Genealogy Research

Category: Genealogy

I've recently become interested in researching my ancestors and creating a family tree. Can you recommend any good software or websites where I can do genealogy research?

family tree genealogy

Research Your Family Tree

Roots, the 1977 television mini-series based on Alex Haley's book sparked a renewed interest in genealogy for many people. Back in the 70's, learning about your ancestors was a tedious job. But now, personal computers and the Internet make it MUCH easier. Here are some of the best online resources for doing genealogical research and charting your family tree.

CYNDI'S LIST a comprehensive index to over 200,000 genealogical resources on the Internet. You'll find a list of links that point you to genealogical research sites, all categorized & cross-referenced. It's like a "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet.


This site co-authored by John Fuller is similar to Cyndi's List though there are significant differences. The two main sections are web sites and genealogy mailing lists. The web section is extensive though it is somewhat modest related to Cyndi's List; however, the mailing list section is the premier site for such lists with over 25,000 entries and 100 or so added weekly.


The oldest and one of the most extensive genealogy sites on the Internet ... and everything is free. It serves as host to many of the genweb sites (discussed next), thousands of mailing lists, census projects, Cyndi's List, WorldConnect, has a large number of genealogy search engines, and much more.


An outstanding project that has pages for each state and each county in each US state with extensive links to applicable resources, query boards, surname lists, and most anything else imaginable. You can get to the county pages from the state pages, and to the state pages from the main page shown above.


A project similar to USGENWEB that has sites for every country other than the US. This project is a bit younger than USGENWEB and there are some countries that still need coordinators; however, these are generally countries that folks have never heard of :)


The Mormon Church operates this site that allows you to access the the top level documentation available from the LDS archives. Obviously it would be a huge job to put their millions of microfilm records online, but what they have available is an excellent starting point for anyone contemplating use of their resources.


If one of your ancestors came to the USA by way of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, search their name and you can access his or her records in some detail. I was impressed that the database allows you to search using last name, ethnicity, name of town they left, year of arrival and more. You can even see a copy of the ship's manifest listing their names!

Genealogy Software

  • Family Tree Maker -

  • GedPage -

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    Most recent comments on "Genealogy Research"

    Posted by:

    14 Apr 2006

    Dr. Stephen A. Morse has created scripts that simplify the search process. The Ellis Island site and several others will be much easier to use if accessed through

    Posted by:

    Al Jensen
    25 Apr 2006

    Just for your information- The Mormon Church is starting work to do exactly what you mentioned, and put the microfilmed records online.

    Posted by:

    Annette Freeman
    25 Apr 2006

    Bob, You might consider listing 'jewishgen' as one of the sites for geneology. --

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for the pointer!

    Posted by:

    David Reed
    25 Apr 2006

    While the Internet provides much simpler access to many records, there remain many repositories which are not on-line and may never be.

    To learn how to locate this type of information beginner genealogists should join a genealogical society and take courses on how to research their family trees. Volunteering with a society and documenting information where you live for the use of others would be a generous act.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: As would helping those groups get their data online!

    Posted by:

    25 Apr 2006

    Good initial start Bob. You will provide a lot of people help because they know you first through TOURBUS. Suggest you add this key site for anyone seriously into genealogy research: Yes -- you have to pay for access to most of the data. But GOOD research will bring you to that point sooner or later.

    Also add how and where to subscribe to "surname list" with the suggestion that a beginner go for the key ancestors first. Both & do exchanges on some of the names. I.e., a post on the Ancestry message board will also post to the Roots board and vice versa. This has to be set up by both admins so check first -- don't assume your surname works that way.

    Take notes and document your references. Data is no good without a reference where you obtained it. Use polite & ethical behavior. One of my personal pet peeves -- STEALing data or research from someone and then post it as if it is your own. I've found that to most people genealogy is either boring or absolutely fascinating. And once you are "hooked" ... but the study of your ancestors is like the study of history except it's YOUR history.

    Posted by:

    25 Apr 2006

    Love the URLs for research helps but there are a lot more really good genealogy programs out there! FTM is probably the best known because they have the most aggressive marketing campaign. Check out these other programs also

    Legacy Family Tree I switched to this one from FTM in 1997 and haven't looked back! - check out the review on the latest version at


    The Master Genealogist

    Brother's Keeper

    Reunion (for the Mac)

    Gramps (for Linux and other Unix-like systems)

    Posted by:

    27 Apr 2006

    Sherry missed a very important genealogy program that is absolutely FREE by Latter Day Saints (you know them, they practically invented modern genealogy out in Salt Lake City!) The program is called PAF - or Personal Ancestral File. It's easy to use, has intelligent prompts and generates a lot of different reports and charts. You can download it free by going to then go to family search and look for "free downloads" under the software tab.

    Posted by:

    Linda House Brousseau
    09 May 2006

    Another great resource is Linkpendium. The owners are the people who started Rootsweb. Currently there are over 4,000,000 links to surnames and almost 500,000 links to genealogy websites.

    Posted by:

    Olivia Forkal
    13 Mar 2008

    I would like to know does anyone here know where and when genealogy started.. I am doing this for my senoir pecj...

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