Wednesday, June 17, 2009

101 Best Genealogy Web Sites for 2009

Family Tree Magazine published their 101 Best Web Sites 2009 today. The 101 sites include:

* 10 Best Web Sites to See Dead People -- Use these sites to find obituaries, cemeteries and other traces of your departed ancestors.

* 10 Best Web Sites for Vital Records
-- These are the best searchable databases of vital records from health departments, historical societies and state archives.

* 10 Best Web Sites for Storing and Sharing
-- Sharing your family history just got easier with these Web sites that let you create a family tree, store pictures and more.

* 10 Best Big Web Sites
-- You're sure to find information about your family in these stellar genealogy Web sites.

* 10 Best Web Sites for Maps
-- Trace your family's paths, find your ancestors' homes and explore the old country.

* 10 Best Web Sites for Local Searches
-- You can thank your lucky stars if your ancestors resided in the areas these Web sites cover.

* 10 Best Web Sites for International Searches
-- Tracking down immigrant ancestors has never been easier.

* 10 Best Cutting-edge Web Sites
-- Stay informed about the latest technology for genealogists with these sites.

* 10 Best Web Sites for Military Research
-- Find ancestors who served their country in these databases.

* 10 Best Virtual Library Web Sites
-- Powerful search tools let you explore great library collections in the comfort of your own home.

That's 100 - what's #101? of course - in a class by itself.

Three genealogy blogs made the cut in the "Cutting Edge Web Sites" category - The Ancestry Insider, DearMYRTLE and Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

There are three genealogy media sites named in the "Cutting Edge Web Sites" category -- Genealogy Gems, GenealogyGuys and RootsTelevision.

I noted that there were some obvious omissions from some of the categories (e.g., the Missouri Death Records from the "Vital Records" category) but they are included in another category (for the Missouri Death Records, they were included in the "Local Searches" category).

There are quite a few web sites on this list that I haven't reviewed recently - it will be useful to explore on future genealogy days!

What did they miss? For blogs, I would say Genea-Musings (um, toot toot), Shades of the Departed, Family Matters, ThinkGenealogy, and my other 480 favorites.

For web sites, I would say Family History 101, Olive Tree Genealogy, Family Tree Legends, and many more.

I guess I'll have to do my own! What would you add?

Thanks to Schelly for her Twitter mention of her article on Tracing the Tribe.


Anonymous said...


Okay, I'll take the challenge ;-)

I had a brief look at their list and it seems oddly out of date to me.

No mention of GenSeek, GenealogyCloud or the TNG Network, all "cutting edge" initiatives that (may) change how we search the web for genealogy.

I did not notice any mention of the 1911 census either, surely a major vital source.

- Tamura

Family Tree Magazine said...

Thanks for the comments! Just wanted to point out where TGN is: The list has 10 categories of 10 sites each, plus one "in a class by itself." That's, mentioned in the intro at

John said...


The Generations Network (TGN)


The Next Generation (TNG) Network

are different.

John said...

I think there's also a good argument that Rootsweb shouldn't have been included in the Top 10 Big Sites...unless there really was no other Big Site that deserved mentioning.

If one insists Ancestry and Rootsweb are still separate sites, the 101st entry could have been The Generations Network.

Family Tree Magazine said...

Thanks for setting me straight, John--looks like I read Tamura's comment too quickly.

Geolover said...

I don't understand omission of the WV Div. of Archives and History's web site, which posts images of marriage records, death records and birth records.

These are not confined to the late 19th- to early 20-century records covered by all the listed sites: they commence with 1784 marriages in Harrison Co., WV.

County birth records beginning in 1853 are being entered, and State death records beginning in 1909 as well as (slowly coming along) the County death records which also begin in 1853.

The search engine is good, allowing wild cards, with instructions for using them.

Those of us with WV roots bless this wonderful site, which it should be noted is maintained by the poorest State in the nation.

The main drawback to the site is that Volume/Liber citations are not given for most of the records. For some localities the book:page citation can be found in the index on

Schelly Talalay Dardashti said...

Hi, Randy,

Thanks for noting my Twitter re my Tracing the Tribe post on this. Of course, there should have been a top 10 geneablogger category!

However, as Diane says, the list would have gone to many, many more than 101 if everything notable was added this year.

Let's be philosophical and say there's always next year! I'm sure Diane and her staff are already working on ideas for next year's list.