It is nice to come across an online site that has a large selection of sources and information for the family researcher. Since 2006 there has been such a site titled Genealogy Trails which has compiled genealogical information from numerous sources. What makes this so amazing is that the collection of transcribed names, families, dates, facts, towns, etc. has come all from volunteers.
Beginning on the left side of the home page is a listing of states within the United States and a link to the many sources and information transcribed in reference to the citizens in that states. There is included a good deal of general historical facts to assist the researcher become familiar with that state such as state nicknames, capital city, state flower, and an overall brief history of that state.
Moving further down the state site there will the listing of available online data for that state; such as newspapers, census, military, biographies and others. Using the state of Maryland as an example; under military there was a listing of soldiers from Maryland who served during World War I and those who served in the Spanish-American War receiving the Medal of Honor. Under the newspapers for Maryland was specific articles covering certain topics; such as slavery, marriages, state institutes and schools.
A useful search engine for each state is featured at the bottom of each state page. Just plug in a surname or hometown name and all references in any of the Maryland themes will be shown with that surname or other key word.
Returning to the home page of Genealogy Trails there are listings for additional research material. They have a wonderful site on headstones of Union Civil War veterans who died between 1879 and 1903. This alphabetical list provides the soldier’s full name, their rank, company and regiment name, the name of the cemetery (in most cases), the city, state of burial and the date of death. This is an ongoing set-up and as of the end of 2011, all names and information from surnames beginning with ‘A’ to those beginning ‘Farrell’ are completed. So there are more to be added in the near future.
Continuing down the home page is a collection of good research information to assist anyone. There are maps showing territorial acquisitions and the creation of states within the United States. Under a topic of ‘Events’ are some of America’s historical events with details of what happened that may have had a major impact on any of our ancestors’ lives. For example, the horrible effects of the hurricane of 1900 in Galveston, Texas or the flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927; both would have affects ancestors in and around those areas. There is also about epidemics from 1657 to 1918 in America and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906; along with several other interesting events.
Continuing down the home page are the newest additions to the site such as military obituaries from 1899, the Fanning’s Illustrated Gazetteer of 1850 with all types of facts about towns and counties across all the states or the prisoners at Alcatraz.
A very good mixture of all types of genealogical and useful historical information at the Genealogy Trails is worth investigating.