In my genealogy seminars I routinely urge family researchers to keep alert for new resources. Here are some of the latest.
• "Family Tree Magazine," the bi-monthly "bible" for many genealogists, offers online training in various areas of genealogy. Go to www.familytreeuniversity.com, and you'll find a list of upcoming webinars on topics like military records and cutting-edge tools, as well as webinars in doing research in various states.
The current schedule of full-scale courses is already under way, but the site will keep you informed of upcoming courses. Costs are very reasonable.
By the way, the magazine itself is a solid resource. It's not on newsstands. Go to www.familytreemagazine.com for subscription information. You can get a paper or online version.
• The main library at Penn State University has put a collection of county-based historical materials online. Go to www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu and you'll find the library's Literary and cultural History Map of Pennsylvania. When you click on a county you'll find a list of materials pertaining to that county. Samples I've checked out include fire insurance maps of communities from the 1900 era (good for information on neighborhoods and buildings) and older publications of county historical societies.
• If you're looking to update your knowledge of genealogy, you might want to take a look at the offerings of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania at www.genpa.org. One upcoming project is an Oct. 24 webinar on Quaker research, just one of numerous webinars (at modest cost) the society offers from time to time. Check the website for this and other events.
• It might be possible in the foreseeable future for online researchers to access Luzerne County wills and marriage licenses going back more than 200 years. County officials are discussing digitally copying the archives and making them available online for a fee, The Times Leader recently reported. The Recorder of Deeds office already has its documents since 1963 available on Landex ( www.landex.com/remote) for a fee. Most of the county's records are still on paper and difficult to access.
• The Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society has recently indexed records, some going back nearly a century, from numerous West Side churches, cemeteries, funeral homes and schools, as well as records from several Jewish cemeteries throughout Wyoming Valley. For a complete list, as well as hours of operation for the society's research library, go to www.nepgs.org. Click on Records Preservation. The library is at the Hanover Green Cemetery, Main Road, Hanover Township.
• A very public-spirited local organization, The Courthouse Gang, does lookups at the Luzerne County Courthouse for a base fee of $7. To tap into the group's services, go to the Luzerne County Genweb at www.pagenweb.org/-luzerne, or search for Luzerne County Geneweb (it's right at the top). Then scroll down to "lookups."
News Notes: Hats off to the Luzerne Foundation and the Luzerne County Historical Society for organizing the recent Summit of Community Historical Societies recently. Sixteen local organizations met at Bear Creek Village to coordinate efforts. The most popular local historical site, according to a vote, is Eckley Miners Village, and the most endangered is the Huber Coal Breaker, in Ashley. This was the second summit in what we hope will be a long series.
"Murders & Murderers in Northeastern Pennsylvania" is the subject of a talk planned by the Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania at its meeting at 7 p.m., Aug. 15. Julie Esty is the speaker. The meeting is set for the society Research Center, 1100 Main St., Peckville. Call (570) 383-7661.
Tom Mooney is a Times Leader genealogy columnist. Reach him at [email protected].