Tuesday’s Tip: Houstonians Research Your Family Roots for Free!

I don’t know a genealogist (beginner or seasoned professional) alive who doesn’t love the word FREE when it comes to having access to some of today’s top ‘pay-for-use’ genealogy websites and databases. But what I do know is that Houstonians may conduct family research absolutely FREE from their home, or office, computers as long as they have the — Power Card — from the Houston Public Library!

With the Power Card, you will have 24/7 access to:

19th Century U. S. Newspapers Digital Archive
Digital facsimile images for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. Includes The Galveston Daily News from 1874 until 1897 (see listing under Houston, Texas)

African American Heritage
A groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. This collection was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.

American Civil War Research Database
Online resource for researching the soldiers, regiments, and battles of the American Civil War contains indexed, searchable information on over four million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with fifteen thousand photographs.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
Index to millions of biographical sketches in thousands of reference books.

Clayton Genealogical Library
Houston Public Library’s Genealogical Collection.

Harris County Archives
Documents the history of the government and the citizens of Harris County as revealed through the county records and donated materials.

HeritageQuest Online
(Provided by the Texas State Library’s TEXSHARE program.)
U. S. Federal census records and other research materials for tracing family lineages.

JSTOR
Scholarly journal archive covering information in the arts, science, business, history, education and much more.

ProQuest Obituaries
Offers more than 10.5 million obituaries and death notices in full-image format from uninterrupted historical archives of top newspapers.

Texas Digital Sanborn Maps
(Provided by the Texas State Library’s TEXSHARE program.)
Sanborn maps are historical large scale plans of a city drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch. These maps are used to trace the history and development of cities and are also helpful in genealogical and historical research.

But that’s not all . . .

Houston’s very own — Clayton Library — is one of the top ten best genealogy resources in this country (Family Tree Magazine named it, “one of the 9 genealogy libraries you need to visit before you die  in its July 2008 issue)!

When you’re in the library, you have FREE access to:

Access NewspaperARCHIVE (In library use only)
The largest historic newspaper source online containing tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s.

American Ancestors (In Library Use Only)
Genealogical data from the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Ancestry Library Edition (In Library Use Only)
One of the largest collections of family history data online. Ancestry Library Edition is the Ancestry.com database with a interface from Proquest.

Fold3 (In library use only)
Previously known as Footnote, this database contains almost 40 million images of primary source materials. Many are available here for the first time.

If you have a HPL Power Card, you can begin your research online right now by going to:
1) http://www.houstonlibrary.org/home
2) Under the “E-Library” section click the arrow and a drop-down menu appears
3) Scroll the drop-down menu and click “Databases”
4) Scroll down all the available databases and click “Genealogy” . . . then it’s happy ancestor hunting to you!!
Just keep in mind that databases marked with an asterisk (*) require a HPL Power Card for access from your home or office.

So if you don’t have a clue as to what kind of FREE genealogy resources are available at your city or county library, then I recommend you call them and find out today. You just may be missing out on an affordable way to gain access to some incredible resources FREE of charge that could help you take your family research to a whole new level!

 

June 2012 Programs at Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

It’s June 1, 2012 and I can already tell it’s going to be a long hot summer here in H-town. But to beat this heat, I plan to attend some of the great genealogy programs that the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research has in store for genealogy patrons this month!

If you have  a Houston Public Library card (the orange power card), you can register for any of the Clayton Library programs you see below by going to:
1) Library’s online catalog at http://catalog.houstonlibrary.org/search~s1/
2) Search for the word “genealogy”
3) On the first program that is offered, just look to the right for the “Calendar of Events” icon and click on it.

Enjoy!

Cemetery Day – Billion Graves and other fun stuff
Saturday, June 2, 2012 10:30-11:30AM or 1:30-2:30PM

Learn how to use the free, online website, Billion Graves. Billion Graves has been described as the, “fastest, easiest and most efficient way to gather headstone data in the world”. Also discussed will be how you can become a volunteer and add even more data. Reservations required. Please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

Indexing: It isn’t just the census

Thursday, June 14, 2012 10:30AM-12:00PM
Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:00-3:30PM

Ever thought about volunteering, but you can’t come to the library? Maybe your time is short and you just can’t commit to a certain time each week, but you still want to help. Are you interested in old records? Are you interested in various types of records? Do you use the computer? It sounds like “indexing” might be just the right volunteering project for you. Come hear from an experienced indexer/arbitrator about the thrills of indexing. Bring a laptop if you have one and get started today or practice in the library on one of ours. Reservations required. Please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

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Clayton Library Orientation
Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:30-11:45AM

Learn about the vast resources and how to efficiently utilize genealogical research materials housed at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library. Adults/Teens.

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Quick Start your Genealogy!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:30-3:30PM

Overview of genealogical research tools:
1:30-2:00PM HPL Catalog
2:10-2:50PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch
3:00-3:30PM Ordering microprint from Salt Lake City
Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600. Adults/Teens.

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Lineage Help
Most Wednesday nights, 5:30-7:30PM

Looking to join the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, or Daughters of the Republic of Texas? Come to Clayton Library on Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 7:30. Members of the Oran M. Roberts Chapter UDC #440 are here to help you discuss your lineage application research. This is available MOST Wednesday nights, but call 832-393-2600 to confirm the team will be here. Sign up when you get to the library. Adults/Teens.

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Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
5300 Caroline Street
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: 832-393-2600

Library Hours are:
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-8 | Th 10-6 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed