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.).
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).
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
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:
Genealogists question and answer book
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy
Lost Family Members and Friends
Steps in Genealogy
Your Ancestry through Family Photographs
National Archives and Records Administration
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
DAR Library Catalog On-Line https://www.dar.org/library
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
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.
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).
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
Supported sites that offer Information, Open
Forum, and Contact opportunities for free:
be noted that these sites are constantly being added to and updated.
Selections from the GenWeb group
The U.S. GenWeb Project
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
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.)
Use this address if you wish to go directly
to the Indiana GenWeb site.
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
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
and Corporate Commercial Sites that offer free Information or Services:
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
Selections from the MyFamily.com, Inc.
Group: (MyFamily, FamilyHistory, Ancestry, RootsWeb)
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,
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.
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.
The primary service provided
by the following five Web sites is in offering links to other sites and
Cyndi’s List of genealogy sites on the
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)
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
This is an extensive collection of family
name Internet site links.
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.
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.)
Lycos Peoplefinder http://www.whowhere.lycos.com/Phone
Yahoo! People Search http://people.yahoo.com
Last Updated: July 9, 2018