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Erie Canal Lock 32.jpg
[1] United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Migration Routes  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Migration Canals  Gotoarrow.png  Erie Canal


The Erie Canal in New York allowed boats from New York City on the Hudson River to reach rural upstate New York and Lake Erie. Eventually the Great Lakes were also connected to the Ohio River and Mississippi River systems by other canals. As canals developed in America settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the canals provided access to markets. They could sell their products at distant markets, and buy products made far away. If an ancestor settled near a canal, you may be able to trace back to a place of origin on a connecting waterway.

Contents

Historical Background

The construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817. As more Irish laborers arrived the pace of construction picked up and overcame significant barriers. For example, during summer construction in a marsh, 1,000 workers died of swamp fever, so survivors were moved to another part of the canal until winter when it was safer to work in the frozen marsh. Sections of the canal opened as follows:

  • 1819 Rome to Utica
  • 1820 Utica to Syracuse
  • 1823 Brockport to Albany (Champlain Canal connecting the Hudson River to Lake Champlain was completed at the same time)
  • 1824 Lockport locks
  • 1825 Onondago Ridge finishing the entire canal.

The Erie Canal contributed to the wealth and importance of New York City, Buffalo, and New York State. It increased trade throughout the nation by opening eastern and overseas markets to Midwestern farm products and enabling migration to the West. New ethnic Irish communities formed in towns along the canal, as Irish immigrants were a large portion of labor force involved in its construction.

The University of Rochester and the Family History Library catalog have more information about the history of the Erie Canal.

Settlers and Records

Because so many immigrants traveled on the canal, many genealogists would like to find copies of canal passenger lists. Unfortunately, apart from the years 1827-1829, canal boat operators were not required to record or report passenger names to the New York State government. Those 1827-1829 passenger lists survive today in the New York State Archives.[1]

Prior to the building of the Erie Canal the settlers in upstate New York were often from New England, especially Vermont. Once the Canal was finished, setters along the canal and farther west into Ohio would have reached the Erie Canal from New York City, or from along the Hudson River in New York, or from Vermont via the Champlain Canal. Most of the men who labored to build the Erie Canal were from Ireland and many of them settled near it.

Sources

{{reflist]]

Most Significant United States Canals Used by Settlers
Champlain Canal · Erie Canal · Schuykill Canal · Union Canal · Ohio and Erie Canal · Louisville and Portland Canal · Beaver and Erie Canal · Pennsylvania Canal (Main Line) · Delaware and Raritan Canal · Chesapeake and Ohio Canal · Wabash and Erie Canal · Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal · Miami and Erie Canal · Illinois and Michigan Canal


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Vital Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Vital Records for more information.

Births

1848–present  The original Shelby County birth records 1848- present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1848-1915 Birth Certificates - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1848-1906 Birth Record Index - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.

Marriages

1827–present  The original Shelby County marriage records 1827-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1871–1876 Marriage License Applications - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1827-1922 Marriage Record - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.
  • 1878-1906 Marriage Record Index - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.

The following abstracts are available:

Deaths

1878–present  The original Shelby County death records 1878-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1878–1917 Death Record - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1878–1902 Death Record Index - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.
  • 1952-1955 Death Certificates, Coroner - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.

The following abstracts are available:

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1827-present The original land and property records for Shelby County are held by the County Recorder. See the info box above for contact information. The following copies are available:


  • 1800s – Present - Use the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land Patent Index to obtain original federal land transfer records, including homestead, military warrants, and cash entry patents. These records help a researcher establish location and lead to National Archives’ records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are at the National Archives.

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Cemeteries for more information.


Databases pertinent to Cumberland County

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The Catholic Church of Southern Illinois is organized within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Belleville. There are two parished in Clay County.  St Stephen (created in 1854) is located in the community of Flora.  Holy Cross (1870) is in Wendelin.



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Family History Centers

There are over 4500 Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors.  Microfilm and microfiche may be ordered from the FHL collection at a nominal cost.  Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website.  Call ahead to verify operating hours.  All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Wayne County, Illinois:

Centralia Illinois Family History Center 
Leafland & 3rd Street
Centralia, Marion, Illinois
Phone: 618-532-3482
Hours: Wednesday 2-6pm
Attention: We have temporarily moved to this new location while our building is being remodeled.

Eldorado Illinois Family History Center
103 Grayson Rd
Eldorado, Saline, Illinois
Phone: 618-273-8172
Hours: By appointment. Please call 618-276-4283

Evansville Indiana Family History Center 
8020 E Covert Ave
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana
Phone: 812-471-0191
Hours: First Wednesday of every month 10:00 - 12:00, Tues & Wed evening 6:00 - 8:00; other times by appointment
Closed: Closed Major Holidays

Foxcroft Illinois Family History Center
17947 Rt 37 North
Johnston City, Williamson, Illinois
Phone: 618-937-4755
Hours: Tuesday 9am-4pm; & other times by appt

Please note: Addresses posted are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

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Gotoarrow.png Illinois Probate Records for more information.


Probate Records

Original McHenry County probate records are available at the McHenry County Courthouse. See Illinois Probate Records wiki page for more information about using probate records. The following copies of probate records are available:




For more information about probate records see Illinois Probate Records.

1840–present The original probate records for Williamson County are held by the Circuit Court Clerk. The following copies are available:

Browse images of Coles County probate records at Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970.

