The East Baton Rouge Parish Library is proud to offer genealogists an abundance of resources. We hope that you are aware that you can access all of them, including AncestryLE, Fold3, Heritage Quest, and many others, through our Digital Library.
To complement these sites, we have also curated a selection of free resources that can be accessed by anyone. These are located in the Genealogy infoguide, just look for the “Infoguides” leaf at the top of the library homepage at www.ebrpl.com. Once you arrive at the infoguide, look for the blue tab at the top labelled “Links”. This will take you to a selection of resources from Louisiana and around the country. Here is some of what we have collected for you:
Findagrave.com is exactly what it sounds like. Volunteers from all over the world have photographed and documented grave sites and uploaded the results here. This includes large urban and church cemeteries, but also smaller out-of-the-way grave sites as well. Things like names, dates, and locations can provide valuable clues to help you unearth your family’s past.
USGenweb.org is a clearing house for state and local genealogy societies. Many of the sites you will find here contain local histories and governmental and non-governmental records. The most valuable service here is links to local historical societies, who are available to answer questions and help you along.
Freedom on the Move is a database that collects runaway slave announcements from newspapers all around the country. Before Emancipation, very little was recorded of the lives of slaves, unless those slaves decided to self-liberate. Then the slave-owners would take out advertisements in their local newspapers with detailed descriptions of their runaways, including their skill-set and often personality traits. If you are descended from slaves, or from slave-owners, you might find valuable details here.
Lastly, the Library of Congress has a project to make available old newspapers from all over the country. Chronicling America has millions of pages of scanned newspapers, fully searchable from both small towns and large cities. This is a tremendous resource for locating legal notices, property records, and news events that directly affected your ancestors.
All of these and many more, are free from home, without a library card. We update the page periodically, so please take a look around, and come back frequently to see what has changed. And, as always, happy hunting.
guest post by David Laatsch