When I started this column 20 years ago, digitization of documents was in its infancy, and only a handful of genealogy websites existed.
Since that time, I keep up with changes by periodically checking several websites to learn about new online records, new websites, and changes in technology and institutions. The following websites are my favorites:
Cyndislist.com is a free website that is a tremendous link to other genealogy websites. To learn about recent changes in genealogy technology, check Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter at www.eogn.com. For free access to millions of genealogy records, check usgenweb.org and rootsweb.com. Both are available through the efforts of thousands of volunteers.
Two websites that provide access to billions of records are ancestry.com and familysearch.org. Although both require a subscription, check with local libraries to learn which ones subscribe to them and provide free access to patrons.
To check early land records in several states, check the Bureau of Land Management’s free website at www.glorecords.blm.gov. To read historic newspapers that have been digitized and placed online, check chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. That free site is sponsored by the Library of Congress and National Endowment of Humanities.
To learn about 162 million gravesites and thousands of cemeteries, check findagrave.com. Because the founder, Jim Tipton, uses submissions from thousands of volunteers, the site is free to use.
When Jim and I recently took a trip out West, I was reminded that detective skills that we veteran genealogists previously used (pre-internet) are still needed in conjunction with the internet to obtain some books, documents, photographs and other information.
Before the trip, I did an internet search to learn about a resource that I quote several times in the book I…