The Genealogy Journey

The newbie genealogist's resource for books, mags, databases, and -- of course -- any free research stuff to be found on the Internet.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Free (For Now) Access to Some Ancestry Databases

To celebrate Black History Month, Ancestry is offering free access to the 4 databases listed below. These databases will be free for the month of February 2006 with registration. Registration requires your name and e-mail address.

- 1870 US Federal Census - Index & Images
- Civil War Service Records Database
- WWI Draft Registration Cards
- African American Research Center

For more information, see

During a tedious Atlanta commute yesterday, I thought about how it appears that the number of men versus women who are researching their genealogy is about equal. (This is based on my new membership in various genealogy forums, so I could be wrong. But if I am, I’d have to chuck this whole blog, so let’s assume I’m right.)

For men, I think the appeal of genealogy has something to do with figuring out a puzzle, shining a light on origins that are shadowy. Most men don’t like vagueness; they like their world straightforward and organized.

I’m on more solid ground speculating about why women research their genealogy. I believe it’s more about connections. Whether a woman has children or not, she feels compelled to reach back in time to link the threads of ancestors with those she loves.

But for both sexes, I think tracing family roots is a matter of pride and fulfillment. One thing is for sure; as our lives become more “worldly” with the Internet, phones, and travel, many of us are determined to maintain our connections with the past. This comforts me. It demonstrates that despite our 21st century sophistication, there’s a little bit of rough-around-the-edges, fresh-off-the-boat pioneer in all of us.

~Mary Kaye


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