I feel somewhat like a broken record responding to this prompt. Because my favorite and most helpful free online tool has been and continues to be the Fulton History website.
Although other sites are frequently used, like Linkpendium, for those of us tracing Upstate New York ancestors, Fulton History remains the go-to site.
At this point over 18,269,000 newspaper pages are name searchable; that number changes frequently as new pages are scanned and put online. There are now many newspaper pages from New York City, and into Connecticut.
The Fulton History site is a wonderful research tool for filling in the dash of your ancestors’ lives. You learn about the friends and family they visited, to what church or civic committees the belonged, if they were active politically or ran for public office, and their obits provide a wealth of information.
I learned of the unbelievable tragic events of 1904 that affected the Washington Hardenbrook family, and that my great-grandparents Enos and Laura Wortman Hardenbrook worked in a small Willow Creek Evaporator plant before they were married.
From Fulton History I learned that one of my relatives, Bertha H. La Clair, worked at the Craig Colony for epileptics in Sonyea, New York. The Craig Colony was set up about 1896 to house 200 epileptics (many from Madison County) that were deemed to be self-supporting – to serve the indigent and not the insane. However, the colony, only reaching 50% self-sufficiency, received funding from Madison County as well as the state of New York.
And thanks to the Fulton History website, we continue to find very interesting articles on the elusive Lena Stanley Myers Blaskett and her ill-fated marriage to Joseph Myers, pretty much disputing the fact that although they both testified in their divorce hearing the marriage was never consummated….the newspaper articles found on Fulton History lead you to believe otherwise. Determining the father of Lena’s son remains our great mystery to solve.
Thank you, Mr. Tryniski for providing genealogists with such a great resource!