Online tools that make your genealogy search easier.
The Ancestry Insider
Get the latest scoop on the world’s largest paid genealogy site, Ancestry.com, and largest nonprofit genealogy organization, FamilySearch, with this always-engaging blog.
Though not specifically targeted at genealogists, this tool for collaborative online sticky notes will quickly become a favorite for highlighting family history finds.
Another general-purpose tool, Evernote makes saving your online finds as easy as clicking a button; then you can tag or search saved pages and sync them across platforms—on your PC or Mac, on the Web or on your iPhone. You can even e-mail items to yourself at a special Evernote address, or save shots of textual records from your phone’s camera that you can run through optical character recognition.
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online
This database of nearly 900,000 places does a lot more than just tell you where an ancestral place is located. It includes historical places (with dates), alternate spellings and hierarchical relationships—so, for example, you could discover that Castello di Belcaro is a place in the Province of Siena in Italy’s Tuscany region.
Google Book Search
We’re fans of all the ways to use Google for genealogy, but the fast-growing Book Search is a special favorite. An agreement with authors and publishers promises to extend its reach even further, but already the ability to browse old books is the best thing to happen to genealogists since the library card.
This site includes the Wayback Machine, 150 billion pages rescued from the internet’s past, plus nearly 1.9 million texts, including family and local histories.
An invaluable portal to the world’s non-virtual libraries, WorldCat searches more than 1.5 billion items in 10,000 libraries around the world—from your computer or your mobile phone (at <www.worldcat.org/m
> or with the RedLaser app for iPhone).
With the abundant variety of online tools available for genealogists, it is easy to get lost. Stay focused by downloading Family Tree Magazine
’s webinar Googling Your Genealogy
, which offers 7 essential strategies to enhance your online research. Available at ShopFamilyTree.com.
From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine