National Archives website offers a treasure trove of information

040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

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040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

The National Archives’ website can lead you to a great number of all types of federal documents. I was surprised by how many different ways one could search.

To check it out, go to archives.gov, then to “Research Our Records.” From there, select “Research in the National Archives Catalog,” and then “Search the Catalog.” As with any website, it can’t hurt to read the instructions. I found just a basic search turned up many important sources, especially if the surname is an unusual one.

The catalog links you to any federal record that has been put into this system: Revolutionary War pensions, military service records, some War of 1812 pensions. The best part of this, some other names within the pensions are now searchable, a feature I do not recall on other sites. Presidential Library collections are included. The1841 Bankruptcy records are also linked, as are some immigration and census records. All in all, it is a good place to check, search and see what leads you get. While some records, such as military records, can be read right there, for others contact a NARA branch.

North Carolina land records

The North Carolina Genealogical Society’s Journal is one of the best in the country. It has themed-issues. The July-August-September one is North Carolina land records. The information from David M. McCorkle, the expert on that state’s land grants, is well worth reading. One of his articles is “North Carolina Land Grant Records,” the other “Researching Lord Granville Grants.” Other articles cover procession records, land grants across state lines, and much more. The society’s website is ncgenealogy.org. If you join, you have access to all previous issues since 1974.

Georgia Historical Society to reopen

The Georgia Historical Society in Savannah has announced its reopening for researchers on January 19. Check georgiahistory.com for details.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or www.kenthomasongenealogy.com.