Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Reader Survey - Favorite Genealogy Websites

...
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is polling its members each week on a survey question. I thought it might be interesting to compare the survey results of Genea-Musings readers with NEHGS Members.

This week the question is:

Genealogists today use websites all the time for their research. Rank the following websites in the order of their importance to you in your research:

o http://www.ancestry.com/

o http://www.familysearch.org/

o http://www.newenglandancestors.org/

o http://www.rootsweb.com/

o http://www.usgenweb.org/

o http://www.footnote.com/

o http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/

o http://www.google.com/

Would you please rank those in the order of importance to you in your research, and list them in a comment to this post, in a note on Facebook, or in a post on your own blog (but please leave a link to this post so I can easily find it).

If you want to, please list other websites that are more important to you than one site on the list above.

My own list is:

1) http://www.ancestry.com/ - $$, still the biggest, best search engine, well worth it
2) http://www.familysearch.org/ - free, adding record content monthly, Wiki, FHLC
3) http://www.google.com/ - free, searching websites, books, maps, Blogger, etc.
4) http://www.footnote.com/ - $$, NARA records, Footnote pages, well worth it
5) http://www.usgenweb.org/ - state and county data, all user contributed
6) http://www.rootsweb.com/ - free, WorldConnect, message boards, mailing lists, databases
7) http://www.newenglandancestors.org/ - $$, databases, periodicals, articles/videos
8) http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/ - $$, databases

I think that I would list http://www.findagrave.com/ above the bottom two, and http://www.cyndislist.com/ above #8.

In my list above, I'm assuming that the FamilySearch Beta site and Pilot Record Search are part of http://www.familysearch.org/, that the http://www.usgwarchives.net/ are part of http://www.usgenweb.org/, and that the message boards, mailing lists and WorldConnect family tree is part of http://www.rootsweb.com/.

15 comments:

Chris Staats said...

1. http://www.ancestry.com/
2. http://www.familysearch.org/
3. http://www.google.com/
4. http://www.footnote.com/
5. http://www.usgenweb.org/
6. http://www.rootsweb.com/
7. http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/
8. http://www.newenglandancestors.org/

There are a number of sites I’m sure I use more than the last 4 on this list – state archives sites, county recorder sites, etc – but from the list – this is how I rank them.

GrannyPam said...

1. http://www.ancestry.com/
2. http://www.familysearch.org/
3. http://www.footnote.com/
4 http://www.newenglandancestors.org/
5. http://www.google.com/
6. http://www.rootsweb.com/
7. http://www.usgenweb.org/
8. http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/

I rarely use world vital records, and there are other sites I use not listed here.

mybabyjohn said...

http://www.ancestry.com/
http://www.rootsweb.com/
http://www.google.com/
the rest can follow in any old order as I don't use them
other sites I use
http://search.freefind.com/
http://my.tbaytel.net/bmartin/earlyont.htm
http://www.findagrave.com/
http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/perryman-petersen.html#RJW0K4LXQ
http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/
http://cemetery.canadagenweb.org/ON/index.html

Valerie C. said...

http://www.ancestry.com
http://www.familysearch.org
http://www.usgenweb.org
http://www.footnote.com
http://www.rootsweb.com
http://www.google.com
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
http://www.newenglandancestors.org

Nolichucky Roots said...

1. http://www.ancestry.com/
2. http://www.familysearch.org/
3. http://www.google.com/
4. http://www.usgenweb.org/
5. http://www.rootsweb.com/
6. http://www.newenglandancestors.org/
7. http://www.footnote.com/

I did not include worldvitalrecords.com/. I don't use it. I, too, use state archive and library sites far more than the last four listed. I rarely start at usgenweb or rootsweb, but may end up there using a google search.

Anonymous said...

Norm Prince
1 Ancestry
2 Google
3 GenWeb
4 FamilySearch
5 RootsWeb
6 FindAGrave
7 Geonames.usgs.gov
8 SSDI

I do not use all eight sites listed so show the top eight for my daily usage.

Greta Koehl said...

1. www.ancestry.com
2. www.familysearch.com (especially Record Search)
3. www.google.com
4. www.usgenweb.com
5. www.footnote.com
6. www.rootsweb.com

Don't use the other two much. Do use Findagrave, Cyndi's list, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Greenville County Library and County Government websites, and several state archives pages (especially South Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Alabama, and Arkansas), and will probably use Genealogy Bank at some point.

Anonymous said...

My list:
1. ancestry
2. newenglandancestors
3. familysearch
4. google (especially the books)
5. usgenweb
6. footnote
7. rootsweb
8. worldvitalrecords

My comments: The most useful site I use that isn't on this list is either raogk.org (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) or findagrave.com; the site I wish was more useful is Lostcousins.com, but there just aren't enough users participating; and comments on my list are that I wish Ancestry added more records faster, given how much they charge; I've only ever found one useful record on Footnote but it was a doozy... I think part of the problem is that I can't use the search function as well as I'd like; I love the familysearch beta; the Google books search has uncovered some great finds I never would have come across otherwise; and I always dread going to New England Ancestors even if I know I'll find something... it's a really awkward search and the plugins on the images don't always work.

Lynn Palermo said...

Here's mine at www.thearmchairgenealogist.com
Sorry felt the need to break the rules, as not all would make my top 10.

Connie Moretti said...

Here's my frequency of use list:
1. Ancestry.com
2. Linkpendium.com
3. Google.com
4. Familysearch.org
5. WorldVitalRecords.com
6. Footnote.com
7. Findagrave.com
8. DAR.org
Commenting on DAR - the web site with its fantastic resources is open to the public. Among the gems are analytical cards on their vast library collection and indexes to the GRC (Genealogical Records Committee) reports compiled over the last hundred years, including court records, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records etc.

Elf Flame said...

For me, my top sites would be:
1. FamilySearch.org (especially the beta site)
2. google.com
3. Geni.com
4. Rootsweb.com
5. JewishGen
6. MyHeritage.com
7. World Bride Index

The others on their list, I don't use at all. I'm still getting started, and spending money when I'm still not organized is something I can't quite see myself doing.

GeneaDiva said...

Here's my list:
1. Ancestry.com
2http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=home
3. genealogybank.com
4. footnote.com
5.newspaperarchive.com
6.cyndislist.com
7.findagrave.com
8.usgenweb.com
9.google.com (esp. google books)
10. several state and local sites

Martin said...

http://mhollick.typepad.com/slovakyankee/2010/07/favorite-genealogy-websites.html

JT said...

http://filioagnostic.blogspot.com/2010/07/top-10-genealogy-websites.html

Judy Webster said...

As I don't use http://www.newenglandancestors.org/ or http://www.usgenweb.org/ and rarely use http://www.footnote.com, I have substituted sites that are important to me.

1) http://www.google.com/ - Google Alerts (try it!); searching; Blogger
2) http://www.rootsweb.com/ - mailing lists; WorldConnect; Freepages; guides
3) http://www.genuki.org.uk/ - best starting point for UK/Ireland
4) http://www.CyndisList.com/ - best list of genealogy links worldwide
5) http://www.findmypast.com/ - better databases than Ancestry
6) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ - searchable digitised newspapers
7) http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/ - databases
8) http://www.familysearch.org/ - lots of good stuff

I'm sorry, but I cannot bring myself to rank http://www.ancestry.com/ in the Top 8, because its indexing is woefully inaccurate. Other sites that deserve a Highly Commended are LostCousins (http://www.lostcousins.com/) and CuriousFox (http://www.curiousfox.org/ for USA, http://www.curiousfox.com/ for UK/ Ireland).