Monday, August 16, 2010

Cool Apps and Free Searches at Footnote.com

Broadside issued by the Continental Congress, ...

Image via Wikipedia

During one of my many searches for free on-line information collections, I came across Footnote.com.  Not all the information within their databases is free, but there is a considerable amount of information you can view, or at least view the data of the results.  You can search and view the papers of the Continental Congress and many more.  Some of the search results will show a thumbnail image of the historic of vital stats document, but require a subscription to actually view the document.  Although much of the data, is presented in the search results, without viewing the actual document.    It would be nice to be able to see the document, not to mention the ability to download a copy, but due to my own personal budget constraints, I can’t justify spending the money for a full membership just yet.  I’ll just keep my basic (free) membership and suffer along on the data alone for now.  I think as my situation improves, and I can afford it, this may just be one of the first investments I make.

One of the other neat things you can do over there, is to create pages.  The pages can be based on a Person, Place, Event, Organization, or Topic.  I created a page for my Father, and entered all kinds of data on it.  Showing his date of birth, date of death, work history, marriages, links to tribute articles I have done on my various blogs, and loaded a number of pictures.  Then I clicked on the “see this page on Facebook” button, and invited all of my family to visit it and add stories photos or information.  The whole application is very comprehensive and simple, not to mention, a great way for you to gain additional information about people within your tree.   I will probably be making some pages for other members of my family, and encourage all my relatives to add information and stories to help me out.  This could be very helpful to me when I actually start writing that family history I’m aiming for.

Now if you can afford it, get the membership and have access to records such as the Revolutionary War Documents.  These include Pension Records, War Rolls, Service Records, Continental Congress, Newspapers, and many more.  They have a fantastic viewer, that I was able to sample, on some of the free documents.  It even lets you download copies as pdf or image files.  There is also a large collection of member uploaded photos, documents, and other pages.  I think the site will be very beneficial to those of us researching out family histories. If nothing else, Footnote.com, is one more tool in the box, capable of returning some very interesting information. And don’t forget to check out their blog.

“Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton, via Quotationsbook.

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