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 Genealogy Information at the Fort Myers Regional Library

Genealogy is the field of study that explores the origins and descent of individuals and families.  The focus is identifying individuals and their specific family relationships.  As the body of knowledge expands, researchers are able to place an individual and/or family in their accurate historical setting and fill in the biographical details of the lives of individual family members.  We offer two study guides specifically designed for beginners: 

  1. Beginning Genealogical Research Outline
  2. Family History: A Concise Beginners Overview.

We would be happy to provide electronic copies of these and any other research outlines relevant to genealogical research subjects by contacting Bryan L. Mulcahy at (239) 533-4626 or via e-mail at We have a total of 120+ study guides available on a variety of genealogical topics.



Searchable Lee County Deaths Index 
 9/13/2011 4:29 PM
The Lee County Genealogical Society now has a searchable index of Lee County obituary notices on its website. The index covers the years 1930-1997, and gives the information necessary to find the actual obituary in the Fort Myers News-Press archives.
For information about Obituary Requests, please click here.

 Upcoming Genealogy Programs

 Locating Civil War Union Soldiers

Tracing your Civil War ancestors can present many challenges.  For those seeking veterans who fought on the Union side of the conflict, the 1890 Special Census of Veterans can be very useful for documentation purposes.  The information contained on the surviving schedules supplies personal information for the veteran and widow when applicable, and identifies the unit and/or regiment of service. 

While most of the 1890 census was destroyed, the bulk of what survived is the veteran’s information.  Over 75,000 of these special schedules exists for 34 states alphabetically from Kentucky (about 50%) to Wyoming, plus part of the District of Columbia and select ships and naval yards.  Unfortunately, the schedules of other states were destroyed.

The returned schedules showed a count of 1,099,668 Union survivors, and 163,176 widows.  While these figures for the surviving states are impressive given the circumstances surrounding what happened to the rest of the census, many veterans who should have been listed were overlooked.  If your ancestor was living and was counted, the schedules should provide enough information to locate his National Archives service and pension records. 

The schedules provide the following information:
1. Veterans name and name of widow if applicable       5. Length of service
2. Rank                                                                            6. Post office address
3. Company, regiment or vessel                                      7. Nature of disability
4. Dates of enlistment and discharge

Census takers were instructed to list the widow’s name above the name of the deceased veteran and fill out the record of his service, but list her present post office.  The disability question was included because many veterans claimed disability pensions under an 1862 act   The General Remarks often provide anecdotal and meaningful information.

The NARA microfilm M123 Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1890, 118 rolls, contain the extant schedules.  There is no comprehensive index, but indexes for most states have been published.  While most of this information is available on websites, such as and Library Edition, Family Search, and Fold3, additional follow-up research might include the microfiche series Civil War Unit Histories: Regimental Histories and Personal Narratives published by University Publications of America.  Parts 2-4 specifically cover Union units.

BLM 10/29/2014

 Family Search

Changes in FamilySearch Film Ordering Brings New Convenience to Genealogists


It’s easier than ever for genealogy researchers to order microform from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Orders for all microform materials now will be placed online, making it possible for researchers to order from the comfort of their home or from any location where there is an Internet connection.

A researcher’s first step is to visit the Family History Library Catalog (available at to select the microform they wish to order. Next, a visit to the website  instructs customers to create a personal account and select the preferred Affiliate Library or Family History Center where the microform materials they order will be sent. They must make payment using a credit or debit card or PayPal.

Genealogy researchers are encouraged to download the User’s Guide available at as it provides step-by-step guidelines for placing an order.  For those wishing help in selecting and ordering microform materials, genealogy assistance will continue to be available at the Fort Myers Regional Library by calling 479-4636 for an appointment.

Questions? See the FAQ.

 Getting Started

 Genealogy Resources

Afircan American Heritage linkAfrican American Heritage
Search essential historical records for African Americans
Allen County Library-Fort Wayne , Indiana-Genealogy DivisionAllen County Public Library Genealogy Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana
One of the largest digitized genealogical collections available, incorporating records from around the world
Ancestry Library edition (in-library use ONLY)
Census data, vital records, immigration and emigration records, family histories, military records, court documents, directories and photos (from Proquest. )This resource is only available while inside the library.
Nearly a million descriptions of historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives throughout the world
Bonita Springs Genealogy ClubBonita Springs Genealogy Club
Official site of the Bonita Springs Genealogy Club
Charlotte County Genealogical SocietyCharlotte County Genealogical Society
Starting point for Charlotte County genealogical research, including Charlotte County Library’s holdings and indices to county wills and guardianships
Christine's Genealogy WebsiteChristine's Genealogy Website
Portal to online resources for African-American genealogical research
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the InternetCyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
A collection of more than 81,000 links that have been organized and cross-referenced in over 140 categories.
Dead People ServerDead People Server
A website dedicated to identifying which celebrities have passed away, and refuting rumors about those who have not.
Created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this site includes a ?Search for Ancestors? database and research guidance.
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