Monday, February 15, 2016

Getting Started- Websites

For those that are just starting out doing genealogy, the best advice is always to start with yourself. Write down everything you know about your family and to ask the people around you, especially the older family members.

This is all good advice, but what about when you’ve done that? Where do you go to next? Online there are a number of good resources to help you, here are the five that I usually recommend people start with: This is pricey, but thanks to all their advertisements, is the very first place most people think of. Remember that often libraries have a subscription that you can use to access it for free in the library. Unlike many databases, you can’t get to it from home, but hey a library is a good place to go anyway!

2- Cyndi’s list []. Created and maintained by Cyndi Ingle since March 1996, is best described by her: “A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.” The website of the LDS church and the Family History Library (FHL), this website gives you access to many records for free online. Additionally, is there a film you want to request to your local Family History Center (FHC) or view when you’re lucky enough to get to Salt Lake City and the FHL? You can find the information here, including the film number you’ll need to pull it out of the drawer at the FHL or you can order a copy to be sent to the FHC. If you’re researching Upstate New York, you need this site. If you’re not, check it out anyway, you might still need it. This site contains digitized newspapers from all over the Upstate area. Increasingly there are many more from other areas as well. You never know what newspapers you’ll find here as they are periodically being added to. It has a quirky interface and the search engine isn’t always intuitive to work with, but it’s well worth it.

5- Maintained by Thomas MacEntee, this is a great site to find all kinds of blogs to read in whatever specialty area you might wish. Somebody is probably already researching the general area you want to learn about and can give you tips or direct you to more information. And yes, I still need to register this blog and get it listed on there!

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