Genealogy and the Web

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Beginner’s Luck – First Steps in Your Family Tree Research
Roots Web’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees

<> Designed for interactive use, with links and tutorials, this introduction to researching your ancestors covers “Where to Begin,” “Why You Can’t Find Your Ancestors,” “Creating Worthwhile Genealogies,” “Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestors” and more. Lessons are also available in PDF format.

Lineages’ Genealogy for Beginners

<> Includes steps to success, from getting organized to writing queries, free genealogy toolkit, links to online genealogy columns and general information.

Genealogy —

<> Archived columns on everything from building a genealogy library to a series on the US census to finding and using maps. Also contains a list of genealogy links and discussion threads.

Jynxey’s Junction Genealogical Depot

<> Provides advice and information for beginning genealogists, as well as links to other major sites.

Treasure Maps: The How-To Genealogy Site

<> The list of five steps to starting genealogical research is very helpful, and the deciphering old handwriting section should speed you on your way through aged wills, letters and other documents. Genealogy

<> For family history enthusiasts of all experience levels: lively chats, polls, how-to, message board discussions, news updates, links to the A-Z of genealogy subjects, humor, feature articles, Web-searching strategies and library links.

Twenty Ways to Avoid Genealogical Grief

<> Suggestions to help beginners prevent misfortune when learning the basics of genealogical research.

Genealogy Referral Page

<> Created for genealogists using Chicago’s Cook Memorial Library. Includes the genealogy librarian’s “Guide to Researching Your Family History” and points to useful, proven sites in areas such as genealogical businesses and consulting; families, religion and culture; general genealogy information and resources; and military resources.

Genealogical Gold Mines – The “Biggies”

Family Tree Magazine

<> Our own essential toolkit of downloadable genealogy resources; free e-mail service (; links to the Internet’s most useful family history sites; and our powerful SuperSearch, which lets you find your living relatives, search the most useful how-to sites and search — with a single click — most of the database sites listed here, more than a billion entries in all.

Family Tree Maker

<> Learn about collecting information, organizing what you’ve got and starting to look for the missing pieces. There’s also a dictionary of genealogy terms and a helpful research directory. Explore similar information in a different format at <>.


<> The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares access to its Ancestral File (35 million-plus names), the International Genealogical Index for nearly 20 regions (more than 600 million names), Pedigree Resource File (15 million names) and Web site links, along with a center for collaborating with others working your names.


<> Home to the RootsWeb Surname List of more than 887,000 entries. RootsWeb offers two e-newsletters and online genealogical courses. Links extend to interests beyond genealogy, such as folklore, crafts and dancing.

Cyndi’s List

<> They don’t come better than Cyndi Howells’ exhaustive list of genealogy links. Updated daily with more than 75,000 categorized genealogy sites.


<> Creating Web sites for genealogical research in every US state and county. The information’s free, but the quality and quantity vary widely from site to site, many of which have local histories, original county boundaries, query boards and more.

World GenWeb

<> An ambitious project to create a global version of USGenWeb.


< > Offers access to more than 2,500 databases and 600 million names to subscribers ($59.95 per year or $19.95 per quarter) and significantly less access for free. The for-pay database includes the Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, the most widely used index of genealogical and historical articles.

Gen Forum

<> Includes forums for 16,000 surnames, with more than 2.5 million messages archived. Set up your own list of surname forums to follow (the display isn’t great), post to the forum, or get the e-mail address of the person whose posting interests you.

<> This spin-off hosts more than 130,000 message boards for surnames and other genealogy-related topics, plus offers a free newsletter.

Genealogy Toolbox

<> A general index to genealogy resources on the Internet, including a list of 70,000-plus links, family history news, software guide, pages for posting research questions (with more than 100,000 queries), bookstore and a site to register your genealogical home page with several Internet genealogy indexes.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet

<> Weekly updated index of Internet mailing lists, e-mail addresses, Web sites and newsgroups. Nowhere else will you find such a comprehensive, up-to-date collection of mailing lists — more than 20,000 are currently listed — with instructions on how to participate and links.

The Search Continues – Best Bets For Ongoing Research
Heritage Quest

<> In addition to Heritage Quest magazine, members of the Heritage Quest Research Club get discounted books, software, magazines, CD-ROMs and more. Heritage Quest’s products include what it says is the US’ largest private collection of family history data on microfilm, more than 250,000 titles.


