Digging In

By David A. Fryxell Premium

The World Wide Web has both fueled the interest in genealogy and made it much easier to find and share answers about your ancestors. One of the most popular indexes of genealogy sites online, Cyndi’s List <www.cyndislist.com>, lists more than 41,000 Web sites related to family history.

With so many sites, how do you choose? These are some of our favorite sites for getting started. You’ll find hotlinks to all of them on our Web site <www.familytreemagazine.com>, as well as a revolutionary family-tree-specific search engine that helps you cut through the clutter of the Web and find exactly the genealogy how-to information you need. Plus, you’ll be able to locate conferences, lectures, speakers and invaluable how-to books. If you need to find out how to do something — from writing an information-request letter to storing old photographs to analyzing an 1800s birth certificate — we can help you find top-notch tips.

Once you’ve visited our site, try these other online essentials listed at right.

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet


Worth repeating. If dogged Web researcher Cyndi Howells doesn’t have a link to it, it’s probably not worth the energy to type in the URL



The next best thing to a visit to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Library in Salt Lake City. See our “First Look at FamilySearch,” page 68.


<Ancestry.com >

Another huge site, but you have to be a paying member to get to the best stuff.



From the same folks who brought you Family Tree Maker. Search 325 million names.

Family Tree Maker


The site for the best-selling genealogy software is worth a visit for its wealth of information and tips even if you don’t own the program (see page 48).



Claiming to be the Internet’s oldest genealogy site, this is certainly one of the richest. Lots of databases here, including a 570,000-entry surname database. Rootsweb also hosts more than 16,000 Internet mailing lists.

National Genealogical Society


Federation of Genealogical Societies


The nation’s two largest genealogy societies.

U.S. Genweb Project


The fruits of a mammoth volunteer effort to provide Web sites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States are found here.

National Archives and Records Administration


Find out what information Uncle Sam may have on your ancestors, and where to go to tap it.
From the January 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine