Search Hyphenated Words in Historical Newspapers to Get Up To 30% More Results

Finding your ancestors in newspaper articles is in my opinion – an art, not a science. You must be clever and resourceful to get around the quality limitations in old newspapers

A “feature” of older newspapers is the use of the hyphen. Hyphenated words were often used heavily to save space and due to the limitations of fixed-width type. 

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that contains a description with examples, of the benefits of searching for hyphenated words in your online searching of old newspapers.

To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference, you can view or download it by clicking on the link or button below.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

13 Hidden Gems in Old Newspapers to Amplify Your Ancestors’ Life Stories

If you are trying to add to your ancestor’s life stories, what better way than interesting newspaper articles about their lives? Absent direct accounts from your living relatives, seeking these hidden gems in old newspapers will tell you things about your ancestors that there is no other way, absent a biography or autobiographical book, that you would ever know these tidbits.

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that contains 13 hidden gems that you can use to amplify your ancestor’s stories. To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference of what information to look for, you can view or download it by clicking on the link or button below.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

Free Wyoming Online Cemetery and Burial Records

Cemetery records and cemeteries in general are a very large part of our family history and is a significant pursuit for many genealogists. Sometimes, the information on a headstone is the only information available for certain ancestors.

What can you find in these records? How about birth, marriage, and death information and clues to military service, religion, and organization memberships. Location of the burial plot, tombstone inscriptions, cemetery maps, sexton registers, and headstone photos are also generally available.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching cemetery records:

I have not performed separate searches from Find a Grave, Billion Graves, or Interment.net by county or individual cemetery as that would be time prohibitive. Those sites are very useful, and you might find references to them from sub-collection links.

Note: Some of the links listed take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. To take full advantage, please make sure that you are logged in to FamilySearch. The results may be different if you are signed in, rather than not.

Below are links to cemetery, burial, and interment records as well as indexes and tombstone inscriptions that are available for free online.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free Wyoming Links, click on the category of interest:

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories
Divorce Records
Naturalizations
Church Records
School Records
Coroner Records
Voter Records
Probate and Wills
Immigration
Mortuary Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records

Use the National Archives’ Numident Computerized Files to Search Social Security Applications, Claims, and Death Records

There are 3 types of information available online from the National Archives Social Security Numident files, which is a computerized database that contains SS-5 Application data, Social Security Claims information and Death Records.

There are almost 150 million records available to search.

Here’s the detailed description from the Social Security Administration and the National Archives:

“This series contains records for every social security number (SSN) assigned to individuals with a verified death or who would have been over 110 years old by [date]. There are three type of entries in NUMIDENT: application (SS-5), claim, and death records. A NUMIDENT record may contain more than one entry. Information contained in NUMIDENT records includes each applicant’s full name, SSN, date of birth, place of birth, citizenship, sex, father’s name, mother’s maiden name, and race/ethnic description (optional). NUMIDENT includes information regarding any subsequent changes made to the applicant’s record, including name changes and life or death claims. The death records in NUMIDENT do not include any State reported deaths in accordance with the Social Security Act section 205(r). There are 72,182,729 SS-5 records entries; 25,230,486 claim record entries; and 49,459,293 death record entries.”

To access these files online for free and search, click on: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=5057&cat=all&bc=sl

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Free Online United States Birth Records and Indexes

One of the main goals for genealogists is finding birth, baptism, and/or christening information about their ancestors.  

Over the past few decades, thanks to volunteers, librarians, and archivists, a great number of indexes to birth and baptism collections have been provided for free online. These searchable indexes provide specific birth, baptism, or christening information, and sometimes scanned images of the actual birth documents themselves. These free online collections have millions of records in them in total.

There are a great number of online and offline collections that may include birth information that is not included in the lists below. These different types can be found in 27 Ways to Find Ancestor Birth Information

If you are interested in baptism indexes that may include the birth date as well as baptism information, make sure and check out Church Records.

The lists below are specific birth, baptism, and christening indexes and record collections that are available for free online for each of the states.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

20 Things You Can Find in Church Records to Help Find Your Ancestors

Prior to the recording of civil records and even now, Church Records have become a necessary and valuable category of collections that should be researched. They provide information that often cannot be found anywhere else. Baptisms, marriages, and funerals are commonly thought of when we discuss church records, but there is so much more. For example, I found the death date of one of my relatives in Berlin, Germany via a Church Newsletter!

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that contains a list of 20 things that you can find from these records. To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference of what information to look for, you can view or download it by clicking on the link or button below.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

25 Reasons to Research Probate Records and Wills

Does the thought of locating and searching through old probate records and wills turn you off, because you will need to go through some court’s smelly basement, where you have to pore through dusty old files of records? Let me tell you, whether you have to find them that way or online, they are incredibly valuable sources of terrific information about the deceased. They are often well documented and provide a ton of details about the deceased’s life activities, relationships, relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that contains a list of 25 things that you can find from these records. To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference of what information to look for, you can view or download it by clicking on the link or button below.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

How to Determine the State of Residence from Social Security Numbers

Generally, if you wish to find out information about an individual’s Social Security application, you will need to acquire that person’s SS-5 form, a photocopy of which can be obtained from the Social, Security Administration for a fee of $21.00. See SS-5 Form for the form itself and mailing instructions.

The information included on the application is:

  • Full name
  • Full name at birth (including maiden name)
  • Present mailing address
  • Age at last birthday
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (city, county, state)
  • Father’s full name “regardless of whether living or dead”
  • Mother’s full name, including maiden name, “regardless of whether living or dead”
  • Sex and race
  • Ever applied for SS number/Railroad Retirement before? Yes/No
  • Current employer’s name and address
  • Date signed
  • Applicant’s signature

But what if you just wish to determine by the actual Social Security Number where the card was issued? In other words, where the applicant applied?

The first 3 digits are called the Area Number, and it provides a clue. From the SSA (ssa.gov) in their description of the Area Number:

The Area Number is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1972, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant’s mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972 or since.

Also, randomization of numbers started in 2011, so for applications after that date, the Area Number has no meaning.

For the great majority of applicants, however, the first 3 digits (Area Number) may represent the state of residence for the application.

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that contains a list of the Area Numbers and the states that they represent. To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference, you can view or download it by clicking on the link or button below.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

2,080 Free Online New Hampshire Collections Available Now in 19 Genealogy Record Categories

Are you doing New Hampshire genealogy research and looking for Free Online New Hampshire Genealogy Records? Click on a link for your desired categories free collection links (2,080 links to Free Collections for New Hampshire):

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories
Divorce Records
Naturalizations
Church Records
School Records
Coroner Records
Voter Records
Probate and Wills
Immigration
Mortuary Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records

By the way, you can always access these all the time on the By Location page.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!​

2,429 Free Online Vermont Collections Available Now in 19 Genealogy Record Categories

Are you doing Vermont genealogy research and looking for Free Online Vermont Genealogy Records? Click on a link for your desired categories free collection links (2,429 links to Free Collections for Vermont):

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories
Divorce Records
Naturalizations
Church Records
School Records
Coroner Records
Voter Records
Probate and Wills
Immigration
Mortuary Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records

By the way, you can always access these all the time on the By Location page.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!​