Research your family across the pond by surfing these 57 European genealogy websites.
For most genealogists of European heritage, a key research goal is to make the connection between your ancestors and the “old country.” Once you’ve “jumped the pond,” however, all too often what’s waiting on the other side is a brick wall—or, at best, an eye-blurring pile of microfilm. For genealogists spoiled by the ready access to so many stateside records via the internet, European research can be daunting. Even if someday you dream of pursuing your ancestors to the old country in person, being able to do some of the research in advance online can spell the difference between a successful trip and an expensive ticket to frustration. How do you find the best sites for researching your roots over there?
Allow us to lend a hand with your European online surfing expedition. While the quality and quantity of genealogy sites varies widely across the continent, we’ve identified the best of what’s available—from Ireland to Russia, Norway to Greece. Researchers with roots in the British Isles and Scandinavia will find a wealth of online records, and it may actually be easier to trace your ancestors from your computer at home than on the ground in those countries. But even ancestries with sparser online resources, such as in Eastern Europe, can get a jump-start with these sites (those requiring payment for most content are marked with a $). They don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing, after all.