My Grandfather was a Sea Captain: Researching Maritime Ancestors

Learning about seafaring ancestors can prove to be as exciting as the adventures of many who crossed oceans to destinations around the world. My great, great, grandfather, Owen O’Neill, was born off the coast of South America aboard his Irish father’s frigate. After courting his wife in Boston, Owen sailed his family to California. From the 1850s until his death in 1871, he piloted a cargo ship that traversed daily from San Francisco to Belmont, California.

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 N. Currier, Clipper Ship "Red Jacket" off Coast of Cape Horn.
Image from the  Library of Congress.

Many men of his time living near ports were employed in the maritime industries. The importance of the maritime industry led to the creation of records that, in many cases, have discoveries waiting for genealogists. With the right know-how, any researcher can re-tell the tale of their sea captain.

Many resources exist at the National Archives that remain only partially digitized. The Act of 1789 by the United States Government mandated that private seagoing vessels be officially recorded by the government. As a result, 100 district offices throughout the country were established for the agency of the U.S. Customs Collection Service. The U.S. Customs Service became responsible for recording information on vessels and their contents. Ships arriving at port were directed to the local customhouse. The customhouse was operated by the collector and his subordinate officers who collected details on the arriving ships. Among the records produced at the customhouse are:

  • Arrival and Departure of American Merchant Ships
  • Seamen and Marine Passenger Protection Certificates
  • Names of Owners and Masters of a Ship
  • Crew Lists
  • Names of Officials at the Customhouse
  • Manifests of Cargo on Board

Records of United States customhouses are located in National Archives Record Group 36, Records of the U.S. Customs Service. There are collections of passenger and crew lists that are digitized and searchable on Ancestry. These lists mostly come from Record Group 85, Bureau of Immigration. More federal records are accessible to researchers online if the seafaring ancestor in question served in the Navy.

While the National Archives has a majority of these records, some maritime collections were deposited with public libraries and local history repositories before the National Archives was created in 1934. Here are a few examples of maritime records from local history collections that are FREE to search:

Researchers new to these records will come across unusual terms. Here are definitions of some important terms to help your research:

    Before documents could be obtained for a vessel, it had to be measured. These certificates show name of ship builder and name of owner.

    Each certificate shows date of issue, name of seaman, his age and nationality and a brief physical description. These persons were required to give oaths of citizenship that were signed by witnesses.    

  • DRAWBACK           
    Historically the word drawback denotes refunding the tax on goods to the master of the ship importing goods. The rationale for drawback was to encourage American commerce and manufacturing.     

  • DUTIES         
    Same as tax.

  • GAUGER      
    A customs official who inspects dimensions of bulk goods subject to duty.

    Lists of cargo.

    Certificates protecting seamen from being impressed by foreign entities.

  • SHIPPING ARTICLES                     
    Agreements between masters of vessels and seamen on contract of the voyage. After the general agreement, they include the seamen’s signature, age, nationality, personal description, birthplace, address, and information on next of kin.

Genealogists should prepare in advance for searching these records. Many are not indexed and will require looking for multiple boxes of archival material. You will have greater success if you know name of the ship and the home port. Historical newspapers may contain information on your ship-owning ancestor. Court and probate records are also worth checking because boats are important property. Save time by confirming that your ancestor had a maritime job by checking the US Federal Census 1850 or later to determine your ancestor's occupation.

Finding Maritime ancestors can be a great surprise, but learning details about their lives is even better. If someone asked me to research the career of Captain Joseph Peabody of Salem, Massachusetts, I would use Records of The Customs Service in the District of Salem and Beverly to find what ships he mastered, where he imported goods, whom he worked with, and so many great details that would otherwise be overlooked.

Do you have any maritime ancestors in your family history? Share your ancestor's maritime stories here!


Jake Fletcher is a genealogist and blogger. He received his Bachelor Degree for History in 2013 and is now researching genealogy professionally. Jake has been researching and writing about genealogy  since high school using his blog page Travelogues of a Genealogist.



Happy Canada Day!


Lots and lots of our Legacy Family Tree users and webinar listeners are Canadians (so is my wife!). Today is their special day. Happy Canada Day!!

Here's one of my favorite views in Canada, a picture taken in Nova Scotia during one of our Legacy Genealogy Cruises.


And here's my one Canadian-born ancestor in the family's Bible:


Some of the best people I have met are from Canada. Have a great day!

