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Genealogy Internet Sites


This list is a small sample of the many sites available on the web for assisting you in getting started doing genealogy research on the Web. The sites, the accuracy of their information, and services are not being promoted or vouched for by the library.

Web Surfer beware: In doing online genealogy research, it may be difficult to verify the accuracy of information you find. The responsibility is yours, but even so, hopefully you will find a lead or contact someone that may be of genuine help to you. Remember to confirm records or information that is shared or offered to you. The Internet is full of factually inaccurate, misinterpreted, incorrectly reported, or openly false information that is being shared again and again as being whole and true by well intending, misinformed individuals that are eager to share. Some information found might be tempting to claim as being of your family, when in fact it lacks confirmation or support from “primary source” documentation (official birth, death, marriage records, etc.).

Why These Sites?: The following sites were selected because they offer free access to some or all information that they provide, and/or maintain potentially useful links to numerous additional sites. Please be aware that many of the sites you will find on the Web are commercial, and as such also offer services, memberships, and access to additional information for a fee. Occasionally materials cannot be acquired immediately or directly; it may be necessary to obtain some materials through an Inter-library Loan (MRL staff at the Circulation desk can assist you with this).

Serendipity and Links make for fine company: Because of the shear volume of material at your disposal on the web, it isn’t practical or possible to list and describe here everything available. Therefore, as you become more skilled and knowledgeable about web searching, you will need to explore beyond the list of web sites presented below. This particular research technique comes under the sophisticated heading of “Browsing and Foraging.”

The following idea flies in the face good research practices -- but with genealogy on the Web, it is true that occasionally some of your finest and most satisfying discoveries will come unexpectedly from selecting an otherwise unassuming link, and suddenly you find yourself with a wealth of information. “Congratulations,” on your good fortune if it happens! However, getting back to such sites at a later time may prove to be a most frustrating exercise in futility. It may often leave you feeling as lost and disoriented as “Alice in Wonderland,” or as frustrated as when someone tells you, “you can’t get there from here.” So, for you own protection and happiness, it is highly recommended that as you move from link to link, and find new web sites that are helpful to your personal research, that you record (or “bookmark”) their web addresses - and a brief description or note - for the convenience of locating them directly at a later time. Lastly, even if you bookmark a website it is always possible that it will disappear on you someday without warning. Private Web pages are not stable and are not an archive, it is best not to make the assumption that they are going to be around or left unchanged for a long time. Therefore it is best to record information and contact addresses as you find them.

Lastly, you might simply try a name search on a search engine like Google.com, to see if anything interesting turns ups (i.e.: “John Doe” genealogy - or try a - “John Doe“ “Jane Smith” genealogy). For less common surnames, this will sometimes produce good results. Again, make sure that the “John Doe” you have found does in fact belong to you family.

Good Books For You: If you are new at genealogy and wanting to get started, or have “hit a wall” and are looking for some new approaches, Morrisson-Reeves Library has a very good selection of books and materials on genealogy that may help you. Here are a few titles and call numbers:

TITLE: CALL NUMBER:
Un-puzzling your Past 929.1 C94a3
Virtual Roots  929.1 K32
The Genealogists question and answer book  929.1 M52
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy  929.1 M477
Locating Lost Family Members and Friends 929.1 H659
First Steps in Genealogy  929.1 A42
Unpuzzling Your Past 929.1 C94a
Ancestors  929.1 W69
Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs  929.1 T24

National Archives and Records Administration http://www.nara.gov

The National Archives is regarded as being a potential treasure house of information when it comes to genealogy within the U.S. This site offers a guide and information on records contained in the Archives. This does not give you access to all information, it simply informs you as to what is available should you wish to visit there to do research. Some information has been placed on microfilm and can be rented or purchased by US Postal Mail. You will need to carefully read and follow the procedure and payment instructions on “How to Order Microfilm” to do this.

(Please see their site for instructions to visitors and researchers.)

For information specific to genealogy http://www.archives.gov/research_room/genealogy/index.html/

DAR Library Catalog On-Line http://dar.library.net

In their own words, “the Library is one of the nation’s premier genealogical research centers,” and is “strictly a reference facility.” They do not loan or sell books from the collection. It is possible to search information according to: Place Name, Historical Period, Family Name, Authors and Titles of Books, Contents Field, and Call Words. Please see their website for further information.

Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States, General Land Office
http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/

This site has a searchable database index to over 2,000,000 federal land patents that were issued between 1820 and 1908, located in the eastern half of the United States. To do this you will need to “click” onto “Search Land Patents,” fill in the first and last name of the land title recipient, as well as the name of the State. The Web page also provides links to general resources, and individual sites specific to each State.

