Recently a friend asked me if I would recommend some genealogy websites. So I feel compelled to post the sites I use most often and find the most worth while in my online research. I’m sure these sites will be nothing new to those of you who have been doing this for awhile but I hope others not so familiar with online genealogy research will find them useful.
Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com) - The self-proclaimed “world’s largest online resource for family history documents and family trees” with “over 4 billion records”. You can try the databases and family trees free for 14 days. The current member subscription rates are: U.S. DELUXE MEMBERSHIP Annual $12.95/month*, Three Month $16.95/month*,Monthly $19.95/month and WORLD DELUXE MEMBERSHIP Annual $24.95/month* ,Three Month $27.95/month*, Monthly $29.95/month.
FamilySearch Record Search (http://search.labs.familysearch.org) - There are millions of indexed records available for free with more records being added all the time. Many of the indexed records include actual images. The FamilySearch website is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and thousands of volunteers through out the world .
The USGenWeb Project (http://usgenweb.org) - From the website: “Volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone. Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state genealogy websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties.”
Footnote (http://www.footnote.com) - They currently have 65,146,000 historical images digitized. “We are able to bring you many never-before-seen historic documents through our unique partnerships with The National Archives, the Library of Congress and other institutions.” This is a paid site. Through the month of May you can view the historical newspaper collection for free. They also offer an “All-Access Membership for 7 Days Free”. Current subscription rates are: Annual $79.95/year or Monthly $11.95/month.
Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com) - With over 45 million grave records, this is the “go to” grave search site. This site is free. You will not find all the graves you are searching for as it is completely done by volunteers. “Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials, add 'virtual flowers' and a note to a loved one's grave, etc.” As stated in the sites FAQ’s “Find A Grave's primary purpose is a graves registration website. It’s secondary purpose is a memorialization/remembrance site and it’s tertiary purpose is a genealogical resource.”
Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records (http://www.deathindexes.com) - Joe Beine’s awesome directory is the first place I go to see what is available in the state I’m researching. From the website: “This website is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices & registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery & burial records. “
Cyndi’s List (http://www.cyndislist.com) - The be-all and end-all of genealogy related links! From Cyndi's List FAQ: “What is Cyndi's List? * A categorized & cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet. * A list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online. * A free jumping-off point for you to use in your online research. * A "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet. * Your genealogical research portal onto the Internet.”
In addition to the above sites, I thought I might add two more categories, Free Software and Online Trees. Below are my picks.
Free Genealogy & Family Tree Software:
RootsMagic Essentials (http://www.rootsmagic.com/Essentials)
Family Tree Legends (http://www.familytreelegends.com)
Legacy Family Tree (http://www.legacyfamilytree.com)
Note: There are many free genealogy software programs that are not mentioned here. Feel free to add your favorite in the comments section. My personal preference would be RootsMagic. I am using the current paid version, RootsMagic4.
Online Genealogy & Family Tree Trees
Ancestry - mentioned above
Note: Again, these are my favorite online tree sites and I have a tree on each. There are many, many more available. Feel free to add your favorite in the comments section.Good Luck on your ancestor hunt!