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Family History and Genealogy : Online Databases, Forums, etc.

Whether you are researching a historical figure for a paper, ordained minister, or the religious history of your own family, this guide will point you in the right direction and provide resources in the Divinity Library for genealogical study

Vital Records

  • Marriage Records Search
    State-by-state guides on how to locate marriage records. Please note, though, that some of the ultimate sources are available by subscription only.
  • Ellis Island
    Database of more than 22 millions passengers and ships' crews that came through Ellis Island the the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924
  • FamilySearch
    Major search tool from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Their search engine will search Ancestral Files, the International Genealogical Index (IGI), Pedigree Resource Files, and Web Sites. Also includes a Directory of Family History Centers and other useful information.
  • HeritageQuest Online
    Provides images of the United States Census schedules from 1790 to 1930, and online editions of more than 25,000 family and local histories.
  • Rootsweb
    Huge site; claims to be the Internet's oldest oldest and largest. Hosts thousands of Web sites and mailing lists on counties and surnames. Links to many searchable databases. Provides an excellent service, WorldConnect, for hosting your Gedcom files and turning them into searchable databases.
  • U. S. Genweb Project
    "The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone. Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties." For broader perspective, you can also look into WorldGenWeb.
  • County Clerks is a directory of every single county clerk's office in the United States. There are over 3,000 county clerks offices that we have contact information for. Find a county clerk in your state today and get access to the information that you are looking for.

Websites and Databases Library Edition

Ancestry for Library Edition

Available for Duke Patrons with Net ID and password. 

Contains coverage of the U.S. and the U.K., including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada and other areas. A collection of more than 4,000 databases and 1.5 billion names including U.S. federal census images and indexes from 1790 to 1930; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; American Genealogical Biographical Index (over 200 volumes), Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes), The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1630, Social Security Death Index, WWI Draft Registration Cards, Federal Slave Narratives, and a Civil War collection.