Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Finding Records Online - Looking in Places You May Never Have Thought Of

Hey there, long time no see. I have been busy again. I camped with the Boy Scouts on a Navy base last week. I didn't know that so many cargo ships came into port at night and we were right under the flight path for the helicopters. This week we had our Cub Scout pinewood derby. We finally were able to purchase a new aluminum track. It took us all night Monday to put together and then all night Tuesday for the Cubs to race. They had a lot of fun.

Now, since I have some free time this evening I decided to get back to my blog. While I was sitting here trying to figure out what my blog would be about tonight, my wife asked me to help her find a copy of The Lovelace Family and Its Connections from the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 1921. She ran across this article as a source while researching her Todd family in early colonial Virginia (She is descended from Captain Thomas Todd [1619-1675]). She happened to find a listing for the article in JSTOR ( which is an online database of journals. Many libraries and some government agencies have access to this database, otherwise it will cost $10 per article to print. In the past, I have been able to use JSTOR to find agricultural journals from the 1800's which helped in my genealogy research. Several older historical and genealogical journals are also included in this collection.

Another useful online database is ProQuest ( ProQuest  is also a database that you may be able to access from your local library. One of my favorite collections in ProQuest is their historical newspaper collection. Yes, I know that Newspaper Archives and several other sites also have newspapers online but those are also subscription sites and they may not be available in your local library. I have been able to access the archives of the Atlanta Constitution while researching my wife's Coker lines.

Another site that you may have used but forgotten is the FamilySearch Library ( Some of the records indexed here are already in digital format and can be viewed online. I have been able to find copies of the county histories for Auglaize County, Ohio, where both my wife's family and mine originated.

By the way, just to let you know, I was not able to get the article from JSTOR because I forgot my University passwords and my DOI passwords and it has been removed from my DOD access. I guess I will have to get those passwords fixed before next semester when I start teaching again. So I went to my old faithful backup, Google Books and found the article right off the bat and was able to download it.

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