Cyndi Howells is making a list and checking it twice — and then some: At last count, Cyndi's List had more than 56,000 genealogy Web sites. Here's her advice on “netting your ancestors.”
Back in 1995, when Cyndi Howells was just another member of Washington state's Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society, she shared a one-page set of Internet bookmarks with the group. Howells had recently left her job with a bank's international operations division, and she and her husband, Mark, an information systems auditor, had bought a home computer. At society meetings, members who were online were complaining that they couldn't find much on the Internet to help them, and when they did find a helpful site, they could never find it again. “I was trying to make order out of chaos,” she recalls.
That, she's accomplished. Howells put up her own Web site <www.cyndislist.com> on March 4, 1996, with more than 1,025 genealogy links. Today, her one-woman show has more than 56,000 links, with an average of 1,000 more added every month. Categories run the gamut, linking to sites to help adoptees, sites for those whose ancestors came from any part of the world, sites to help people embarking on oral history projects.