In 1997, the U.S. Biographies Project was organized by Jeff Murphy, using the established Kentucky Biographies Project as a model. State coordinators were sought to set up their own state project. The project provides indexes to thousands of biographies that had been published in county history books from the mid-1800s. Deb Murray is the U.S. Biographies Project coordinator and volunteers are still sought for states not covered at this time.
The home page at http://www.usbiographies.org enables one to select from any of these states: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For example, if Indiana is chosen, it is mentioned, “there are now over 20.745 biographies on this site!!” One can then click on a specific county (e.g., Fountain County — which has more than 400 biographies now online) and then choose from several links to biographies. It should be noted that the book from which the Fountain County biographies were taken is “History of Fountain County, Indiana” by H. W. Beckwith, published by H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Chicago, in 1881.
Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com