Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Use the Internet for Genealogy Research by...

John D. Reid has an interesting post today titled How genealogists use the internet on his Anglo-Celtic Connections blog. John describes the content of a Fraser Dunford column on the subject which claimed there were only four uses, and then John provides his own list of ways he uses the Internet. Read his entire post.

This is a very useful topic for genea-bloggers and blog readers, because the list can be useful in expanding knowledge of genealogy resources and ways to find distant cousins

Here are the ways that I use the Internet to perform genealogy research:

* Stay abreast of genealogy industry news and announcements (e.g., company web sites, online magazines, online newsletters, conferences, blogs, etc.)

* Continue my genealogy and history education through reading online articles, magazines, and web sites, listening to podcasts, watching videos, etc.

* Publish my genealogy research reports so that other researchers can find and use them, and contact me (e.g., on web sites, blogs, etc.)

* Publish my family trees on web sites so that other researchers can find and use them, and contact me.

* Post messages on Rootsweb mailing lists, Ancestry and GenForum message boards to solicit help and information from other researchers, and to help other researchers.

* Maintain contact and communicate with family members and genealogy friends through social networks (e.g.,,,,, etc.)

* Search for genealogy and family history information about elusive ancestors in online indexes and databases (e.g.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, etc.)

* Obtain images of original documents from genealogy database companies.

* Search for genealogy and family history about elusive ancestors on web sites using search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.)

* Search for information about local history and available resources on web sites (e.g.,,,, etc.)

* Access library catalogs to determine which institution has holdings of interest (e.g.,, Library of Congress, Family History Library Catalog, local, state and regional libraries)

* Access local and state government office web sites to search for and obtain court, land and vital records

* Access, pay for and download genealogy software to help me enter my genealogy information, organize my research and create charts, reports and books.

* A genealogy writing and publishing outlet for individuals, groups or societies (e.g., blogs, web sites, newsletters, message boards, etc.)

Many of the items on my list are included by John and Fraser Dunford in their lists. As John pointed out, there are many more opportunities than just Fraser's four uses of the Internet for genealogy.

What would you add to these lists? How do you use the Internet in your genealogy activities? Make a comment to this post, or write your own blog post.

My thanks to John and Fraser for a stimulating question, and for the blog fodder.


bgwiehle said...

My additions to the list are maintaining a website, contributing to online resources (RootsWeb databases or FamilySearch transcription projects), supplementing already published data with corrections or post-its, and volunteering for or requesting lookups.

Kathy Brady-Blake said...

Hi Randy. Thanks for posting this. My addition to the list would be my many uses of email. I use it to email documents to cousins, submit articles to quarterlies, plan trips to distant repositories and arrange for genealogy speakers. And also to stay in touch with my genealogy friends.