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A county genealogical resource page is a helpful adjunct to the careful exploration of any and all genealogical resources a county might possess. A county genealogical resource page, is merely a listing of all resources, in whatever repositories, which contain material on the genealogy of the county.
These resources may be in several types of repositories. Federal, State and County government offices are one type of obvious repository. State and county libraries, local funeral homes, local churches, the Family History Library catalog, Ancestry.com, local genealogy societies, newspaper archives, online lists of county resources, online family trees and online forums.
Federal government repositories
Many items contained in federal repositories have been digitized by online subscription services like Ancestry.com and Genealogy.com.
Everyone will be familiar with the U.S. Census, conducted every ten years from 1790 to today. The census entries from 1940 to today however are still sealed for privacy reasons. All of the open census have been indexed by Ancestry.com. The 1880 Census is free to view on www.familysearch.org, and a very slow-moving project to index the others was initiated by the USGenWeb. Most dedicated researches however are happy to pay $80 a year for full access. Free access to all census images is available to anyone willing to travel to one of the twelve regional branches of the National Archives. When building your county genealogical resource page, be sure to include all these various optional ways of accessing the census.
The Federal Bureau of Land Management is the government agency which contains the records of the federal land granted in about half the states of the U.S. These grants are only the first transfer of land from the federal government to some individual person or business. Subsequent resales of the land would be filed in whatever county land records office exists for that county. When county boundaries change, the land records stay with the original county which recorded them. Land records are very useful to place your families in a certain area, or to show when they must have moved out of one area.
The Social Security Administration maintains records of those entitled to receive Social Security, and those currently receiving it. When a person applies for a Social Security number, certain information is requested and filed. If someone dies while receiving Social Security, that information is entered and they will appear on the Social Security Death Index, which is a public document, updated monthly, and indexed by both Ancestry.com and the LDS' familysearch.org online. If a person has died, then their original application form, is no longer private and may be requested from the Social Security Administration for a fee.
During World War I, the federal government required that any male between the ages of 18 and 45 register for the draft. These documents called "World War I Draft Registration Cards" exist in the National Archives, and have now also been indexed and put up on Ancestry.com. Not everyone was asked the identical questions, but all males were asked for a name, birthdate, residence, current employer and name of nearest relative and their address. Some were asked where they were born.
Many men served in the various wars the U.S. fought. The individual records of some wars are very sparse, but all the known records are preserved in the National Archives. In addition to the enlistment and service records, you may have also disability or pension applications filed by the soldier or their widow.
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