Monday, June 8, 2009

Beginning Genealogy Helps - Post 3: LearnWebSkills Tutorial

In Beginning Genealogy Helps - Post 1, I listed four online genealogy tutorials and asked my readers for help finding others. In Beginning Genealogy Helps - Post 2: Genealogy.com, I focused on the Learning Center at http://www.genealogy.com/.

In this post, I want to describe the tutorials at the Researching Your Family Tree: An Introduction to Genealogy site at http://www.learnwebskills.com/.


The Learn Web Skills web site helps users search for their ancestors by:

* Demonstrating how some genealogy web sites work

* Permitting practice on some genealogy web sites for your specific ancestor

The Learning Modules are:

* I: Getting Started – Home Sources, Charts, Recording Information, and Citing Sources

* II: Using Online Resources – Online Databases, Search Engines, Directories

o Social Security Death Index -- http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
o Rootsweb WorldConnect Project – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
o FamilySearch – http://www.familysearch.org/
o Ellis Island Database -- http://www.ellisisland.org/
o Castle Garden Database – http://www.castlegarden.org/
o Google Search Engine – http://www.google.com/
o Cyndi’s List Directory – http://www.cyndislist.com/
o USGenWeb Project – http://www.usgenweb.org/

* III: Gathering Key Resources – Vital Records, Federal Census Records

o Vital Records site – http://www.vitalrec.com/
o Family History Library Catalog -- http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp
o Death Indexes -- http://www.deathindexes.com/
o Godfrey Memorial Library – http://www.godfrey.org/
o Family Search Labs Record Search -- http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start
o Census Online -- http://www.census-online.com/

* IV: Exploring Further – Probate Records, Church Records, Military Records, Newspapers

o Samuelson Publishing -- http://www.sampubco.com/wills/states.htm
o Family History Library Catalog -- http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp
o State Libraries and Archives -- http://www.cyndislist.com/lib-state.htm
o National Archives -- http://www.archives.gov/
o Military Indexes – http://www.militaryindexes.com/
o DAR Patriot Lookup Service -- http://www.dar.org/natsociety/PI_lookup.cfm
* V: Sharing Information – Discussion Lists, Message Boards, Software Programs

o Rootsweb Mailing List Archives -- http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
o Rootsweb Message Boards -- http://boards.rootsweb.com/

I found that using this tutorial site with beginning genealogists helps overcome the fears to trying something new, usually yields some quick search results, and costs nothing (since all of the sites used are free sites).

A person just beginning to use the Internet for a genealogy search is overwhelmed by the vast array of web sites, family trees, record databases, etc. Being able to see how someone uses a genealogy web site, using the Demonstration option, can be extremely helpful, but the ability to actually search for an ancestor using the Practice option is absolutely wonderful. It removes the concerns of "what do I do next?"

The www.LearnWebSkills.com site is my first choice for an online genealogy tutorial for online resources.

1 comment:

GrannyPam said...

I haven't looked at this site, but I wonder, does it discuss one-of-a kind local sources, like churches, libraries, archives and courthouses?

I often notice a huge divide between the "new" and "old" genealogy methods. Users of the "old" methods don't seem to reject new (read internet) sources any more than users of "new" methods seem to reject old methodology. It sometimes seems like ..."never the twain shall meet".

Any comments?