Here's How: Genealogy Research Online
Are you interested in learning about your relatives and ancestors, or creating a family tree? Are you looking for good software or websites where you can do genealogy research? You've come to the right place! Read on for some of the best online genealogy tools...
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.
A few years ago, I started digging into my family history, and with the help of some software, I was able to trace my father's family line back to a Rankin relative in Scotland, who was born in 1744. I was also able to find an ancestor of my grandmother who was born in 1620, and came to New Amsterdam, a Dutch settlement at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, around 1640. Fascinating stuff! Here are some of the best online resources for doing genealogical research and charting your family tree.
Ancestry.com is probably the first site you'll find when you search online for tools to help you research your family tree. It's a great resource, which I have used myself. But it's not free. The "U.S. Discovery" membership costs $189 for one year, or $99 for six months. The "World Explorer" package adds international records for an additional fee. You may also be able to access Ancestry for free at your local library.
...is a comprehensive index to over 300,000 genealogical resources on the Internet. Cyndi Ingle has maintained this website for over 21 years, as a labor of love. You'll find a list of links that point you to genealogical research sites, all categorized and cross-referenced. It's like a "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet.
The LDS Church operates FamilySearch, an organization that gathers and shares genealogical records worldwide. FamilySearch.org is one of the most popular genealogy websites, ofering free access to over a billion records. FamilySearch also offers personal assistance at over 4000 family history centers around the world.
The oldest and one of the most extensive genealogy sites on the Internet. It's purpose is to connect people so that they can help each other and share genealogical research. You'll find message boards, 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. WorldGenWeb is a non-profit volunteer organization that is dedicated to the free use and access of public domain genealogical information. Resources include query pages, message boards, mailing lists, census records, cemetery records, biographies, bibliographies, and family/surname registration websites.
ONE-STEP WEB PAGES
Steve Morse's One-Step Web Pages help you drill down into genealogy databases—passenger records, census collections, vital records and more—and let you search them from a single, flexible yet simple interface.
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!
If you're looking to fill out your family tree? Go to the Relative Finder site, a database of several million dead and living persons, and their relationships to one another.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DEATH INDEX
You can also check the Social Security Administration Death Index to search for information on deceased persons. You can find data on over 80 million individuals with US social security numbers whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration, from 1937 to the present. Information includes Birth Date, Death Date, Last known Residence and user-added content such as memorials, comments, pictures, and more.
- Family Tree Maker - http://www.FamilyTreeMaker.com
- RootsMagic - https://www.rootsmagic.com/RootsMagic/
- Legacy Family Tree - http://www.legacyfamilytree.com
- GRAMPS - https://gramps-project.org/ is a free open-source genealogy program often recommended an alternative to Family Tree Maker and other paid software.
- Genealogy Tools is a website dedicated to Genealogy Software for Mac & PC.
One final thought... have you ever been asked to provide "Mother's maiden name" or "Father's middle name" as a "security question" on a website, or anywhere else? There's a very good chance those answers are easily found with online genealogical search tools. If you ever are REQUIRED to use such a security question, make up a name you can remember and use it everywhere.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. What tools have you found helpful when doing family tree research? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Mar 2020
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Here's How: Genealogy Research Online (Posted: 17 Mar 2020)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved