50 States' Archives

All the 50 US states keep archives relating to people, places, businesses and events covering the state’s history. This may have been a resource you have not investigated to date. If you have, did you only do the states you ancestors live in or did you do also the bordering states?

State archives have been made digital, so you can now go to any of the 50 states and view online the digital copies of documents records and especially photographs in their collections. Every state is different in what they may have and always remember, newly discovered or donated photos and documents are being given to the state archives monthly. So if it has been a while since you check a family home state archives, you will need to do that.

Examples of the types of varied material made digital by various states include documents, photographs, videos, oral histories, music, deeds, artifacts, court records, slave emancipation records, newspapers, reports, military records and maps. Plus a few states who did their own state censuses on years in-between the Federal censuses have those available.  

This online site lists all the 50 states, plus Washington D.C., so just click on the one or more of interest. Some states have a great search engine to help locate names or places and others have an index and still others are working on organizing the collections.

Do bookmark the ‘Digital States Archives‘ so you can locate it quickly and recheck what is new with a state. It is amazing what a state archive might contain. An example, if your grandfather was a highway state trooper in South Carolina, that state as a great photo of the 1939 South Carolina Highway Patrol Graduating Class. Especially look for photos with hometown places, that really helps you better understand and visualize the town your ancestors lived in.

Again check out many of the neighboring states. 

Photos: 1939 South Carolina Highway Patrol Graduating Class; 1906 Maria Baldwin and her two daughters in Maryland; 1900 the citizens in Idaho at a lawn social taken in Horace Noble’s yard. The wall on left is the Noble Hotel Annex and the one-story building is Moody Hall.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

County and Museum Archives

Mennonite Photos

Plymouth Colony Archives

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