Got Irish Ancestors? Your genealogical gold mine is almost here


If you are researching an Irish ancestor, be sure to clear your appointments for July 8, 2015 (except for your 9pm eastern U.S. appointment with Thomas MacEntee's webinar). That is the anticipated date of the release of the digitization of the entire collection of Catholic parish registers held by the National Library of Ireland. More than 390,000 digital images of these records will be online and available for free. Read more about it in their recent press release below.

National Library of Ireland Announces Launch Date for New Online Genealogy Resource 

– Almost 400,000 images of Catholic parish register microfilms to be available online for free from 8th July 2015 – 

The entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) will be made available online – for free – from 8th July 2015 onwards. On that date, a dedicated website will go live, with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded.  

The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under its most ambitious digitisation programme to date.  

The parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.  Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.  

Commenting today, the NLI’s Ciara Kerrigan, who is managing the digitisation of the parish registers, said: “We announced initial details of this project last December, and received a hugely enthusiastic response from people worldwide with an interest in Irish family history.  We are delighted to announce that the project has been progressing well, and we will be able to publish all the digitised records online from 8th July onwards.  

“This is the most significant ever genealogy project in the history of the NLI.  The microfilms have been available to visitors to the NLI since the 1970s.  However, their digitisation means that, for the first time, anyone who likes will be able to access these registers without having to travel to Dublin.” 

Typically, the parish registers include information such as the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses.  The digital images of the registers will be searchable by parish location only, and will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI. 

“The images will be in black and white, and will be of the microfilms of the original registers,” explained Ms. Kerrigan.  “There will not be transcripts or indexes for the images.  However, the nationwide network of local family history centres holds indexes and transcripts of parish registers for their local areas.  So those who access our new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with the relevant local family history centre.” 

The NLI is planning an official launch event for the new online resource on 8th July. 

Judy Wight spoke about this in her recent webinar, "Irish Genealogical Records in the 17th-19th Centuries. Webinar subscribers can watch the recording here, or here's a 15-minute preview.

FamilySearch Records Update: More than 15.6 million new records for Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, and the United States

These records updates are among my favorite announcements! It's always fun to see what new records FamilySearch has. Thanks to all the indexing volunteers for making this possible!

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 15.6 million indexed records and images for Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 5,573,816 records from the US, Iowa, State Census, 1925 collection; 2,086,638 records from the US, California Death Index, 1905–1939 collection; and 1,325,362 images from the Italy, Cremona, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1744–1942 collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 5.8 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online .

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Indexed Records

Digital Images


Australia, New South Wales, Census (fragment), 1891



Added images to an existing collection.

Canada, Newfoundland, Vital Records, 1840–1949



Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Canada, Ontario Births, 1869–1912



Added images to an existing collection.

Canada, Ontario Deaths, 1869–1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939–1947



Added images to an existing collection.

Canada, Ontario Marriages, 1869–1927



Added images to an existing collection.

Canada, Quebec, Index to Civil Copy of Church Records, 1642–1902



New browsable image collection.

Canada, Ontario Births, 1869–1912



Added images to an existing collection.

Czech Republic Church Books, 1552–1963



Added images to an existing collection.

India, Bihar, Koilukh, Pandit Kirtinand Jha, Maithil Brahmin Genealogical Records, 1750–1990



Added images to an existing collection.

India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194–2015



Added images to an existing collection.

India, Madras Diocese Protestant Church Records, 1743–1990



New browsable image collection.

Italy, Caltanissetta, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1820–1935



Added images to an existing collection.

Italy, Cremona, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1744–1942



New browsable image collection.

Italy, Grosseto, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1851–1907



New browsable image collection.

Italy, L'Aquila, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865, 1911–1943



Added images to an existing collection.

Italy, Pesaro e Urbino, Pesaro, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1808–1813, 1861–1865



New browsable image collection.

Italy, Ragusa, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1900–1940



New browsable image collection.

Mexico, Baja California and Baja California Sur, Catholic Church Records, 1750–1984



Added images to an existing collection.

Mexico, Chihuahua, Catholic Church Records, 1632–1958



New browsable image collection.

Mexico, Guanajuato, Catholic Church Records, 1519–1984



Added images to an existing collection.

Mexico, Hidalgo, Catholic Church Records, 1546–1971



Added images to an existing collection.

Mexico, Michoacán, Catholic Church Records, 1555–1996



Added images to an existing collection.

Mexico, Tamaulipas, Catholic Church Records, 1703–1964



Added images to an existing collection.