<> Lots of databases here, but you must know the name of the author of the database to make the most efficient use of the site.


<> offers access to more than 2,800 databases at this site, including 280,000-plus census images.

Surname Search

<> Just what it sounds like: loads of links to surname databases and more.

Genealogy Pages

<> A bit more manageable than some of the larger portals, broken into 14 areas from adoption to software.

Comparison of Linked Pedigree Databases

<> With all these databases, where do you start? This site seeks to help you sort just how big each is, how much use costs and how fast the number of names present is growing.

The Genealogy Home Page


This portal is updated frequently and contains some good links to general research and to individual histories. Find new genealogy Web sites listed daily.


<> Alphabetical index of search engines and indices, as well as its own forum, surname databases, “notorious ancestors” page and options to list your genealogy page and submit it to multiple sites.’s Genealogy Jackpot

<> Scoops up 92 surname searches, 16 general search engines, 14 national telephone directories, 21 genealogy databases, 9 genealogy search engines and links to 150 related sites in 16 categories.

Surname Web

<> Search 3 billion records and 100,000 genealogy sites, as well as the site’s surname registry, links to resource centers, other surname databases and a Web site construction kit for beginners.

Genealogy Exchange & Surname Registry

<> Data exchange where visitors and researchers can find and exchange genealogical information. Features include links to Web sites for every US state and county, monthly e-newsletter, mailing lists, Emigrant Savings Bank Project, military record collections, query and surname forums, look-up and translation volunteers, book search and reunion announcements.

Ancestors’ Attic

<> Directs you to all kinds of vital records, maps, libraries, translators, immigration lists and many other useful resources that the site’s creator came across doing her own family history research.

Ancestral Findings

<> Lots of links to record databases (birth, land, state, death, census, military, marriage, World Family Tree CDs, passenger and immigration) as well as free look-up sites and other genealogy resources.

Family Tree Searcher

<> Once you’ve entered your ancestor’s vital information into this site’s form, you can run it through nine major search engines — including and RootsWeb’s WorldConnect — with one click.

Firstmom’s Genealogy Resources & Records

<> More than 2,000 genealogy links specializing in adoption, military resources, US immigration and countries, American Revolution, Civil War, surname/personal sites, England, Canada, Germany, Ireland, genealogy researchers list, Native American, Alabama, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, freebies and more.

Genealogy Gateway

<> “Gateways” to thousands of genealogy links include beginners, databases, ethnic, family, history, listings, military, obituaries, Scottish, surnames, US, vital records and worldwide.

<> One surname, one search: Just type in a first and last name, and this search engine will retrieve links from all over the Web (RootsWeb, Lineages, etc.) that contain those names.


<> With more than 12 million entries, this genealogical database network will search every database it knows of — worldwide, both free and fee-based sites — and tell you how to access the information it finds (listing either a Web site, e-mail address or postal address).

<> Trio of databases: “I Found It!,” a free, searchable database of genealogy-only Web sites; “Common Threads,” a dead-end database where researchers can help each other out; and an archive of historical records.


<> Shows how to piece together the lives of ordinary people in the past, using the example of an 18th-century midwife’s diary that was recently developed into a book and film, A Midwife’s Tale.

Ten Top Pedigree Databases
An instant addition to your family tree may be just waiting for you to download from the Internet or pull off a CD-ROM. Start exploring the possibilities with the 10 largest pedigree databases; most are free or offer some free access if you submit a GEDCOM file.

Ancestral Archive

<> Kindred Konnections, Box 1882, Orem, UT 84059, (801) 229-7967. Access more than 51 million names in the Ancestral Archive as well as birth, marriage, death, cemetery and census records from various states and countries.

Ancestral File

<> Family History Department, Attn.: Ancestral File Submissions, 50 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT84150. Search more than 35 million names on 9 CD-ROMs at any Family History Center or on the popular FamilySearch Web site.

Ancestry World Tree

< >, 266 W. Center St., Orem, UT 84057, (801) 426-3500. Free database of more than 66 million names.

