Genealogy and Family History

INTRODUCTION

Rootsweb The Internet's oldest and largest genealogy site.

U.S. Genealogy Website The USGenWeb Project provides Internet websites for genealogical research.

WorldGenWeb Project The WorldGenWeb Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.

Ancestry.com Ancestry.com is the top genealogy service connecting families through the World Wide Web.

Family Tree Searcher - Find Family Trees Easily Enter your ancestor information just once to search for family trees at multiple online genealogy databases using this free website.

Genealogy: Advice for Effective Searches Answer a series of simple questions and get free, customized advice on the most effective next steps for searching your ancestors.

Top Genealogy Sites Over 40,000 Links, Tools, Search Engines, Books, Etc.

WorldHistory.com Search over 1 billion genealogy records.

Genealogy.com Discover your family's history.

Reunion Reunion's Genealogy Website (Reunion is the finest genealogical application for the Macintosh--if you have a Mac, I recommend that you use it.)

Family Tree Maker Family Tree Maker's Genealogy Website (An outstanding site, with everything: links, family websites, search engines, advice, resources, etc. Family Tree Maker is a genealogical application available for both Mac and Wintel PC's.)

Genealogy Gateway Genealogy Gateway to the Web with sites, links, and search engines.

FamilySearch The Mormon Church's Internet Genealogy Service for tracing family history on the Web. Claims to be the largest searchable genealogical database in the world.

Ancestral Findings Free search of the following genealogical CDs (up to 4 searches a day): Birth Index, Census Indexes, Death Indexes, Marriage Indexes, Veterans' Schedules.

BirthQuest BirthQuest is an online international searchable database dedicated to searching adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and siblings.

CD List Request lookups for a number of different CDs (Census, Marriage, Social Security Death Index, Land Records, and many more).

Genealogy Gateway Contains a number of online newspaper obituaries you can search.

The Genealogy Home Page Contains Genealogy Help and Guides , Libraries, Maps, Geography, Deeds and Photography, On line genealogy information, North American Genealogy Resources, World-Wide Genealogy Resources, Genealogy Societies, and more.

GENDEX Indexes hundreds of World Wide Web databases containing genealogical data for over two million individuals, and gives you the ability to locate and view data of interest to you on any of these databases, without having to go and visit each of the databases separately.

Journal of Online Genealogy Contains information about German and Scottish on-line research services, and also an excellent introduction to Lineages, Inc., a fast-growing provider of research services and products.

Kindred Konnections Search through millions of names and have data presented in family pedigree linked format. You can preview the site before becoming a member by doing surname research to determine if we have potential names of interest. You can link to researchers and other resources through this site. This site has a research archive of over 12 million names that is being processed in preparation to come on line over the next few months. "The World's Largest pedigree-linked database on the Internet." We're Now at 8 Million Names!

Links to Genealogy Sites on the Web Contains links to U.S. Government Resources, Genealogical Reference Sources, Educational Institutions & Libraries, Canadian Sources and United States Resources - By State, Genealogical Home Pages, Ethnic Research & Research Outside of the United States.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet is an amazing roster put together by Christine Gaunt and John Fuller of the University of Michigan. It includes events, other list pages, societies, associations, databases, periodicals, mailing lists and newsgroups, software, libraries and archives, LDS info, and geographical and commercial sites.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet is a terrific site organized by category, with over 30,000 links cross-referenced in over 90 categories.

Chance's Genealogy Genealogy listservers, newsgroups, and special home pages with descriptions and instructions to subscribe.

FAMILY WEBSITES

The Schafersman Family Genealogy Website (and here) is being designed and constructed by the author of this webpage and using its resources. Many other family websites now exist -- all created by individuals interested in their family history who learned the website-building skills necessary to perform the job. I created this page you are now reading to help find and use genealogy websites, and I posted it on the CyberComputing Consultants website to share it with others. Have fun.

SEARCH ENGINES

GenSearcher, "the All-in-One Genealogy Search Engine" is an incredible array of searches of all types of databases, message archives, and web sites. Be sure to look at all four pages.

Try Deb Kinneer's I Found It! search engine for exclusively genealogy-related web pages.