Peru, Tacna, Civil Registration, 1850–1998



New browsable image collection.

Philippines, Negros Occidental, Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod, Parish Registers, 1755–1976



New browsable image collection.

US, California Death Index, 1905–1939



Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Connecticut, District Court Naturalization Indexes, 1851–1992



New browsable image collection.

US, District of Columbia Marriages, 1811–1950



Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Iowa, State Census, 1925



Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1940–1945



Added indexed records to an existing collection.

US, Michigan, Births, 1867–1902



Added images to an existing collection.

US, South Dakota, Pennington County Probate Case Files, 1880–1937



New browsable image collection.

US, United States Census, 1790



Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

US, United States Census, 1800



Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

US, Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database, 1847–1868



New indexed record collection.

US, Utah, Uintah County Discharge Records, 1893–2009



New browsable image collection.

US, Utah, Uintah County Land and Property Records, 1888–2004



New browsable image collection.

Brand New! Join our Legacy User Group on Facebook Today

FB-fLogo-onlineThere's a new place for Legacy Family Tree users to hang out! Join our new Legacy User Group on Facebook today to share ideas, ask questions, or just lurk. Or if you're thinking about using Legacy, come hang out in the group and see what others are saying.

How to join

Click here and then click on the green Join Group button. As it is a closed group (to prevent spam, etc.), your request to join will be reviewed by our administrators. This shouldn't take long though.

What's Next?

Look for the Legacy User Group link in your Facebook "GROUPS" panel (it's on the left). Click on it and read what others have written, post a comment, or ask a question. 



You can also adjust your notifications. Look for this in the upper right.


Other groups

  • If Facebook is not yet for you, join our Legacy User Group mailing list here.
  • Or if you have a technical support question, visit our Support Home here.
  • Or if you just want to watch some of our videos, click here.
  • There's also the Virtual Legacy User's Group on Google+ here.
  • Here's our Legacy Facebook page (where we post announcements, etc.).

Legacy Genealogy Cruise - We're Back!

We have returned from our 12th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise and had the time of our lives! We sailed on board the largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

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It was my kids' first cruise and it lived up to all of their expectations.

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Am I a bad Dad for watching my second oldest down 8 ice cream cones in one day?

Our first day at sea was Father's Day...

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...and our first day of classes. We heard from Lisa Louise Cooke (wow, was she ever terrific!!)...


...Steve Salisbury, Dave Berdan, Ken McGinnis, and myself. And it was fun sailing with about 200 friends and genealogists in our group.

In Jamaica we enjoyed a relaxing river cruise down the Martha Brae River.

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We also visited the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza. Such an amazing place!

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In addition to all the good food on board (my kids were impressed that they could even have macaroni and french fries in the formal dining room)...

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...we had fun on the carousel...

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...and even on the zip line...

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I was even spotted next to this billboard...

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We ended the classes as we always do by drawing lots of names for door prizes. Dave (Legacy's founder and President) then announced that all Legacy cruisers would get a free annual webinar membership to Thanks again to Lisa Louise Cooke, Steve Salisbury, Dave Berdan, Ken McGinnis (and myself I suppose) for the great classes! Thanks to all of you who joined us! Thanks to all the rest of our Legacy Family Tree staff who kept our Support, Customer Service, and Shipping departments open while we were away. And thanks to our cruise coordinator, Christy, for all she did for us too!

Next year's cruise to Alaska

It's never too early to begin thinking about next year's cruise (our 13th annual) to Alaska. Registration is not yet available, but save these dates: August 27-September 9, 2016. Write to Christy for more information.

Back to work

Now that I've officially announced our return, it's back to work! We've got great things planned for our Legacy Family Tree software and for our webinar series. I LOVE my job!

Got Female Ancestors? Register for Gena Philibert-Ortega's webinar to learn how to find them


How do you research the women in your family tree? In some of the same ways you research men but you also have to consider what documents and items were left behind by women. In this lecture we look at the specific trail women left including signature quilts, community cookbooks, journals and diaries.

Join us and Gena Philibert-Ortega for the live webinar Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Download the syllabus

In preparation for the webinar, download the supplemental syllabus materials here. The syllabus is available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers. Log in here or subscribe here.


Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

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On the Upcoming Webinars tab, login to view the webinars you are already signed up for (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

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Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

Gena-100Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women’s studies, and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States as well as virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including FGS Forum, APG Quarterly, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, GenWeekly and the WorldVitalRecords newsletter. Her writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. She is the author of the books, From The Family Kitchen (F + WMedia, 2012), Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) and Putting the Pieces Together. Gena is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Gena has written courses about social media and Google. She serves as a board member of the Utah Genealogical Association. Her current research interests include women’s social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women’s lives using material artifacts. Gena Philibert-Ortega is the author of IDG’s monthly column, Remember the Ladies: Researching Your Female Ancestor. 

View Gena's other webinars here.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
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Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at today. It's free!
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We look forward to seeing you all there!

Have You Used this Unusual Genealogy Resource?

Funeral and Memorial Cards are often overlooked as a genealogy resource. They can be a treasure trove for the genealogist as they usually contain detailed information on the deceased person, such as birth and death dates, funeral location and burial location. Sometimes a memorial photo of the departed loved one is also found on the card.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, small memorial cards or invitations were often sent to inform friends and neighbours that someone had died. These cards were seen as an invitation to a funeral as well as a funeral notice. If the deceased was someone of great importance, the card usually had to be shown in order to attend the funeral.  Funeral and Memorial cards are a genealogical treasure.

Funeral Cards in the 19th Century

In Victorian times (ca 1837-1901) mourning customs were comprised of rituals and strict rules of etiquette and these were rigidly followed by most individuals. Mourning and funeral rituals were quite strict and anyone who did not wish to be ostracized tried to follow the social customs. This was the time period when mourning jewellery became popular and custom jewellery containing a lock of the deceased person's hair was often made for a widow to wear.

Funeral_Card_Black1896 copyFuneral Card 1896. From private collection of Brian Massey.

Funeral cards were very popular in the 19th Century. After a loved one died, a family member was expected to let others know of the time and date of the funeral. That is where Funeral Cards came in.

The deceased's love ones could order from dozens of styles of cards and have them imprinted with the deceased's name, date of birth and death, age and when and where the funeral was to be held. Often a standard verse was included.

Sometimes there was a photo of the deceased or an image such as an angel if the card was for a child. These cards were usually 4x6 inches and viewed vertically. A commonly used colour was black with gold lettering. A child's Funeral Card was usually white. 

Funeral_Card_White_Child_1902 Child's Funeral Card 1902. From private collection of Brian Massey.

After printing, funeral cards were sent or given to family members, friends, and the surrounding community. Recipients of a funeral card were expected to attend the funeral or risk offending family members. Conversely, those who did not receive an invitation would have been insulted, whether it was intentional or an oversight. 

Funeral cards were sometimes kept as a memento of a person's passing. They often turn up in antique stores, auctions, flea markets, or attics where they have been stored and forgotten.

Memorial Cards

Memorial cards did not have the same purpose as a funeral card. These small cards were sent out after the funeral and often contained more details of the burial location as well as a memorial to the deceased. Usually the name of the person as well as birth and death dates and location of death were included. These cards were usually 3 x 4 1/2 inches and viewed horizontally. They often had elaborate mortuary designs. Often a thick black border was used on Memorial Cards. If there was enough room a poem or verse might be added. 



Memorial_Card_Ada1919_3Small folded 4-sided Memorial card 1919.
From private collection of Brian Massey.

20th Century Cards 

By the 20th Century these Memorial and Funeral cards were out of style and Victorian rules of etiquette were rapidly changing. The cards evolved into other designs, usually a folded 4-sided vertical Memorial Card given out at the Funeral. A photo of the deceased and a great deal of genealogical information was usually included. 

Today's Memorial or Funeral Cards can come in a variety of designs and shapes. They might be bookmarks, or a card similar to a Sympathy card. Families can have their card of choice printed through the Funeral Home or a Printing House. Often a photo of the deceased or of something of significance to that person is included. A poem or religious verse is often added. Some Memorial cards are religious in design and will have religious symbols and relevant religious or biblical verses included.

Funeral and Memorial Card Resources for Genealogists

Genealogists can look for Funeral and Memorial cards at flea markets, in Antique stores and on E-Bay. There is also a large collection of these cards on the AncestorsAtRest website. They are free to search and view at the links below:

Funeral Cards on

Memorial Cards on

Funeral Cards on Cyndi's List

Historical Funeral Card Collection from the American-French Genealogical Society

Funeral Card Collection of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana

Marsha Smiley African-American Collection: Memorials

Genealogists can also find Funeral Cards at the Subscription website Genealogy Today.


Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.

