Monday, July 29, 2013

My Top Ten Most Useful Online Genealogy Databases to Research My Family Tree

James Tanner wrote My Current Top Ten U.S. Databases for Researching My Family Tree yesterday, so I thought I would list my most useful genealogy websites/databases also.  These are specific to me and my interests - yours will probably vary significantly:

1) ($$) - With over 31,000 different databases, this is a clear #1 choice.  Vital records, census records, military records, immigration records, books, newspaper records (courtesy of NewspaperARCHIVE), maps, DNA tests and matches, documented Ancestry Member Trees, and more.  Green leaf hints, and historical record matches help.

2) (Free) - historical records (searchable and browsable), books, research wiki, FHL Catalog, Learning Center videos, FamilySearch Family Tree, and more.  In the near future, this may become number one on my hit parade because of access to land and probate records for every state.

3)  MyHeritage/WorldVitalRecords ($$) - The Record Matches in MyHeritage, with a MH/WVR data subscription, provide smart targeted access to records (including census records, Find A Grave, NewspaperARCHIVE, etc.) for persons in my MyHeritage family tree.

4)  Find A Grave (Free) - With over 100 million memorials, this is an excellent site to find cemetery records and more.  Users can request photos of a specific gravesite in a specific cemetery.  Many memorials provide photos of gravestones, leads to other information, and obituaries.

5)  AmericanAncestors ($$) - The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) site focuses on New England and New York, but has online access to two historical newspaper collections and several periodicals outside the region.  I have lots of New England ancestry!

6)  GenealogyBank ($$) - This book, current and historical newspaper site continues to grow, and has San Diego area newspapers now.

7) ($$) - Ancestry owned, this site has many unique military record collections, and is adding the War of 1812 and Civil War pension files gradually.  It also has selected large city historical newspapers and city directories that are very useful.

8)  Chronicling America (Free) - this historical newspaper site constantly is adding content.

9)  Joe Beine's German Roots (Free) - The list of all of Joe's "Online Genealogy Records, Indexes and Databases" provides links to online collections of vital records, military records, passenger lists, naturalization records, county histories, historical newspapers, German research, and more.

10)  Google (Free) - The Google search engine finds links to anything I search for, plus Google Books, Translate, maps, Google Earth, and Blogger (which I can't live without), Google+ Communities, Hangouts, etc.

Only ten?  Want more? - I have many more favorites - the next five are:

* ($$) - I use it mostly for English records, but it is building a U.S. record collection (it has all U.S. Census records).

*  USGenWeb (Free) - User-submitted web pages for every state, and every county, plus an Archive search covering all states.

*  Internet Archive (Free) - digitized books, media, and more.

*  Rootsweb/Ancestry (Free) - WorldConnect family trees, vital record databases, free pages, message boards and mailing lists are free to access.

*  Family Tree Webinars (Free/$$) - watch live hour-long presentations for free for one week, then you need a subscription.

I have many more items listed by category on my Randy's Genealogy Links page.

What online genealogy databases are your favorites?  Tell us in comments to this post, or better yet, write your own blog post about them.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Joe said...

Nice list, Randy. And thanks for including my website :)