101 Best Websites 2010: Continental Europe Research

By David A. Fryxell Premium
Check out the “five-minute guide to Jewish genealogical research,” then search the Consolidated Jewish Surname Index of nearly 700,000 surnames in 42 different databases containing more than 7.3 million records. Most are from Eastern Europe, but even Scandinavia and the United Kingdom are covered.

Danish Demographic Database

Hans Christian Andersen himself couldn’t have come up with a more magical resource for researching Danish roots. But it’s no fairy tale: nearly 400,000 emigration records (1869 to 1908), almost 13 million census records dating to 1769, probate records, and even info on the former Danish colony of St. Croix.


A countdown clock at this National Archives of Norway website tracks the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the release of the 1910 Norwegian census, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied in the meantime: the 1801, 1865, 1875 and 1900 censuses, plus digitized parish registers and probate records. There’s even a one-click search of all the databases.

Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies

Newly redesigned, the website for this long-established organization lets you click on a map in its Resource Directory to jump into resource guides and databases ranging from Albania to Ukraine.

The Genealogical Society of Finland

The society’s HisKi project is putting Finnish church records online; they’ll even be searchable, though the search capability is still in a testing phase. Instructions are in English.


There’s no point in putting your finger in the dike to hold back this flood of Dutch records: Genlias contains 13.5 million records, representing almost 55 million individuals, drawn mostly from post-1811 civil registers but also including inheritance declarations dating from 1808.


Handsomely redesigned, this site affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage also recently added 104,500 records and 20,700 photos to its Online Worldwide Burial Registry. Among its wide array of databases, don’t miss the Family Finder surname database, ShtetLinks and the Family Tree of the Jewish People.


Covering all the areas historically part of the Polish Commonwealth, this attractive site includes FAQ for beginners, plus maps, translation tips, links and back issues of the Gen Dobry e-zine.

Swedish Roots

Swedish genealogy sites seem to charge for almost everything, but this home of the Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies is packed with free info, much of it in English. You can post a query on the Anbytarforum message boards in English, and odds are a helpful Swede will reply. 
Take your genealogical research to the next level with Family Tree University’s course Research in Foreign Records: How to Find Your Family Across the Pond. In this course, you will learn how to access records from all over the world—without traveling there, and receive one-on-one help as you delve into international records. 
From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine