Having some great databases with collections in digital format of photos, maps, posters, vital records, state censuses and military records can be invaluable to the family researcher. If your ancestors remained for a number of years in a specific state, more than likely the state itself has held records and images relating to your family ancestors. Now you can unlock that source which the states have scanned. Here are just three states and the types of mostly free collections they have along with links to those sites. To locate other states besides these three, do a Google search with the full name of the state and the keywords ‘digital collections’ or ‘state genealogical databases’. The following covers Massachusetts, Michigan, and Missouri — three “M’s” states.
Massachusetts has digitized photographs, maps, postcards, manuscripts, books and artifacts from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts.
Seeking Michigan site with its Online Collections has access more than a million digitized records, including death records (1897-1952), state census records (1827-1894), Civil War service records, letters, diaries, photographs and plat maps. Click on Advanced Search to select one or more collections to search.
The online western Michigan site has searchable indexes to more than 2.75 million marriages, deaths, obituaries and other records, including more than 250,000 new records since last year, for free. You can order copies of most records for $5.
Missouri online site of digital history, has access to more than 9 million death, military, naturalization and other records from around the state through the main search form. Click on Browse Collections by Topic, then Genealogy to search individual databases. It has an easy search box.
Also for Missouri is State Historical Society Digital Collection for Missouri. It features a large newspaper collection, plus diaries, plat maps, photographs, oral histories and Civil War letters, as well as newsletters published by local historical and genealogical societies.
Photos: Three States and their counties.
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