5 Online Places to Start Your Southern Genealogy Research

Research in the South can be both challenging and rewarding. Historically, the southern states’ culture and economy have been deeply rooted in agriculture. As an agrarian society, many areas were not meticulous in keeping records. When living on farms any significant distance from the courthouse, taking care of business at home took precedence over a lengthy trip to the courthouse. Births and deaths might not be recorded until months or years later. Deed transfers within the family might not be formalized for a generation. As a researcher of the American South, it is imperative to understand the agrarian way of life.

Another challenge for the Southern researcher is burned counties.  Many counties have lost records over the years to fire and/or natural disasters.  Certainly the Civil War played a role in the loss of courthouse records. While research in a burned county can present a brick wall for the researcher, the brick wall is not insurmountable.

Don’t despair! Research of your southern ancestors will still be a rewarding experience.  

Richardson familyDaniel T. Richardson of Pittsylvania County, VA - ~1906 (Source: Personal Collection of Lisa Talbott Lisson)

5 Online Places to Find Your Southern Ancestors

  1. The State Archives – More and more records are becoming available online for the genealogy researcher.  A good place to start is with the state archives where your ancestors lived. Each state will have its own unique holdings. For example, if you have North Carolina ancestors, visit the State Archives of North Carolina website. You will be able to search their holdings and explore their digital collections. Examples of what you will find include family Bibles, Civil War Pension Applications, and War of 1812 Pay Vouchers.  The State Library and Archives of Florida’s Florida Memory Collection is another good example of using a state archives’ available online records. On their site a sample of what you will find includes Spanish land grants, WWI Service Cards and Civil War Pension Applications.

  2. State and Local Genealogical Societies – The amount of information found on state and local genealogical societies will vary quite a bit. The information is usually provided by the society’s volunteers.  Still, be sure to check these societies for where your ancestor lived. Depending on the individual society, variable local records will be available. For example, transcripts of individual will and deeds might be found. Photographs of local residents and landmarks are another example that may be found. Some of the information may only be available to the society’s members while others are available to the general public. These sites are certainly worth a look.

  3. Documenting the American South (DocSouth) – The University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) sponsors this online resource for southern history, cultural and literature. Among its collections are first person narratives of slaves, women, farmers and soldiers. Other collections include personal diaries and papers relating to the Civil War and slave narratives. DocSouth is an invaluable resource for any southern researcher.

  4. The Library of Virginia – While obviously focused on the records of Virginia, many southern families of other states such as Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama can trace families back to Virginia.  The LVA website is also a valuable resource for learning about the southern culture and way of life.

  5. The Digital Library on American Slavery – If you have African American ancestry, this site sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is an excellent place to visit. Many slave deeds, runaway slave advertisements and slavery era insurance records may be found here.

Remember: For all the excellent records available online, there are many more that are not. To be complete in your research, sometimes you need to travel to a repository or use the assistance of a local genealogist.

Now…. Go grab a tall glass of iced tea and start exploring your southern roots!

You can learn more about southern genealogy research in these Legacy webinars:

Lisa Lisson is a genealogist, blogger and Etsy-prenuer who writes about her never-ending pursuit of ancestors, the “how” of genealogy research and the importance of sharing genealogy research with our families. Specializing in North Carolina and southern Virginia research, she also provides genealogical research services to clients. You can find Lisa online at Lisa

Bon Voyage - 12th Annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise begins

OasisTomorrow we leave to begin our 12th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise, this year to the Western Caribbean. We will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and visit Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico. We will sail on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. We've also got lots of genealogy and Legacy classes planned and lots of time for one-on-one and small group sessions.

And for the first time, I'll be bringing along my four young budding genealogists. Our kids have heard about our cruises all their lives, and now it's their turn to explore other countries and eat as much ice cream as they can handle. Yep, they're excited, and so am I!

Webinars Unlocked

While we won't have our weekly webinars while we're gone, I have unlocked the entire "Watch Geoff Live" series for the duration of our trip. Look for them here.

Discount Code

As has become tradition, I've also issued a Bon Voyage 10% off-anything-in-the-store coupon. Here's the code:


It's good for 10% off anything at or through Monday, June 29, 2015.


Our sincere thanks go out to our entire technical support and sales staff who will continue to provide sales and support services while we are away. Thanks Jim, Sherry, Brian, Michele, Sarah, Bryan, Marian, Jairmie and Leonard for keeping us afloat!

We'll either see you here or on the ship!