Like many people in the world right now, I’m voluntarily cooping myself up in my home in an attempt to do what I can to stop the spread of the recent pandemic. I’m not showing symptoms, but I am very bored, so after following genealogical rabbit trail after rabbit trail in search of my own ancestors, I’ve decided to take a little break from my history hunt and help you with yours.
Thus: This list of three free genealogy resources to utilize during your quarantine. Because let’s face it, Ancestry.com, while a wonderful resource, just isn’t able to be exhaustive enough.
- Olive Tree Genealogy
This lovely website is great for finding ancestors on passenger lists from ships that came to the US and Canada prior to 1820, when they started being indexed. They feature passenger lists going as far back as 1492 when Columbus and his crew came to America, and many of these records are not available on Ancestry.
- Library of Congress: Search U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present
This site isn’t geared as much towards searching historical newspaper articles (you’re unlikely to find your ancestor listed by name); rather, it indexes where to find over 150,000 historical papers so you can locate them online (or in the library once it’s safe to go out). You can search by location, publication year, keywords, and various other factors.
- HathiTrust Digital Library
This is a place where some newspapers from the previous directory can be found online, but it’s not just for papers – it’s for all kinds of digital documents, including old published ancestry and genealogy books. It’s a great place to look if you have one well-known ancestor (for example, a founder of a city) and want to know about their descendants and close relatives.
So there you go! Three completely free genealogy resources to use during a stay at home order or quarantine. Let me know if this helps you, and feel free to share with your friends!