Ancestry.com is a powerful genealogical tool allowing patrons to research their family history and gain insight into the lives and times of their ancestors as well as other historical figures.
It’s a dynamic, and constantly growing database, compiling census records, city and county directories, school yearbooks, passenger lists, military records, passport applications and many other source materials.
If you are new to Ancestry.com, a good place to begin a family tree is with the popular genealogy adage: start with what you already know. Begin with yourself, and then go back as far as you can.
Ancestry.com explains, “A document isn’t just a piece of paper – it’s a snapshot of your family’s past. Plug a name into a search of our vast collections, and there’s no telling what you’ll find.”
For more help on using the site, try our training document:
Newspapers.com -a division of Ancestry.com- is also free to patrons during the month of April and provides access to thousands of historical newspapers from across the country, including Marin County’s own Daily Independent Journal, c.1947-1974.
San Francisco newspapers are also available including:
- the Recorder (1901-1934)
- The Call (1830-1913) The Chronicle (1865-1921)
- and the Examiner (1865-present)
Newspapers.com is an excellent source of obituaries and also a launching point to explore an infinite variety of topics. For example, one can delve into the history of the women’s suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment one hundred years ago. Or, explore the American Civil War era, and the abolition of slavery. Explore the people and events that made up the Cold War. Track the accomplishments and strange disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart. Or take a look back at what life was like for hundreds of thousands of immigrants at the Angel Island Immigration Station from 1910-1940.