Posts Tagged ‘footnote’

Have You Exploited Footnote Lately



Missing Airmen Report


As a serious genealogist there is no doubt that you have earned your position at the research table in many libraries and historical societies in many of your ancestral regions.

You most likely also have subscribed to various online services such as, and various subscription genealogical societies.

I have written about on this blog several times in the past but now I want to call your attention to the massive amount of new information that is available to you on footnote. You will also note that many of the groups of records that are online at footnote also allow you to interact with the original records by submitting your own notations and additional documents, photos and research notes.

Footnote pioneered this interactivity a few years ago by allowing people to interact with the 1930 census and the Vietnam Wall records. Footnote does charge a reasonable annual fee to obtain full access to all of the data on their site, but they also provide many collections that are totally free to use by anyone.

Earlier this week I went to a local church supper and the program was a slide show and talk presented by my sister-in-law Janet Hillenbrand who presented an extremely interesting talk about her father Charlie Bennett who was a B17 pilot during World War II.

Charlie was on his 13th bombing mission on April 13th 1944 and though they had an engine shot out by flak over the ball bearing factory target, they were on their return and only a couple of miles from allied controlled Luxembourg when another flak burst along with a cannon shot through the cockpit from an ME109 forced the crew to bail out and the plane crashed.

One man was badly wounded and sent to hospital and all of the others were captured and spent the rest of the war in POW camps. The crew was split up and as Charlie was an officer he was sent to the north east part of Germany and actually was treated with more respect that he had expected.

Charlie always gave thanks to the Red Cross for the food packages that they received and claimed that in some cases the prisoners fared better than the boiled cabbage food rations that their captors were given.

It was an excellent program and the family has all of Charlies old uniforms and medals, letters, diaries and photos in an archive that is just great. Charley received the Distinguished Flying Cross and returned after the war to take over his family owned hardware business. Salt of the earth American history story for sure.

When I got home after the program I went to and noticed that they have a large collection of World War II Air Force photos online in their free section that you all have access to and I found many images that were of interest regarding B17s.

Then I logged in to my account and searched on Charly’s name and found three documents that were original government documents called Missing Airmen Reports that gave all of the details about Charley and his crew mates.

This is just one small case of the sorts of things you will find on footnote. You can go to to learn more about the other categories of original records available online at footnote. You really need to exploit all types of original documents to flesh out your own genealogy and to help you find new clues that are in the National Archives Genealogy records

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Footnote Opens its FBI Collection of Over 2 Million Records

In Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the FBI, Footnote Opens Its FBI Collection Featuring over 2 Million Original Records.

Lindon, UT July 23, 2008 – Espionage, bootlegging, war crimes, illegal aliens, and political wrongdoing.

While this may sound like the latest Hollywood blockbuster it’s actually a review of some of the investigations the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has carried out over its 100 year history.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the FBI, Footnote announced their entire collection of FBI Case Files will be freely accessible by the public through the end of August. The collection contains over two million records featuring some very surprising hidden stories.

A few examples include, J. Edgar Hoover opening an investigation into actor Charlie Chaplin for allegedly making a contribution of $100,000 for socialist propaganda. Baseball great Babe Ruth was investigated for draft dodging and newspaper mogul William Randolph Hurst was investigated for suspicion of funding the Mexican-American War.

The FBI Case Files date from 1908 to 1922 and feature cases involving espionage during WWI, investigations into German aliens who were politically suspect, reports of violations of prohibition and more. Serious, as well as far-fetched, accounts provide a fresh insider’s perspective to the history of this time period.

“Original documents are not only interesting but also provide a way to verify historical facts that may have been previously considered conspiracy theories,” says Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote. “It’s important to have records like these available so people can understand and appreciate our nation’s history as well as the circumstances that lead to the actions taken..”

Through their partnership with the National Archives, Footnote has digitized and indexed over 41 million original records; the majority of which have never been seen on the Internet before. Footnote continues to add millions of new documents to the site every month.

With easy to use tools and a social component to the site, Footnote is changing the way people access and interact with history. “We’re more than just an online repository of historical records,” continues Wilding. “We’re an outlet where people can go to add their own viewpoints on history and to share their own insights and discoveries.”

Footnote also enables people to upload their own shoeboxes of photos, letters and other documents – adding to the ever-changing face of history.

Visit Footnote today to view the FBI Case Files and the millions of additional historical records.

About Footnote.
Footnote is a history website where real history might just surprise you. Footnote features millions of searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues.

Footnote is a subscription based company, however many collections are accessible at no charge whatsoever. Check out the Footnote site and use the “Browse” button to see what is available.

For more information, click here to see what Footnote has to offer in Genealogy.

Personal note from Dick Hillenbrand: “Footnote is the very best data bargain on the Internet in my opinion.”

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1860 Census Now Interactive – Add Your Own Comments for All to See

Readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog are in for a treat starting Thursday May 8th.

Our favorite online data provider, Footnote, is coming out with something absolutely unique!

The 1860 Federal Census is now “interactive”! This will not be just another 1860 census, indeed!

What this means is that you will be able to locate your ancestor on the 1860 census and add your own personal information to the listing. If you have photos or documents, old letters, a diary, bible records, or previous research that you wish to share with others and to collaborate, then you will be able to add those items to the actual census entry for all to see from now on. This will also cite you as the contact person for that item. Now that’s exciting!

Footnote has been a pioneer in this interactive feature and it will be just like the inter-active Vietnam Wall that is available for free on Footnote, which we have written about in a previous Blog.

If you do not yet have a subscription you should check it out and take advantage of the Footnote FREE TRIAL!

Here is the actual press release from Footnote:

Footnote 1860 census interative news release


FOOTNOTE.COM ADDS TO ITS LEADING CIVIL WAR COLLECTION BY LAUNCHING THE FIRST-EVER INTERACTIVE 1860 US CENSUS’s innovative tools enable members to enrich the census records by adding photos, comments, and related documents to names featured on the records.

Lindon, UT – Today, announced the addition of the 1860 US Census to their Civil War Collection. As the largest online collection of original Civil War documents, this new addition to provides a snapshot of America before the bloodiest war in its history.

The 1860 US Census reveals many details about individuals at that time. What was their occupation? Where were they born? What was their marital status? Did they attend school? Could they read or write? Was your ancestor insane, idiotic, or a convict? The 1860 US Census will let you know.

“Is the 1860 US Census already on the internet? Yes,” says Russ Wilding, CEO of “But what makes the census different on Footnote is that these documents become interactive.” has developed tools that enable visitors not only to find someone in the census, but also to enrich the records by adding photos, linking related documents, and contributing insights to any name on the record. “Now they’re not merely names on a document,” explains Russ Wilding. “They become people as the contributions start to tell a story about that person.”

This past March, released a similar project using the same technology with an interactive version of the Vietnam War Memorial. For each name on the Wall, a visitor can view military service information, attached photos and comments. The success of the project is overwhelming as priceless contributions are added to the Wall. Footnote expects similar results with the launch of the 1860 US Census.

At, it’s more than just looking at a historical document. History becomes a living subject on as documents from archives come together for the first time on the Internet. Visitors to can add their own contributions and upload their own shoeboxes of information. Letters, documents, and photos from the past create a view of history that few have seen before.

Every month, two million new documents are added to the site and over a million people visit the site. Footnote promises to continue to deliver new discoveries for those whose interests range from the serious historian to the casual visitor looking for something entertaining.

To view the Civil War Collection including the 1860 US Census, visit today.

About Footnote, Inc. is a subscription website that features searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit

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Civil War Soldiers – Civil War Facts – Civil War Music – Civil War Pensions

Here are two websites that provide data on The American Civil War Facts, Civil War Soldiers, Civil War Music and Civil War Pensioners. One site is a publishing company by the name of Alexander Street who provides on-line databases to libraries and institutions only. You can gain free individual access to their databases until the end of the month of April.