Just like genealogy software, everyone seems to have a preference here. I avoid playing favorites by using MetaCrawler. It searches a whole batch of other search engines and spits out the results in small, easy-to-follow paragraphs with the URL included. In my opinion, it's worth waiting a few seconds more for the result.

At the HotBot site, I was impressed by the ability to customize and narrow searches, and by the number of pertinent results.

SPECIALIZED LINK LISTS

Links to Sites with Searchable Genealogical Databases from the Brazos Genealogy Society in Brazos County, Texas.

American Civil War Resources on the Internet from Dakota State University.

The Native American Genealogy Web Site is a great reference list from the America Online Genealogy Forum's Native American Special Interest Group.

REAL DATA ONLINE

York County, South Carolina Census Index Search 1790-1850 from RootsWeb is a great example of the many ways computers and modems are good for genealogy.

Allen David Distler's Ohio River Valley Families project lists thousands who settled within 50 miles of the Ohio River in PA, OH, IN, and KY (plus cool music, esp. if you're my age).

The Ancestry.com site offers many online genealogical databases in their library, including the PERSI (Periodical Source Index) database. Some searches are free, and full access is by subscription. Definitely worth a look.

Marilyn Hoye's site is an excellent example of how to make local data available online. Her data on specific Texas and Connecticut locations is the real thing.

The Olive Tree Genealogy Homepage includes muster rolls from the American Revolution and the War of 1812, ships passenger lists, Loyalists, and much more.

The National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project now includes a searchable database of Civil War Colored Troops.

HOW-TOs

Ben Buckner's article on "How to Mail GEDCOMs" helps explain the mystery behind sharing files via e-mail.

Richard Pence's Numbering Systems in Genealogy article describes the confusing "standards" for publishing family history.

Treasure Maps site offers lots of research help, including tutorials by Sabina J. Murray on "Deciphering Old Handwriting," a terrific introduction and learning tool (well worth waiting for the graphics to load); and "Tombstone Rubbings."

Check out the Gene Pool's list of Research Aids for the Family Historian, including "Colonial Occupations" and examples of "Letters of the 17th Century Found in Parish Registers."

If you're confused about the difference between a mete and a bound and patent and a grant, visit Direct Line Software's Land Records Reference page for some explanations.

The Soundex Indexing System from the National Archives and Records Administration genealogy site.

Soundex for Dummies - the title says it all.

For more help in formatting Reference Notes from e-mail, files, CD-ROM's and web pages, check The Internet Public Library FARQ: Citing Electronic Resources.

Just Black and White photo processing offers some advice on photo preservation.

The National Park Service's introductory page for the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System

WHERE-TOs

Commonwealth Network's Vital Records Information for the United States lists where to obtain vital records in each state, territory, and county.

The Cemetery Listing Association's main goal is an online searchable database of cemeteries and graves for genealogists in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Public Record Office is the home of the national archives for England, Wales, and the United Kingdom. This site includes a list of publications to order and information about visiting and using the PRO.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)

Scotland's General Register Office is responsible for vital records and census statistics.

National Archives and Record Administration site includes an online version of their 1995 edition of "Guide to the National Archives of the United States"; read the introduction before jumping into the record groups.

USPS ZIP Code Lookup and Address Information page leads you to the correct ZIP code and includes a list of official post office abbreviations, too.

Download LDS Research outlines, lists of source materials by geographic locations; I have one for each state that I'm working in, and I use them constantly.

WHEN-TOs

Any-Day-in-History from Scope Systems lets you choose a day of the year and see what births, deaths, holidays, events, religious days and history occurred on that day, from ancient to modern times. For instance, on very the day I was born, President John F. Kennedy announced the U.S. goal to reach the moon.

HyperHistory Online is a color-coded, graphical timeline of world history. Events, people, history, and maps are presented with links to informative text files. Heavy use of browser frames, but is fairly quick and easy to navigate.

The History Channel's site has a neat feature called This Day in History. Just call up a month and day to find out who was born and what happened of historical significance (a great resource for adding custom events to Reunion version 5.0's Timeline feature).

This calendar page from Scott E. Lee converts an entered date into several formats, including Gregorian, Julian, Jewish, and French Revolution.

DICTIONARIES

On-line Dictionaries is an incredible array of searchable English and foreign language dictionaries; run across any Latin phrases lately?

Type a word into the form on OneLook Dictionaries page and search through one or all of 106 dictionaries, including computer, medical, acronyms, language, and more.