Computerized Ancestor

<> Yates Publishing, Box 67, Stevensville, MT 59870, (888) 377-3797 toll-free or (406) 777-3797. Search an index of 1.7 million names and get copies of the corresponding family group sheets.

Everton’s On-Line

<> Everton Publishers, Box 368, Logan, UT 84323, (800) 443-6325 toll-free or (435) 752-6022. Everton’s site has databases containing more than 7 million names.


<> Contact by e-mail from the Gendex Web site. Indexes more than 4,000 World Wide Web databases with data on more than 16 million individuals.


<> Cliff Manis, GenServ System, Box 33937, San Antonio, TX 78265. Contains more than 15,000 GEDCOM files from submitters in over 50 countries (more than 20 million names). GenServ offers two free months with a GEDCOM submission, or pay $12 per year.

Pedigree Resource File

<> Family History Department, 50 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150. You can access the 15 million names in this file for free along with other databases on the FamilySearch Web site.

WorldConnect Project

<> RootsWeb, 1001 Tower Way, #120, Bakers-field, CA 93309. This free database of more than 37 million names lets you post a note on an uploaded GEDCOM file to alert others that you have additional or conflicting information.

World Family Tree

<>, Attn: World Family Tree Project, Box 760, Fremont, CA 94537. You can now access 117 million names on 61 CDs (volumes) online.

You can search the Ancestral File, the Ancestry World Tree, the Pedigree Resource File, the World Family Tree index and RootsWeb’s Surname Helper all at once using Family Tree Magazine‘s Surname SuperSearch <www.familytreemagazine. com/search/>.

From the Winter 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine
Home Sweet Home Pages
Ready to dig deeper into the world of online genealogy? Try constructing your own family history Web site. Whether you’re an HTML guru or Net novice, these tools make Web publishing fast, easy and even free.

Getting Started

Cyndi’s Genealogy Home Page Construction Kit

<> Links to resources for all stages of Web publishing.

National Genealogical Society

<> “Netiquette” for family history Web pages.

<> Site organization tips.

HTML How-Tos

Learn the language of Web publishing.


Bare Bones Guide to HTML


Basic HTML Reference


Beginning HTML Links


HTML Tag Library

< html>

Introduction to HTML and URLs

< html>


Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating an HTML Web Page by Paul McFedries (Que)

Creating Web Pages with HTML Simplified by Ruth Maran (IDG Books)

HTML for Dummies by Ed Tittel and Steven N. James (IDG Books)

HTML: The Complete Reference by Thomas A. Powell (Osborne McGraw Hill)

Learn HTML in a Weekend by Steven E. Callihan (Prima Publishing)

WYSIWYG Software

With “What You See Is What You Get” programs, you can design Web pages without knowing HTML.

Claris Home Page 3.0

<> PC/Mac

Hot Dog PageWiz

<> PC

Ixla WebEasy

<> PC

Macromedia Dreamweaver 3

<> PC/Mac

Microsoft FrontPage 2000

<> PC

NetObjects Fusion 5.0

<> PC

Netscape Communicator

< = homo3X4> PC/Mac

Symantec Visual Page

<> Version 2.0 for PC, Version 1.0 for Mac

You’ll find links to more WYSIWYG and HTML editors — including shareware and freeware — at <>, <> and <>.

Free Web Space

Don’t pay for server space — free hosts abound! You can compare dozens of free Web servers at <www.freeweblist.freeservers. com>.








RootsWeb FreePages












Yahoo! GeoCities





AT&T World Net




MCI WorldCom


Microsoft Network


Check the Yellow Pages under “Internet Access Providers” for local ISPs.

GEDCOM to HTML Converters







Privacy Filters









FTP Programs

Transfer your pages from your desktop to the world.





FTP Explorer


FTP Express


FTP Voyager


See <> for more.

Search Engine Submittal

Use these free registration services to promote your Web site.

Submit Express

<> 40 search engines.

Add Me!

<> 30 search engines.

Submit Plus

< 110 search engines.

Cyndi’s List

< htm>

Genealogy Toolbox


Your Own Domain (Name)

Network Solutions


My Internet


Domain Direct



Family Web Site Services

These password-protected online gathering places offer your family a pre-designed site with built-in features such as a calendar, photo album, address book and chat.


Family Shoebox


Family Point


Family Buzz

 From the Winter 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine