14 February 2008

ResearchBuzz: A great source

ResearchBuzz provides frequent alerts to interesting and sometimes very useful online resources.

Looking for your family's black sheep?

Check The State of Connecticut's criminal convictions online.

Connecticut has put a free database of more than one million criminal convictions (back to January 1, 2000) online. Unlike some other states' criminal conviction databases, this one includes minor infractions like traffic offenses.

Search parameters include last name, first initial, year of birth and range of years (birth dates are not searchable and not displayed on the site) court location, and category type (criminal or motor vehicle.) Results are delivered in a table that includes defendant year, birth name, court, docket number, disposition (guilty, bond forfeit, etc.) and the sentencing date.

Clicking on a name provides a page that includes arresting officer's name (sometimes it's a name sometimes it's a police department indicator), infraction and type, offense date, plea, verdict finding, date, and fines. (Yup, even down to the $35 speeding ticket.) Sometimes there is no fine, but there is sentencing information.

Be sure to check out the disclaimer for additional information on what is and isn't included in this database, and how often it's updated.

Any homesteaders in your background?

South Dakota's index of cemetery records is now online.

Search the state's cemetery Records here. According to the site, this is not an index of all the state burials but the result of a 1940s survey (the "Graves Registration Project").

Search parameters include first and last name, city and county, and cemetery name. A last name search for Smith produced many results, with no count listed, from Fred Bauersmith to James H. Smith.

Results include name, death date (occasionally unknown), block and lot number, city and county, and cemetery name. And that's it. You can request the full cemetery record by going to the archives (of course) or filling out the Cemetery Record Information Request form.

Requesting one name is $10.60, but 2 to 5 names will run you $21.20. So do a thorough index search and save them up for an information request.

Is mathematics your thing - as well as genealogy?

If so, here's the Mathematics Genealogy Project.

The project traces more than 116,000 mathematicians along with their "descendants" (including students mentored).

ResearchBuzz's keyword search for Schubert got 21 results, listing names, institutions, and the year graduate work was completed.

Clicking on Cedric Shubert showed me a guy who'd gotten his PhD at the University of Toronto in 1962.

Also listed were two of his students (those who note him as advisor on their dissertations) with their own information and links. He has a total of two students who are also his two "descendants."

Then you have someone like John Archibald Wheeler, who has only 11 students listed, but 458 "descendants".

I recommend subscribing to ResearchBuzz's alerts, or you won't know when the next best resource will help you put the puzzle pieces together.

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