Thanks for the Records: Online Genealogy

By Vanessa Wieland

It’s that time of year again, where people all over the United States pause to reflect on the people and things they’re grateful for. I’m always grateful for my family and friends, the roof over my head, the food on my table – all the things that shouldn’t be taken for granted. But I’m also grateful that my job working with Family Tree University’s online genealogy courses allows me to learn new skills and do what I love every day.

Thanks to Online Genealogy

Okay, I admit it: I’m grateful that I started researching my family history in the internet age. It has made finding records so much easier. While I’ll gladly sign up for a chance to walk around a cemetery on a lovely fall afternoon, so much of my research happens on sites like and FamilySearch.

Of course, even my online genealogy wouldn’t be nearly so effective without the tips and techniques I’ve learned from our online courses. Check out some tips from courses starting this week and sign up today.
Online Genealogy Search Tools

Start with
There are plenty of reasons to be thankful for FamilySearch — especially the volunteers who work hard to get records indexed and online. I also love the’s filters, which make it easy to search specific regions, dates, and collections.

Search a name, date of birth and location, then on the results page, click on Collections and choose which records you want to search for. The results on this page show the top records, but you can click on Show All to see all the collections within each session. Then click Filter These Results to get a refined listing of possible matches. Become a Power User.

Digital Native
FamilySearch contains a lot of resources for researching your Native American ancestry. The site contains information about land, treaties, and rich, detailed resources for finding your Native American ancestors. If you’re looking for information about researching your ancestor’s tribe, the FamilySearch Wiki contains links to just about every tribe that has a website. You can also learn about various treaties and how those may affect where you research. Get all the essential resources and information you need to research your Native American ancestors.

Research German Ancestry with German Genealogy 201
We’ve updated this course with plenty of new information, including an entire lesson on using the German ubersite,, to find records from your German ancestors. While many of the most popular records are available through or FamilySearch, is an avenue to less accessible collections, such as court or tax records. While it is in German, you can have the page translated into English easily.