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, 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 (besides our own, that is):
- 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.
- FamilySearch—The next best thing to a visit to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
- Ancestry.com —Another huge site, but you have to be a paying member to get to the best stuff.
- Genealogy.com—From the same folks who brought you Family Tree Maker. Search 325 million names.
- Family Tree Maker—The site for the bestselling genealogy software is worth a visit for its wealth of information and tips even if you don’t own the program.
- Rootsweb—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 and Federation of Genealogical Societies—The nation’s two largest genealogy societies.
- US 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.