The following abstracts are available:

  • 1847–1872 Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Williamson County, Il. Wills, Book A.(Marion, Illinois):V.L.C.Grisham, 1998. WorldcatFHL Book 977.3993 P2g
  • 1898–1911 Murphy, Charla Schroeder. Probate Book C, Circuit Clerk's Office: Administrators Book A, County Clerk's Office, Williamson County, Illinois. S.l: C.S. Murphy, 2004.Worldcat FHL Book 977.3993 P2mc

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Native American Obituaries

The Native American Obituary Project is a compilation of over 500 pages of newspaper clippings of Native American obituaries from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The project originated with volunteers at the Farmington, New Mexico Family History Center. The obituaries range in date from 1977 to 2001. They were printed in the following newspapers:
     • The Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico)
     • The Winslow Mail (Winslow, Arizona)
     • Montezuma Valley Sun (Montezuma, Colorado)
     • Cortez Journal (Cortez, Colorado)
     • Navajo Times (Window Rock, Navajo Nation, Arizona)
     • Lake Powell Chronicle (Page, Arizona)

The published volume, which includes a surname index, has been microfilmed and digitized under the title, Native American Obituaries.[2] It is one of countless treasures of the Family History Library, accessible on site, online, or through a local Family History Center. The Family History Library Catalog provides a full description. It can also be accessed through the BYU Family History Archives, Digital Collections. See related blog article (7 Jun 2011).

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia contributors. "[1]" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (accessed 15 April 2011).
  2. Farmington, New Mexico Family History Center. Native American Obituaries: A Project of the Farmington, NM Family History Center (Farmington, New Mexico, 2001). [FHL book 970.1 N213nao; FHL film 1440571 Item 8]. Digitized by BYU Family History Archives at http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/FH25&CISOPTR=32313&CISOSHOW=31788 (accessed Sep 2011).

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Archives, Libraries and Museums

Niagara County Community College Library Special Collections
Henrietta G. Lewis Library, Fourth Floor
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd
Sanborn NY 14132
716-731-3271 ext. 401

Native America Collection includes reference books, biography, history, and tribes.
Periodicals: Native Peoples, Journal of Cherokee Studies, Northeast Indian Quarterly, Akwekon Journal, Turtle Quarterly, Southern Indian Studies





United States Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png Genesee CountyGotoarrow.png Family History Center


Family History Centers

There are over 4500 Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors.  Microfilm and microfiche may be ordered from the FHL collection at a nominal cost.  Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website.  Call ahead to verify operating hours.  All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Niagra County, New York:

Niagara County (Lockport)

St Catharines Ontario Canada Family History Center
351 Glenridge Avenue
St Catharines, Ontario L2T 3K6, Canada
1-905-685-5795
Hours: T 6:30pm-9:30pm; Th 10am-4pm
Closures: Closed for Christmas and New Years
Call to verify hours


Buffalo New York Family History Center
1424 Maple Rd
Williamsville, New York 14221
1-716-688-2439
M, W 10am-2pm; T, Th 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm
Closed Holidays
Call to verify hours


The following centers are accessible to residents of Genesee County, New York:

Genesee County (Batavia)

Brockport New York Family History Center
4088 Lake Rd
Brockport, New York
1-585-637-2030
T 9am-3pm, 7pm-9pm; Th 7pm-9pm; F 10am-2pm; Sat 9am-12pm
Call to verify hours

Rochester New York Family History Center
1400 Westfall Rd
Rochester, New York 14618
1-585-271-5040
Tues 9am-3pm, 7pm-9:30pm; Wed 7pm-9:30pm;
Thurs 9am-12pm; Fri 9am-3pm; Sat 9am-12pm
Closures: Weather closures posted on local TV channels 8, 9, 10, 13
Call to verify hours

Buffalo New York Family History Center
1424 Maple Rd
Williamsville, New York 14221
1-716-688-2439
M, W 10am-2pm; T, Th 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm
Closed Holidays
Call to verify hours


The following centers are accessible to residents of Orleans County, New York:

Orleans County (Albion)

Brockport New York Family History Center
4088 Lake Rd
Brockport, New York
1-585-637-2030
T 9am-3pm, 7pm-9pm; Th 7pm-9pm; F 10am-2pm; Sat 9am-12pm
Call to verify hours

Rochester New York Family History Center
1400 Westfall Rd
Rochester, New York 14618
1-585-271-5040
Tues 9am-3pm, 7pm-9:30pm; Wed 7pm-9:30pm;
Thurs 9am-12pm; Fri 9am-3pm; Sat 9am-12pm
Closures: Weather closures posted on local TV channels 8, 9, 10, 13
Call to verify hours

Buffalo New York Family History Center
1424 Maple Rd
Williamsville, New York 14221
1-716-688-2439
M, W 10am-2pm; T, Th 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm
Closed Holidays
Call to verify hours

Societies

Niagara County Genealogical Society
215 Lockport Street
Lockport NY 14094-2605
716-433-1033
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 1:00 - 4:45 pm
Closed holidays

The Niagara County Genealogical Library is located on the second floor of the Niagara County Historical Society Museum. Access to the collection is free to both members and non-members of the society. It includes many unpublished genealogies and manuscripts, 2000 books, cemetery records, census records, city directories, DAR books, maps, atlases and a vertical file.  Record holdings relate to Niagara County, other New York Counties, New England, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.  Those who can not personally travel to the research library are invited to join the society and use the look-up service.

"We love visitors..."

Send general questions or comments to comments@niagaragenealogy.org
Join us on Facebook - Niagara County Genealogical Society


Niagara County Historical Society, History Center and Musuem
The Outwater Memorial Building
215 Niagara Street
Lockport NY
716-434-7433
Museum open Monday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

The Niagara County Historical Society complex presents a glimpse of life in Niagara County over the past 175 years.

Find us on Facebook - The History Center of Niagra

  • This page was last modified on 14 November 2011, at 16:55.
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