When I teach genealogy classes, I like to poll the group for the type of resources they use. Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, and Cyndi’s List typically make up the big three places for research.
I don’t have any complaints with these resources; with the except of Ancestry eliminating the US Veteran’s Administration Records. (Why? Why, Ancestry? Why? I totally needed it for the WWI military information!)
I’ll pout later. But now I’d like to introduce you to a great resource you may or may not have used for your research: Censusfinder.com.
Censusfinder is a database at a crossroads. It’s a great website, but it has a few issues which daunt most researchers. Censusfinder is not searchable, so you need to know the state and county of your ancestors’ residency. Each county and state are listed alphabetically, and the availability of records vary from census transcriptions to interesting collections such as:
- Original Land Owners
- Biography Index
- Business Directories
- Farmers Directories
- Church Records
- Resident Lists (by date)
- School Graduation Rolls
- Military Hospital, Poor Farm, and ‘Old Folks Home’ Residency Lists
- Military Honor Rolls
- Delinquent Tax Rolls
- Disaster, Disease, and ‘Act of God’ Victim Rolls and much, much more.
Need to find an ancestor in Coles County, Illinois? You may find them in the list of 1851 Cholera Victims. Need an early record for Newcastle County, Delaware? You’ll find a 1696 -1697 Tax list on this site. Do you need early school records for Fergus County, Montana? They have a list of Fergus High School graduates from 1901-1910.
For Irish researchers, I like to suggest Censusfinder’s Ireland Record Page, which has been a great place to find little-known and interesting census, parish, and school records. It’s an excellent supplement to Findmypast.ie, Ireland’s National Archives and Ireland-Genealogy.com.
So, try Censusfinder and let us know your success stories! Write about your fantastic finds in the comment box.
Don’t forget to stop by for a presentation of Polish Genealogy: Where to Start with Steve Szabados on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m.! Steve just published Finding Grandma’s European Ancestors, a book which can help you narrow down a place of origin for your family. Copies are available for purchase on Amazon, or you can check out a copy in our genealogy section on the 3rd Floor!
See you at the Library!