The second website is Footnote where you will find the complete collection of Civil War Pension card file index cards. These index cards often contain vital record dates of death that are available no where else. If the widow obtained a pension you might obtain previously unknown information on her. Once the pension file is known from the index card you are able to send to the National Archives (NARA) for a copy of the complete file. The original pension files themselves have never been microfilmed yet and the only place they are available is NARA.
To gain a Free Trial access to The pension index, go here: Footnote.

Database publisher Alexander Street is providing free access to these parts of “The
American Civil War Online” through April 30th at : “The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries,” “The American Civil War Research Database,” and “Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines.”

No registration is required. A user name and password are provided on that page for logging
in. (Thanks to Joy Rich of the APG mailing list for this announcement.)

To see some of our most popular previous posts go here:
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Vietnam Wall Names Now Interactive Through Footnote

Still another reason we love Footnote so much. Footnote has partnered again with the National Archives and have created a totally free access to search The Vietnam Wall names and read or add details to the list of fallen heroes.

If you haven’t signed up yet follow this link: Start Your Free Trial With

The Vietnam Wall names search is totally free to everyone. No subscription required.

Note: update August 1, 2008. Footnote is approaching 60 million online digitized documents. Here is a link to see what types of things would be available for genealogists and historians. Footnote Index . Without a doubt, Footnote is the Best Genealogy Bargain on the Internet. (Dick Hillenbrand)

Visit our main website at

New info added May 2008. Read about this story here also:

National Archives and Ancestry (TGN) Propose Digitizing Project

Footnote and Ancestry are in the news recently regarding the digitizing that Footnote currently does, and the work that the parent company of Ancestry, The Generations Network (TGN), wants to do, at the National Archives (NARA).

NARA is asking for public comment regarding the non-exclusive contract that they intend to sign with TGN to embark on a digitization project at NARA of some parts of their collection.

Footnote and Ancestry are both very reputable companies and we all should be ever thankful to the Archivist who has such great forward thinking to bring this digitized content to the Internet. Online resources just keep getting better and better.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for this notice.

Please do go to the NARA info site and voice your opinion, it really does matter! The comments must be received by April 9th, 2008.
NARA Link:

You may sign up for a Free Trial at Footnote here:

You may sign up for a Free Trial at Ancestry here:

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Free Data at Footnote

OK, Upstate New York Genealogy, tell me why I should subscribe to footnote?

Well that’s a pretty easy question to answer.

First off, you do not have to subscribe to take advantage of many of the features and some of the more important and popular data. For instance, you can just go to footnote and have a look see for free.

They are in the process of bringing much of the microfilm collection of the National Archives (NARA) on-line, as well as other scores of collections from all over. Some of the important National Documents that are available all the time, for free, for everyone are; American Milestone Documents, you will find images of the actual original documents of such as; The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Gettysburg Address, and other famous documents in American History right up to The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Then you will find several other collections that are totally free, such as; 135 volumes of The Pennsylvania Archives, American Colonization Society Papers, the Amistad Federal Court Records, Constitutional Convention Records, Continental Congress Papers, Custer’s Court Martial, Lincoln’s Assassination Papers, and that’s not all. There are many more totally free collections. I just noticed that some of the New Hampshire Town Records are now coming on and they also are free.

Our recommendation is to go there, take a look. See if it something that you will use, we think you will, and then make the decision later as to subscribing or not. Footnote does offer unyg readers a seven day free trial for all of the collections of data and features that they provide, with no limitations on the amount that you can look at.

We have written about footnote in previous Blogs such as here.

We believe it is one of the better bargains on the Internet for Historians and Genealogists.

Start your Seven Day Free Trial to Footnote here.

Note: update August 1, 2008. Footnote is approaching 60 million online digitized documents. Here is a link to see what types of things would be available for genealogists and historians. Footnote Index . Without a doubt, Footnote is the Best Genealogy Bargain on the Internet. (Dick Hillenbrand)


ps: Please tell us of your successes by using the “comments” tab below.

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Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday Dear Footnote, Happy Birthday To You !

In this wondrous era of instant digital media, you have reached your majority. You are ONE YEAR OLD! Fantastic!

For what it is worth, after having spent many an hour hunched over with my head in the metal shroud of a Readex metal microfilm box, yours is a MUCH better approach, in my opinion.

Twenty years ago we could have never dreamed that what you are doing so rapidly would ever be done at any time. It was just unthinkable! You now have 25 Million original documents on-line, viewable, zoomable, downloadable, incredible!

Your new Search Engine, coupled with the brilliant viewer are just a wonder to behold. We can do so much more with these digitized images than we could ever do with the grainy, scratched, out of focus 8 1/2 X 11 inch photocopies that were made from microfilm, that it is just astounding!

To our readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog, we recommend this company to the highest degree. Your subscriptions on Footnote do help to support this website, and not only will Footnote thank you for your business, you will have our heartfelt thanks also. Take a three day FREE test drive and see for yourself. When you do subscribe from this website it will not cost you a penny more, so thanks again.

Ps: Footnote, we LOVE your Small Town Newspapers Series!

Pps: Tell us what you think. Tell us about your good fortune on Footnote. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment by just clicking the comment tab below.



Footnote, "Not Your Father’s Buick."

This is a Review, and an Advertisement.

About a year ago I heard of a new company that was offering digital images of genealogical and historical interest on-line. So my first thought was something like “Oh brother, not another one.” Well after I looked into it and subscribed I started to get real excited! An old time car advertisement slogan came to mind, “This is NOT your Father’s Buick!” This company,, was building a gigantic collection of digitized copies of original historical documents that were like none we had ever seen before. They became early partners with the National Archives (NARA) and commenced digitizing many of the millions of rolls of microfilm that are at NARA, and that even though they might have been available before on film, they were difficult to search for, due to NARA’s extremely complicated cataloging system. Hey it’s the government, what do you expect?

Well I knew that Footnote was going to be a first rate company when after their marketing people had decided to lower the subscription rate to just about half of what it was when I subscribed, and Footnote sent me and other early subscribers a message saying that they were going to extend our memberships to double the time that we had signed up for. I had not asked for it, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Well now Footnote is growing leaps and bounds. The collection is becoming enormous and there are fabulous discoveries being made every day in so many categories that it is hard to describe. Let me give you one personal observation regarding the “Revolutionary War Pension Records” collection at NARA. For many years now we have had access to a collection of microfilm of pension files that was named the “Select Series.” What that meant was that staff people at NARA some years ago went through the millions of documents in the pension files and grouped what that staff person arbitrarily determined to be the most important records in each veteran’s file. That series was microfilmed and made available to libraries and the public in general. Chances are if you have ever used these films, say at your reference library or on-line through HeritageQuest, they were of this Select Series and I’m guessing, that probably you were missing more than you were finding!

Footnote’s presentation of this collection of pensions from NARA is the COMPLETE file of each pensioner’s application. In one of my own Patriot Ancestors I discovered a little scrap of paper that had been missed in the Select Series, and it was an affidavit from the pensioner’s widow’s application that was signed by two of her married sisters, and it also named the father of the three girls! I would have never known any of that without checking every single scrap in the file.

One thing that is unique is that Footnote staff and volunteers have been going through the images one by one and inserting text boxes around the hand written names, and then typing up a text name. All you have to do is hover your mouse over a name and you see it in typewritten form. This also allows for a master name index. Fantastic!

Footnote has recently partnered with FamilySearch to commence a program of digitization that will be out of this world! They are not stopping there. They have also partnered with other organizations, and there is even a method that allows subscribing members to upload documents, photos, diaries, old letters, genealogies, and on and on.

