Suitcase Full of Memories

Unpacking History One Discovery at a Time

Blogs, Sites, and Societies

There are thousands of genealogy websites online.  I have added the blogs and websites I look at, but this is not a comprehensive list.  So please, let us know your favorite, most helpful, most obscure, most interesting genealogy and family history resources.  They can be books, online websites, physical locations, associations, anything from the New Jersey Post Office Historical Society to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society to Who Do You Think You Are?  Here are some of my go-to resources.

Blogs and Podcasts I like

Ascending the Stairs

Our ancestors stories lie within the records, letters and events of their times.  They want to tell the story of who they were, what they accomplished, where they traveled, who they loved, what heartache they suffered and what may have led them to make their choices.

One Rhode Island Family

Diane MacLean Boumenot’s interesting and engaging blog on her family in particular and Rhode Island research in general.  We discovered a common ancestral line so I’m a bit of a fan of my “cousin.”

The Legal Genealogist

Judy G. Russell’s blog dives deep into the legal aspects of genealogy to educate family historians.  Her blog helps folks understand  arcane and even impenetrable legal concepts and terminology.

Lisa Louise Cooke Genealogy Gem Pod Casts

Lisa Louise Cooke is the owner of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company.  She is Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, the popular online genealogy audio show available at, in iTunes, and through the Genealogy Gems app, and free toolbar.   Her podcast brings genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists in 75 countries around the world, and recently celebrated it’s 1 millionth download!

Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library

With over 2000 members, the Southern California Genealogical Society is one of the largest genealogical societies in California. SCGS headquarters in Burbank, California, houses a 40,000+ volume genealogy library with resources throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.

Your Genetic Genealogist
A fabulous resource for learning about DNA testing and how to use it to advance your own research.

Websites I visit

American Ancestors
The website for New England research, this site is produced and managed by the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Cyndi’s List
A premier free resource for genealogists and family historians.  With thousands of curated links, Cyndi’s list is often my first point of entry to researching a new problem or family line.

Genealogy Bank

GenealogyBank is a leading online genealogical resource from NewsBank, inc. Featuring a wealth of exclusive material-including modern obituaries and historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, military records, government documents and more-GenealogyBank helps you discover fascinating information about your family history.

National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation’s record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Are you hunting for your American or Canadian ancestors? Search for your family and immigrant ancestors! Free searchable genealogy transcriptions are at your fingertips. Adding another branch to your family tree has never been easier.

Washington Digital Archives

The Washington State Digital Archives is the nation’s first archives dedicated specifically to the preservation of electronic records from both State and Local agencies that have permanent legal, fiscal or historical value.

Societies I Belong To

Fiske Genealogical Library

The Fiske Genealogical Library’s mission is to provide on-going education in genealogical research techniques and to build a library of genealogical materials not readily available, especially for those townships east of the Mississippi River.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

A Center for history and learning to explore the origins and diversity of Pennsylvania and the United States, from the colonial period and the nation’s founding to the experience of contemporary life.

Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a dynamic and widely recognized educational organization that is a trusted resource for history. It is highly valued for its historical resources, educational impact, service, advocacy and leadership. The vision of the Society is to maximize the power of personal and community stories and shared history to enrich and transform lives.

Rhode Island Genealogical Society

The Rhode Island Genealogical Society was begun in 1975 by a small group of individuals interested specifically in Rhode Island families and the problems inherent in tracing them. Since then, we have grown to include over 500 members from across the United States, Canada and Mexico, all working to uncover our Rhode Island roots.

Seattle Genealogical Society

The Seattle Genealogical Society, founded in 1923, is an educational organization devoted exclusively to furthering genealogical research, promoting interest in family history, and preserving records. The Seattle Genealogical Society’s mission is to serve as a community resource for quality genealogical research and education.

Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society

Membership in TPCGS is open to anyone interested in genealogical research. The purposes of TPCGS are to stimulate a popular interest in family history, to seek genealogical and historical knowledge, to preserve and perpetuate the records of our ancestors, and to collect and publish genealogical source material of Pierce County and the Puget Sound Region.

Wisconsin Historical Society

The Society was founded in 1846, two years before Wisconsin became the 30th state, and it ranks as one of the largest, most active, and most diversified state historical societies in the nation.

3 comments on “Blogs, Sites, and Societies

  1. chmjr2
    July 15, 2014

    Hope to be reading more post soon.

  2. ~ Nona
    October 6, 2016

    I read your story about Margaretta Todd with particularly keen interest: I live in the West 26th Street New York City building she owned all those decades ago!

    • Val Sanford
      October 6, 2016

      hi Nona, That’s such a great thing to know. Thank you for sharing. Our current family members, even those who knew Louis Todd, never new this story. It’s so fascinating. My father’s middle name is Todd, named after Louis Todd.

      Does the building have any history about the owners? Was Louis Todd involved in your building?

      Thanks for commenting. I love the connections that can be made through the time warp of history.

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