My Virtual Reference Desk: Quick Reference/Research page is a comprehensive list of online reference material.

BOOKS FOR SALE

Frontier Press Bookstore "specializes in providing genealogical and historical books for the family, local, and social historian." The excellent web site design is very clean and a pleasure to use.

The venerable Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, Maryland offers many 'must-have' classics and reprints of reference books, textbooks, and how-to's.

Amazon.com, the "Earth's Biggest Bookstore", listed literally thousands of books at reasonable prices under the keyword "genealogy".

Blair's Book Service has been touted by me in the past and is still a great way to browse the shelves.

GAZETTEERS AND MAPS

GraphicMaps site includes great, downloadable state and country outlines in different colors and sizes for adding geographic interest to your charts, reports, or web pages.

Tiger Mapping Service offers a searchable U.S. gazetteer under sponsorship of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Download or view historical maps from the Perry-CasteÒada Map Collection from the University of Texas at Austin; these maps are in JPEG graphic format.

Selected maps from the James Ford Bell Library's historical map collection at the University of Minnesota

Hamrick's interesting U.S. Surname Distribution page allows you to enter a surname and see a U.S. map showing the distribution of people with this surname in 1850, 1880, 1920, and 1990 or all years.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Use the U.S. Army Military History Institute site to search their incredible photo collection database for descriptions of Civil War photographs, which you can then request via mail. The Civil War Unit History and Biographical Bibliographies are other gems here.

The Library of Congress' American Memories site includes a series of "historical collections for the National Digital Library." Find out more about early photography like Daguerreotypes and photos from the Civil War.

From Revolution to Reconstruction, an HTML-HyperText version of "An Outline of American History" from the U.S. Information Agency

The University of California, Riverside and California Museum of Photography's site includes historical photographs of Ellis Island, NY in GIF format.

History Buff's site concentrates on newspaper printing and publishing, but includes a wonderful History Resources Web Sites Index and a Reference Library.

The Valley of the Shadow project from the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; this is a fascinating look into the lives of two communities during the time of the American Civil War - Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia.

PERSON-TO-PERSON

Switchboard, a free white- and yellow-pages directory of the USA.

WhoWhere? is a one-stop site for searching for businesses or individuals, including e-mail addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers.

FREE E-ZINES

Missing Links is an info-packed weekly e-mail newsletter offering news and tips from the Genealogy BB of Prodigy, written and edited by Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG. Subscribe by e-mail request to Ms. Case.

Information on subscribing to Eastman's Online Genealogy newsletter.

The Journal of Online Genealogy, written by well-known computer-genealogists, is for both beginners and advanced online researchers around the world.

Treasure Maps Genealogy Newsletter is a treasure itself. Find out how to subscribe to this monthly e-mail newsletter at their "How-To" web site.

COMPUTERS

Reunion is the finest genealogy application written for the Macintosh.

Family Tree Maker is another genealogy application for either Macintosh or Wintel PC.

Sparrowhawk is Bradley Mohr's application for Macintosh that changes a GEDCOM file into HTML documents for posting on the web.

GEDClean is Tom Raynor's free Windows (3.1 and 95) program that removes personal data about living persons from a GEDCOM file.

GRAPHICS RESOURCES

Download the "lite" version of Media Mind's PictureAlbum software for Macintosh or Windows. Build your own album, add backgrounds, and create captions. Fun to play with and great for sharing pictures.

Wouldn't you like a large wall chart without having to tape individual sheets together? Olson Graphic Services can print your formatted chart on one sheet directly from SuperChart (Mac or Win), or can create one of their custom charts from a GEDCOM file, all at reasonable prices.

Keep the text in your reports and charts in the original language of your immigrant ancestors by downloading foreign language fonts for Mac or PC from the Yamada Language Center Font Archive.

Storm Software's Web site includes information about their EasyPhoto Reader, a small, inexpensive but efficient scanner and software package for color and b&w photographs up to 5"x7". In addition to the descriptions, specifications, and (to their credit) system requirements, the site also has a "getting started in genealogy" page, some links to other genealogy sites, and a page for sharing photographs.


 

Steven D. Schafersman
Please send comments to the email address at Steven Schafersman.
Last updated: 19 March 2013