Links on the Internet illustrate
a fundamental truth about the society we live in: here today, gone tomorrow.
Many links are practically obsolete the day they are posted. That is the
way life is, just when you think you have a handle on something, it vaporizes
and is gone. So be forewarned, if these links are not there when you look
for them, they may just be temporarily down or they may just be gone.
But an issue dedicated to genealogy would not be complete without an
article on genealogy links, so even though they may not be dependable,
here we go!
Rather than bombard you with the literally thousands of links available
for genealogists, let us take a look at the premier ones. Learning to use
these links and becoming familiar with their content will provide you with
many hours of fruitful genealogy research.
These links are sites that might be of interest not only to genealogists
but also history buffs and authors. First is the link followed by the name
of the site or the title? On some I have commented.
When it comes to Genealogy, the link of links is Cyndi’s list maintained
by Cyndi Howells. When last I looked, the list contained 100,980 links!
Her site is very well presented and organized. This should keep us off
the streets and out of trouble for a while! Cyndi’s List should be #1 in
your Genealogy Book Marks section.
The family search site by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints is a tremendous site. One aspect of this site is their collection
of microfilmed records from sources such as churches and courthouses from
all over the world. There are many other sources of data, which they film.
Also at this site you can do a surname search thru their pedigree/family
group sheet database called the “Ancestral File”. If you are thinking of
a research trip to Salt Lake, visit their comprehensive and easy to use
library catalogue on line before you go. Surf thru the catalogue, locate
materials you wish to look at, and make notes of the call numbers.
Arriving with a list in hand of the materials you wish to see first and
their call numbers can give your research a jumpstart.
Ellis Island’s newly released site of databases of immigrants, ship
lists, etc. Covers the time frame of the early 1900’s. We have anticipated
this site for a long time. Most of us are still looking to see what is
there. Several new and exciting things are planned for this site. Check
it often. As with other sites, new things are posted daily.
Government Land Office
Government land office records at the Bureau of Land Management. I
love this site! A search here might reveal an ancestor who purchased land
from the federal government. If so, the case file related to the purchase
could be the mother lode of information you have been looking for. Where
possible, you can print out a great image of the actual deed your
ancestor received from the federal government. A fun addition to your collection.
US Genweb Project
This is the organizational site for the wonderful genweb project. Their
goal was to encourage the very local units, counties or parishes or townships
for example, to put up databases pertaining to their locale. Some of the
earlier databases were cemetery surveys, marriage bonds and tax rolls.
They also provide space for queries and names and addresses of local researchers.
From the home page, you can navigate to almost any site in the US. A truly
outstanding project housing incredible amounts if information. A must see!
I use the genforums almost daily. These sites are devoted to the sharing
of information and the communications between researchers. There are genforums
for surnames and locations such as counties and states. I look at the postings
on my main lines such as Carberry, Candler and Hudnall on a regular basis.
Some people who post there regularly are friends and some are relatives.
I have learned much and been fortunate to participate in wonderful conversations
about the beginnings of our families that still continue to this day. On
the Oregon state genforum I met a lady who sent me a newspaper clipping
of the marriage of my great Aunt. The clipping was incredible and was a
breakthrough in my brick wall surrounding the Grover family. Thanks so
much Mija H.
Do remember that the Internet provides us with clues and tools to
facilitate our true research of original documents on site. And remember
— always verify information with original or primary sources.
Additional Genealogy Helps
The Internet can also be of help as you gather information. Try the
"News Group" area to post a request and interact with others who are seeking
information. Also, visit some of the popular web sites that offer free
information and searches, like:
Special Interest Group
Probably the #1 source for family history online. Over 600 million names
available for search. Includes: Census Indexes, Marriage Records and American
Genealogical Biographical Index.
Family history message boards, surnames, commentaries, and more.
The family finder searches the Internet everyday, looking for ancestors
across a wide variety of data (including some sites listed here). Also
find introductions, tips, links and other things about genealogy.
Name and family search, plus more.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress has one of the world’s premier collections of US
and International genealogical and local historical publications. The library’s
collection of genealogical materials began as early as 1815 with the purchase
of Thomas Jefferson’s library.
My-Trees online allows input of genealogy research into the web site without
the use of genealogy software; online Library of 100 million plus names
consisting of Ancestral Archive Index and Pedigree Display, the Social
Security Death Index, the 1871 Cornwall Census, marriage, birth, death,
and shipping records from various states and countries. Ancestral Archive
also links to millions of other names on other web sites, becoming the
world's first and only genealogy search engine for the Internet.
The oldest and probably the largest genealogy community of information.
Searches, utilities, and information.
National archives and records genealogy area.
You will probably encounter data in this format at sometime during
your search for information. Some sites which offer utilities that may
be helpful when using this format are:
Also, don't forget about the Genealogy
Special Interest Group. It is for the beginner ? no experience necessary
and no prerequisites ? ("hardcore" are encouraged) and focuses primarily
on Internet genealogy and related information. The SIG leaders, and others
interested in family information can probably help you or give some pointers/answers
to most questions on areas of interest to you.
My own research has taken me into the Oval Office as well as the Throne
Rooms of Europe. If you find yourself connected to any US President or
to European Nobility, an excellent reference can be found at Hull