Saturday, August 2, 2014


I discovered a fantastic online resource the other day, and it is free. The Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter is filled with tips to help you with your research.  The Fiske Genealogical Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to genealogical education and resource material. The newsletters from July 2002 to the present are archived at  You can browse the issues individually or you can do a search of all the newsletters.

Here are some great resources I learned about by reading the Fiske Newsletter:

1. Cleveland, Ohio Necrology Database. The Winter 2011 issue discusses the Cleveland Public Library Necrology database. (1) If you have Ohio ancestors, this is an easy way to find clues to death information.

2.  Historic Pittsburg Project. In the March 2003 issue I learned about the Historic Pittsburgh website (, a database of research about Western Pennsylvania. There are links to full text books, maps, images, finding aids, census records and much more. (2)

3. Canadian Historical Society Pamphlets. In the June 2007 issue I discovered that dozens of Canadian historical booklets have been scanned and are available on the website of the Library and Archives Canada. (3)  If you have Canadian ancestors, you may want to explore this website to learn about Canadian history. You need to know history if you are going to accurately portray your ancestors. 

4. Minnesota Vital Records. The December 2005 issue discusses the contract between the Minnesota Historical Society and the State of Minnesota to provide access to early 1900 birth records ( and death records ( (4) The Minnesota Historical Society has a superb website (

5. Scottish Research. In the September 2003 issue, I read about the National Library of Scotland’s Ordnance Survey plans that have been digitalized on their website ( (5) If you have Scottish ancestors, you might want to explore this user-friendly site.

6. North Carolina Records. In the Fall 2011 issue I learned about the website North Carolina Family Records Online (  This website has scanned bible records, marriage and death notices, books and cemetery records. In addition, there are links to numerous other resources at   If you are interested in transcribing documents, there is a link to their Genealogy Vertical File Transcription Project ( (6) 

7. Railroad Resources. The September 2004 issue has an article entitled "Railroad Resources for the Genealogist" that is filled with information about and links to resources about people who were associated with the railroad industry.(7) Note that the link to the Railroad Retirement Board has been updated and is now; their Genealogy Research page is   If you have an ancestor who worked on the railroad, this is an article you should read.

Frederick Boyser
Conductor for Lackawanna Railroad

8. Wisconsin Vital Records. An article in the Spring-Summer 2010 newsletter entitled "Vital Records Information from Wisconsin Historical Society" discusses the Wisconsin Genealogy Index (8), a “gold mine” genealogical database by the Wisconsin Historical Society ( There are indexes to newspaper clippings, vital records, photographs and property records.   If you find your ancestor in an index, there are easy instructions on how to obtain more information.  I wish I had more Wisconsin ancestors.

9. Conway, New Hampshire Public Library Vital Statistics Transcription Project. In the December 2008 issue I read about the vital statistics transcription project at the Conway Public Library in New Hampshire. (9) If you have New Hampshire ancestors, be sure to check out the Conway web page. Please note that the link to this database has been updated and is now  

10. New Acquisitions.  Each issue contains a list of new material that the Fiske Genealogical Library ( has acquired. By browsing this list you can learn about publications that might help you in your research. For example, I saw on the list the following books that I would like to review:

Barber Genealogy: Descendants of Thomas Barber of Windsor CT 1614-1909 (10)

Descendants of John and Mary Palmer (11) 

Six New England Villages (12)

Sketches of Historic Bennington (13)

Some of these book may be online at Internet Archive  (, FamilySearch (, (Google Books (, HathiTrust ( or  If not, you could track them down on WorldCat ( And, of course, some of you may live near the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle, Washington. Lucky you! That is not in my neck of the woods. 

As you can see, the Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter does not confine itself to resources in the Northwest U.S.  It is always great fun finding new resources to explore. A new resource just might hold the key to solving one of your genealogical dilemmas.



1. "Cleveland Necrology File." Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, Winter 2011, Vol. 18, No. 2, p 7. (accessed July 31, 2014).

2. "Historic Pittsburgh Project." Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, March 2003, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 2-3. (accessed July 31, 2014).

3. "Canadian Historical Society Pamphlets." Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, June 2007, Vol. 14, No. 4, p. 2. (accessed July 31, 2014).

4. "Minnesota Expands Their Vital Records On-line," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, December 2005, Vol. 13, No. 2, p. 2 (accessed July 31, 2014).

5. "New Resource for Scottish Research," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, September 2003, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 5 (accessed July 31, 2014).

6. "North Carolina Family Records Online," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, Fall 2011, Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 3 (accessed July 31, 2014).

7. "Railroad Resources for the Genealogist," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, September 2004, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 2-3 (accessed July 31, 2014).

8. "Vital Records Information from Wisconsin Historical Society," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, Spring-Summer 2010, Vol. 17, Nos. 3-4, Fall 2010, Vol. 18., No. 1, p. 7 (accessed July 31, 2010).

9. "Searching for Death Indexes and Records," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, December 2008, Vol. 16, No. 2, p. 7 (accessed July 31, 2014).

10. "Fiske Library--Recent Acquisitions," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, Spring-Summer 2010, Vol. 17, Nos. 3-4, Fall 2010, Vol. 18., No. 1, p. 4 (accessed July 31, 2010).
11.  "Fiske Library--New Book, Publication and CD Acquisitions" Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, March 2003, Vol. 10, No. 3, p. 11. (accessed July 31, 2014).

12. "Fiske Library--New Book & Publication Acquisitions," Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, September 2003, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 9 (accessed July 31, 2014).

13. Ibid. 

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