 

Index List Information:

Library of Congress’ Local History and Reading Room http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/genealogy

In their own words: “The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 when Thomas Jefferson's library was purchased.” It contains over 40,000 genealogies and 100,000 local histories, but is not an archive of unpublished documents, or primary source for county, and state, and church documents (as usual you will need to contact specific county, state, and church agencies for these types of related materials). The collection contains books, manuscripts, CD-Roms and vertical files. There is also information on fee-based subscription services for those who are interested in Internet services.

This is an information site with lists and indexes only about the collection. You will need to visit the collection to have access to desired materials found here. If you intend to do so you will need to carefully follow the visitor’s instruction posted under the heading of “Before you begin.”

It can be frustrating to get close to what you want or find on the Internet and then not be able to have immediate access to the materials. Here is a simple reminder about the Internet and Web pages: Not everything is available on the Internet, much of what is on the Internet is not of good or verifiable quality, much of what is good and available is not free, sometimes you need to go in person to a source like the Library of Congress to complete your research.

Kentucky Vital Records Index http://ukcc.uky.edu/%7Evitalrec/

Note: this is a new web address for this site. Because of the increased popularity of this location and the resulting traffic, please read and become familiar with the site instructions before you begin, so that you will get the most out of each search. This database contains indexes to: Kentucky Death Records (1911-1992), Kentucky Divorces (1973-1993), and Kentucky Marriages (1973-1993).

Kentucky Virtual Library http://www.kyvl.org/

Visit the “Government Information” and the “Kentuckian Digital Library” links. Each of these are worth investigating and spending some time at if your research involves Kentucky genealogy.

Also see this separate associated site address that has additional Kentucky genealogy offerings within “Virtual Library.” http://www.kyvl.org/html/gia/archeology.shtml In particular, this site offers a searchable index of deaths 1911-1992, marriages 1973-1993 and divorces 1973-1993 in the state of Kentucky

The above site offers information specific to Kentucky , as well as some very fine links found in the section entitled: “Genealogy: US.”

Ohio Death Certificate Index http://www.ohiohistory.org/dindex/

At this site, you can perform a limited search of a list of the death records held by the Ohio Vital Records Office covering the years 1913-37.

(Note: So far there does not seem to be a comparable type of Web page for Indiana death, marriage, or divorce records.)

 

Volunteer Supported sites that offer Information, Open Forum, and Contact opportunities for free:
It should be noted that these sites are constantly being added to and updated.

Selections from the GenWeb group sites:

The U.S. GenWeb Project http://www.usgenweb.com

Hosted by RootsWeb, and is maintained by a “group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone.”

From their Home Page, you will be able to log into “The Project's State Pages.” This will offer you a choice of three methods to access links to each individual state site (where you can link into the Indiana site - or see the address below). Web page topic contents and appearance varies from State to State and from County to County, however, most will have a list of local resources. Many sites will offer some form of surname and/or queries lists, and the better developed county sites will also have information on cemeteries, marriages, obituaries, newspapers, area census, births, death notices, deeds, military units, pensions, family bibles, and more.

(If you do not find a topic heading that you are looking for it might help to contact the page’s Web Master to learn if new topic headings are being developed (i.e. “Obituaries,” “Cemeteries,” “Newspapers”). Also, since the information is constantly being updated or added to, it is a good idea to return to a site on later dates to see what you may have missed since your last visit.)

Indiana GenWeb http://www.ingenweb.org

Use this address if you wish to go directly to the Indiana GenWeb site.

World GenWeb http://www.worldgenweb.org

For those that are interested in researching their emigrant ancestors, this site “has the objective of placing genealogical information for every country in the world, and every region within each, online.” Just like the U.S. GenWeb Project (see above), many sites are well developed and are being expanded, whereas others lack extensive information (for having just been created), or simply haven‘t yet been created at all (yet). In some situations the sites are bilingual, or lack English translations - you will have to discover this for yourself - after all, this is one aspect of the “World Wide Web.”

(Because of the changes and growth of these sites - as in the US GenWeb Project sites - it may be advisable to return to these sites from time to time, even if you were disappointed that a previous visit lacked what you were interested in finding.)

Footpaths Across Ohio http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maggieoh/mohcoun1.html

This is a fine independent site for individuals that need to do Ohio related genealogy research. There are numerous links and in particular a link to The Ohio Network of American History Research Centers.

 

Independent and Corporate Commercial Sites that offer free Information or Services:

http://www.familytreemaker.com

You might recognize this companion Web site name because of their genealogy software products. This is a promotional business site specific to genealogy associated products, services, and computer software. Some services such as Web links and name searches (by First, Middle, and Last name) are free, other services are offered on a “pay-for” basis.

