Where Was Virginia?

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Where was Virginia? That may seem like an easy question to answer. Looking at a present-day map, however, only provides a small part of the extraordinarily complex answer to this question. When the Virginia Company of London was created, its charter stated that Virginia Colony extended from what is now Maine to northern Florida. A […]

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Louisiana’s German Coast

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In 1717, a Scotsman named John Law was granted a charter to create a “Company of the West” which would bring settlers to the French colony of Louisiana. The company later merged with some other settlement companies to become the Company of the Indies. In 1719, the company brought over the first group of 21 […]

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The Great Migration

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Between 1620 and 1640, as many as 21,000 people left England to start a new life in North America. They faced a hazardous sea voyage in small ships, which if successful was likely followed by starvation and disease in a wilderness populated by hostile natives. And yet, in a movement now termed “The Great Migration,” […]

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House of Refuge

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Question: A Civil War soldier relative of mine is listed as having died in the “House of Refuge” in St. Louis on May 15, 1863. Was this a military hospital in St. Louis? Answer: Yes, the House of Refuge was used temporarily by the Union Army as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. The […]

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The End of the Line

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Question: On the Internet I found a family tree for my family that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. How can I prove this lineage? Answer: You can’t. Lineages that go back to medieval times or earlier are always suspect; you need to fact-check the entire lineage very carefully. Medieval records are […]

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Online Historical Directories

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We should all be thankful that, somewhere in this great big world, there is someone who makes what we thought of as our obsession with a particular subject look like small potatoes. This obsessed monomaniac breathes, eats, and sleeps this one special subject. And—if we are very lucky—this person creates a skillfully organized website that […]

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German Americans in the Civil War

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One way to quickly mobilize masses of German-American men was to grant officer commissions to influential members of the German-American community. Many of the most influential men in the German-American community were Forty-Eighters, that is, men who had participated in the failed revolutions of 1848-1849. These men often had military experience, and a number had […]

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The Forty-Eighters

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Germany in 1848-1849 was the scene of violence and revolution. Numerous individuals participated in attempts to overthrow existing provincial governments. When these revolutions all ended in failure, the would-be revolutionaries were forced to flee Germany or face possible imprisonment or execution. Many fled to Zurich and London; from those cities many then continued on to […]

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Soldiers’ Memorial and Military Museum

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Work continues on the revitalization of Soldiers’ Memorial. The basement has been completely cleared and will now be used as additional exhibit space! You should begin researching your soldier ancestors at SLPL. We own books, microfilm sets, and reference databases that provide rosters and other lists of soldiers and veterans of America’s wars. Our Fold3.com […]

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The Center for Louisiana Studies

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The Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a large collection of recorded materials (audio and video, with a lesser number of photographs) pertaining to Cajun and Creole culture. If you have Louisiana ancestors, this online finding aid may reveal items of potential interest. You should certainly begin researching your […]

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