have birth dates and locations. One I know has a baptismal entry; the other I’m not sure about. Neither name returned results.

So, what did work? There are decent number of entries for births in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century… and if your ancestor was wealthy, you might get a will.

So, you might get something interesting- but don’t rely on Find My Past to trace your early Irish family.

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Tuesday’s Tip: Middlefield’s Episcopalian Church

That part of Levi Coe library that looks like a church? It was!

Middlefield was home to a small Episcopal church from the late eighteen to early nineteen hundreds. Called St Paul’s, it was active from the 1870s to the 1910s. It never gained a large congregation and eventually closed.

If your ancestors were Episcopal and lived in Middlefield – or if you can’t find their church records- be sure to check St Paul’s records. They’re available through the Connecticut State Library and on microfilm from the Family History Library.