Gen Forum http://genforum.genealogy.com

This site provides online forums for dozens of “General Topic” areas (i.e.: Civil War, Obituaries, American Revolution, American Indian, Quaker, Cemetery, Adoption, Emigration, and more...), surnames, regions, and most importantly provides opportunities to answer or post genealogy queries. It has sponsors and some ad banners, but is still a free site that supports the exchange of information.

(Note: Web sites have a genealogy of their own as well. GenForum, began as a “branch” of Family Tree Maker’s that was started by Banner Blue Software in 1995, which was acquired by Broderbund Software, who was then later acquired by The Learning Company, which was purchased by Mattel after which a new company called Genealogy.com was created by a merger, which in turn on February 1, 2001, was acquired by and is currently a subsidiary of A&E Television Networks - see what I mean? This is an example of how and why Web sites evolve and change.)

Selections from the MyFamily.com, Inc. Group: (MyFamily, FamilyHistory, Ancestry, RootsWeb)

Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com

This site was created by Ancestry, which has been noted for its publication of genealogical materials and titles for nearly 20 years. This commercial site offers free searching of the Social Security Death Benefits Index, and several databases, however you will need to give them your name and email address in return for access to the information; apart from this are numerous for- pay databases (i.e.: Census Records, Military Records, Newspapers, Probate Records, etc.)

RootsWeb.com http://www.rootsweb.com

Formerly advertised as the “oldest and largest” independent free genealogy site, it was acquired by MyFamily.com, in June of 2000. No longer independent, but still has several free searchable lists, in particular the RootsWeb Surname List (a searchable list of over an alleged one million surnames) which serves as an abbreviated message board by typically offering brief or sketchy chronological dates or periods (i.e.: 1776 to 1890) and individual or family migratory information (i.e.: England>NY>Ohio>Indiana>Texas), as well as an email address to contact the submitter. There is also a free message board for posting and answering queries as well as other services that are shared with Ancestry.com.

Gendex http://www.gendex.com/gendex

This is another commercial site that supports free access to some of its contents. Unregistered users can search the surname index, which contains over 831555 surnames from 11227 genealogical Web site databases, and provides contact information to get in touch with participating submitters.

FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org

This site, is provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, it has been in operation since 1999 and offers free but limited access to several of their databases, and links to other useful sites. Users should be aware that the information is provided in good faith but that some information may be incorrect. As always, you will need to check primary sources to confirm matches to your own genealogy.

 

Web Link Providers:
The primary service provided by the following five Web sites is in offering links to other sites and services.

Cyndi’s List of genealogy sites on the Internet http://www.cyndislist.com

This is a large and growing collection of over 136,550 alphabetically organized genealogy links on the Internet, some sites include or are searchable databases.

(For those that are interested, there is a related book held in the MRL Reference Department: Cyndi’s List, a comprehensive list of 40,000 genealogy sites on the Internet. Call number: R 929.1 H85)

Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox http://www.genealogytoolbox.com

Begun in 1995, this site has grown and evolved to become one of the larger genealogy sites that offers products, services, advertising, and refers (links) you to other genealogy web sites. In this web site the Web links are generally grouped together according to their topic relevancy.

Online genealogical Database Index http://www.gentree.com/gentree.html

This is an extensive collection of family name Internet site links.

About Genealogy http://www.genealogy.about.com

Similar to “Cyndi’s List,” Helm’s Toolbox and others like it, this site provides links to other sites, and as well as tutorial or self-help information from an extensive list of subject areas provided.

 

Address and phone information:

Looking for that living “long lost” relative of yours? The following are a few of the many free directory services that can be found on the web (beware that there are businesses on the web that charge a fee for this very same and otherwise free service). The information comes from public telephone directories and does not include information that is otherwise unlisted.

(Some of these services are limited to only the information you type in. To expand your search, you may need to search by both an individual’s first name, as well as performing a separate search by using just the first initial of their first name. Example: search the name “John Doe,” and then do a separate search for “J Doe” to obtain the most information available.)

Switchboard http://www.switchboard.com

Altavista http://www.altavista.com

Select “People Finder” from this web page, or go directly to their Verizon supported “People Pages,”
http://wp.superpages.com/people.phtml?SRC=altavista&STYPE=S

Lycos Peoplefinder http://www.whowhere.lycos.com/Phone

Yahoo! People Search http://people.yahoo.com

Last Updated: June 27, 2002

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 


Morrisson-Reeves Library
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Richmond, IN 47374-3079
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