Footnote.com is one of the "up and coming" web sites for genealogists, historians, and many others. The site launched earlier this year and soon became well known as the source for millions of images of original historical documents, many of which had never been available online before. The available documents include Revolutionary War papers, Texas birth certificates, naturalization certificates from several areas of the country, Revolutionary War and Civil War pension applications, the Southern Claims Commission documents (a great source of genealogy information from the post-Civil War American south), and much, much more. In fact, Footnote.com presently has more than 20 million original documents online and is adding another 2 million documents every month.
As valuable as these documents are for genealogists and historians, the availability of such information is only one part of Footnote's many services. In fact, if you are only using the site to look for documents, you may be missing one of the most valuable services available to you today.
If you have original source images and words of your own that you would like to share with colleagues, classmates, friends, and family, you can upload them to Footnote. You can also use Footnote's tools to make your images and words instantly searchable and available to others. In effect, Footnote becomes the web site provider for you as an individual or for a local historical society, your alumni association, or any other group with an interest in historical or genealogical topics. The information is hosted on a modern, state-of-the-art server farm with backup power and full redundancy, reliably preserving your information. Software tools are in place to simplify the addition of new information to the site and to make that information readily available to search engines and individuals alike.
Best of all is the price: free. Even better, other people can view your pages and documents free of charge as well.
Footnote is not restricted to genealogy. To be sure, information about deceased individuals is always welcome. However, the site also has a strong focus on history. Local historical societies are using Footnote.com to publish information about the history of a town or county. Do you have an old grist mill in town? How about an alumni association? The local harbor or airport may have historical importance. If so, you might want to post an article about it on Footnote.com so that others can easily learn that information. The same is true for local buildings of historical or architectural note, for local museums, for military veterans' groups, and for many other organizations. You can even upload scans of an old local history book or a family history book that is well out of copyright.
Organizations and individuals do not need to create and pay for their own web sites. They can use Footnote.com for that purpose at no charge.
The subject to be recorded does not need to be one of the greatest events in history. In fact, Footnote excels in documenting the histories of everyday people. The information and images provided by Footnote's users are called "Story Pages" and may include information about almost any historical topic, event, place, or person.
One excellent example might be the pages from Whittier Union High's "Cardinal & White" annual yearbook for 1927. Whittier Union High (WUH), now called Whittier High School, is in Whittier, Los Angeles County, California, USA. The senior class student photos have names listed next to their photos, as do members of the faculty and class officers of the junior class. The names are all indexed on Footnote.com and presumably will also be found by Google and other search engines.
Anyone searching for a relative who happened to be a member of that class can easily find the name(s) and then look at the original yearbook with its pictures.
The images from the yearbook as well as accompanying information were all uploaded as a service for others by a Footnote.com user who uses a screen name of "heatherdawn." You can see her work at http://www.footnote.com/page/130/Whittier-Union-High's-
Still more examples of user-contributed information may be found at:
Van Santvoord Family in the American Revolutionary War: http://www.footnote.com/page/1599/van-santvoord-van-santvoort-the/
Utah woman caught voting in 1874: http://www.footnote.com/spotlight/956/utah-woman-caught-voting-in-1874
Jotham Hawks' affidavit in Uriah Jacob's Revolutionary War Pension File (Anyone looking for genealogy information about Uriah Jacob could easily find the pension application file, but descendants of Jotham Hawks would probably never think to look in another man's application for information about their ancestor until they find the information indexed in Footnote.com): http://www.footnote.com/spotlight/955/jotham-hawks-affadavit-in-uriah-jacobs
The 1920 Wall Street Bomb Explosion that sounds strangely similar to 9/11: http://www.footnote.com/spotlight/953/916-the-1920-wall-street-bomb
Newspaper clipping of a 114-year-old former slave: http://www.footnote.com/spotlight/940/newspaper-clipping-of-a-114-year-old
Mosquito nets for sale in Washington, D.C. in 1865: http://www.footnote.com/spotlight/897/mosquito-nets-for-sale-in-1865
Female Civil War Soldiers & Spies, complete with pictures of several of them: http://www.footnote.com/page/778/FEMALE-CIVIL-WAR-SOLDIERS-&-SPIES/
The above are only a few of the thousands of user-contributed stories and pictures to be found on Footnote.com. You can search the site to find many, many more such stories.
Footnote gives you an opportunity to share your story, ideas, or research with others by creating your own "Story Pages". You can write what you know, attach original sources that support your story, and invite others to share their insights.
Footnote has something for everyone, from individual history buffs to groups and societies looking for a smart way to make their collections available to millions of people.
Again, you can place information and images online on Footnote.com at no charge. You only need to create a membership record to get started. The membership is also free of charge. Once you upload your information, it becomes indexed and visible to others within seconds. Others may find your information easily, also at no charge.
Footnote.com is fast becoming the online repository for America's history. You can find information about the famous, the infamous, and the every-day people and events of our nation's history at http://www.footnote.com.