By David A. Fryxell
Count on us to point you to genealogy's top digital destinations: 10 standouts in 10 areas (plus one!) add up to the 10th edition of our 101 Best Web Sites.
If our ancestors had swung down from the trees with six fingers on each hand, we'd probably be counting by dozens. But thanks to humanity's development of 10 fingers and 10 toes, we count things in 10s, group the years in decades and celebrate anniversaries ending in 0—such as this 10th annual installment of Family Tree Magazine
's 101 Best Web Sites.
We're marking the occasion by honoring 10 categories of 10 noteworthy sites each (plus one to make 101, of course). With this 10th roundup of meritorious sites, we've also sought to break the mold a bit and encompass more of the "Web 2.0" sites that are paving the way for changes in online genealogy over the next 10 years. Something had to give, however, to keep our count at a manageable 101, so we've omitted some old favorites—still worth bookmarking, nonetheless—and several excellent foreign research sites of interest to genealogists with that particular ancestry.
Sites that are mostly free but where you might still wind up pulling out your credit card for some purchase or other are marked with a $
. Subscription-only sites and those where you have to pay for any meaningful results are indicated with $$
What's the one Web resource in a class by itself? Ancestry.com $$
, of course. What can we say? With its ever-expanding collection of databases and globe-spanning country-specific sites, Ancestry.com
comes the closest to realizing the dream of doing real genealogy online—not just finding a few clues, but tracing your ancestors in primary sources. The complete US census, indexed, searchable and linked to images, is only the beginning here. An annual membership is $155.40 for US collections only, or $299.40 for the World Deluxe membership.
Want to see who made the list in 2010? Sign up for our free eNewsletter now
and get instant access to the 101 Best Websites in 2010. From state vital records and censuses to historical books and immigration data, this year's 13-page guide to the 101 Best Websites features tools that can bust your brick walls - but not your budget. Get the eNewsletter now!
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.