Friday, February 24, 2017


I will edit and add to this in the days ahead as this will be a fairly long blog.   The website may be called Maine Genealogy but I will show you how to access family records from across the United States, Canada, and around the world.  And once you learn how to use the site you can also download free copies of official records from towns, and cities.   The link below should take you to their start up page.


In the top right corner is a search box for first and last names you wish to do a search on.  I have Harold Norwood typed in as an example, to access the second part of the site you need to type in a person who is from Maine or who lived in Maine - feel free to use the example I gave when the time comes.

Once you type in your name, and hit the search all button,  you should come to the following page;

Maine Genealogy Website

By clicking onto the Maine Marriages I am brought to the following page;

From here I can click onto any marriages that match what I am searching for to gain more information.  By hitting the back button I return back to the start up page.  The other search options operate the same way, some options do not show up on the name I typed in because those options don't apply to that name, such as divorce records, enlistment records, and  such.  If no marriage information was not available the Maine Marriages option would not of shown up, so the records you get to explore depend on what is available for the name you type in.

This brings us to the most important section of the site, the Familysearch Maine Databases near the bottom of the first page posted above.  If you were doing a search for someone who never lived in Maine, this option would show - Sorry, there wre no matches and you would not have the option to enter the second section of the website.  If this happens, than use the name Harold Norwood - this will allow you to enter that other section.  Now click onto the Familysearch Maine Databases link and you should see the following page;

This is the section of the website you want to access because the bulk of information available to you is found in this section of the site.  To conduct searches here, type in the first and last name to the far laft and hit your enter key.  If your doing a Maine search, you don't need to change anything, however if you want to do a search of say, Canada records, to the far left below where you typed in a name you will see Any Place and in the box it should say Maine.  Clear Maine from the box and type in Canada, you will now get search resultss for Canada, of any other country you type into the box.
This works the same way for any state within the United States, type in Ohio and you will get search results for Ohio, and so on.  To narrow your search down you could type in a state and a county, such as Starks, Ohio.
An important note here is that your search results will change according to how you type in the name your searching for.  Examples;  James Flynn,  I will get search results for that name as typed.  Now I do a second search including middle name, James Alvin Flynn, now I may get some added information based on the addition of a middle name.  Knowing that people back than often spelled names wrong, I do a search for James Alvin Flinn, and this may give me other finds.  Also where you do your search can make a huge difference in what you find.  Example;  I know that James Flynn was born and lived in Washington Sounty, Maine so by doing a search for Washington County Maine I will find that information but I may miss information showing him living at one time in Rockland, Maine.  So what I do is conduct a search first for the county, than a search for the state; example; James A. Flynn - Washington county, Maine.  Second search - James A. Flynn - Maine.

If there is any user submitted genealogy submitted by site members, it will appear at the bottom of the first page of this section and look something like this below;

A word of caution, the information contained on many of these user submitted pieces is a great tool if used correctly.  In many cases dates listed are not correct, but in many cases the names listed are correct, so it is a good tool for finding out other family members and expanding your family search.  The main reason why dates are often not right is because many people who conduct their family research use the dates they find on census records, and in most cases, those dates are not correct - in fact if you look closely it even states those dates are an estimated date.  People also rely on dates passed down through the family, which also might be close but not correct.
Whenever possible I go first to actual gravestones for dates, followed by cemetery records.

So using the same second section of the Maine Genealogy website, I go down the page and select to look at Harold F. Norwood 1910 census record information.  Once I click on it the following page pops up;

A few things to note here, near the left hand cornoer it says COPY, by clicking onto that is will copy that information onto your mouse.  Now all you have to do is go to notebook and paste the information down.  Or if you have a snip it type took, or a screen shot tool, copy if that way.  What is important here is what is to the far right of the screen, an image of the 1910 census record for Harold Norwood.  Such copies of official files may not always come up but many times they do.  Click onto the image of the census record and it brings you to a download screen where you can download a free copy for your files.
And its not just census records, marriage records, birth and death records, enlistment records and cemetery records all come up on the far right of your searches.

Below is an example of a cemetery record I downloaded for free;

Some cemetery records contain much more information than this one, such as the listing of other family members, and how each is related.  At the bottom of the page are other pages you can go to, by going to page 2 I find and click on Harold Foster Norwood - find a grave.  Find-a-grave is another site that records people buried in each cemetery.  Often times each name also includes a photo of the persons gravestone, and maybe other family information or even a copy of the person's obituary.

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