Footnote also has many historical documents and series of National importance that are presented to everyone totally free all the time. Just go to the website and check these free documents out, and while you are there take a look at their three minute video of just what Footnote is about.
Here are some of the collection titles taken off the website recently:
Admiralty Records,
American Colonization Society
American Milestone Documents FREE
Amistad – Federal court records
Amistad – Supreme Court records
Brady Civil War Photos
City Directories
Civil War Pensions Index
Confederate Amnesty Papers
Confederate Papers
Confederate Soldiers – AL
Confederate Soldiers – GA
Confederate Soldiers – NC
Confederate Soldiers – TX
Confederate Soldiers – VA
Constitutional Convention Records FREE
Continental Congress – Papers, FREE
Continental Congress – Misc FREE
Custer’s Court Martial
Domestic Letters of the Department of State
FBI Case Files
Foreign Letters of the Continental Congress
George Washington Correspondence FREE
Gorrell’s History – AEF Air Service
Hesse Crown Jewels Court-Martial
Japanese Air Target Analyses
Lincoln Assassination Papers FREE
London Times 1785-1820
Missing Air Crew Reports, WWII
Mormon Battalion Pension Files
Naturalizations – CA Southern
Naturalizations – LA Eastern
Naturalizations – MA
Naturalizations – MD
Naturalizations – PA Eastern
Naturalizations – PA Middle
Naturalizations – PA Western
Naturalization Index – CA San Diego
Naturalization Index – MA
Naturalization Index – MD
Naturalization Index – NY Eastern Jul 1865-Sep…
Naturalization Index – NY Eastern Oct 1906-Nov…
Naturalization Index – NY Eastern Nov 1925-Dec…
Naturalization Index – NY Southern Intentions
Naturalization Index – NY Southern Petitions
Naturalization Index – NY Western
Naturalization Index – NYC Courts
Naturalization Index – WWI Soldiers
Naval Press Clippings
News – Gazette Virginian
News – Halifax Gazette
Pennsylvania Archives FREE
Photos – Coolidge
Photos – Eisenhower
Photos – Fine Arts Commission, Series G
Photos – Roosevelt
Photos – Truman
Photos – WW II Japanese
Project Blue Book – UFO Investigations FREE
Ratified Amendments to the US Constitution
Ratified Indian Treaties
Revolutionary War Pensions
Revolutionary War Prize Cases – Captured Vessels
Revolutionary War Rolls
Revolutionary War Service Records
South Boston, VA – City Council Minutes
Southern Claims Commission
State Dept Records – France
State Dept Records – Russia
Supreme War Council, American records – WWI
Texas Birth Certificates
Texas Death Certificates
Town Records – Goffstown NH – FREE
Town Records – Hancock NH – FREE
US Expeditionary Force, North Russia
Utah Territorial Case Files
War of 1812 Prize Cases, Southern Dist Court, NY
WWI Military Cablegrams – AEF and War Dept
WWII Allied Military Conferences
WWII JAG Case Files, Pacific – Army
WWII JAG Case Files, Pacific – Navy
WWII Submarine Patrol Reports
WWII US Air Force Photos
Note: some of the above collections marked “FREE” might be for a limited period of time and some of them are permanently so, you will have to check to be sure.)

You will do yourself a favor, and this website too, if you take advantage of their excellent services and become a subscriber.
It is indeed a BARGAIN considering the fabulous finds you will make!

Try their “Get Acquainted Special Offer to UNYG readers,” by subscribing to the FREE TRIAL for full access, for three days!

I LOVE this company, and am proud to have them as an advertiser on Upstate New York Genealogy!


Something new for 2008, if you enjoy the UNYG Blog, you might also like to visit our other Blog site that is meant for genealogists everywhere, at Still all free information!
Please leave comments on each of our Blogs by clicking on the word “comment” right underneath this blog message. You may subscribe to all future posts of this Blog by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this website and click on the “subscribe tab.” If you wish to be added to our email list for announcements and special offerings, just send us your email address to opt in.
Your feedback and comments spur us on!

footnote has improved their viewer has improved their on-line records viewer.

This site is extremely important to researchers that desire to see digitized original documents concerning their ancestors or historical research projects.

footnote has partnered with the U.S. National Archives (NARA,) to bring you millions of original documents and images.


Thank you.
Dick Hillenbrand – Upstate New York Genealogy –

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