Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 100 Best Websites

Family Tree Magazine (you can subscribe here) every year puts a list of the top 100 Genealogy websites. Here's the list for 2012 broken up into sections just like they did (ftm list). I'll put my notes on any I've used on the list or that I'm gonna have to try :).

Best Big Genealogy sites.
As they put it so well. These are all "mega sites" that don't charge you for ancestor data. That alone makes it a useful list. The subscription costs are what keeps me from using genealogy.com.
  • Brigham Young University family history archives - The site appears to be through the familysearch.org site that the Church of Latter Day Saints has (& that I've used a lot). Looks like a site I'll be checking out more.
  • Cyndi's List - It's a site full of links broken down into categories. In the past I've had trouble getting information with the site myself.
  • FamilySearch - This is my favorite search site. I've gotten loads of information from it that I would've had to pay for at genealogy.com.
  • Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - Ftm's notes say the site has 4,000+ volunteers to help track things down locally (where they are) when you can't make a trip say across the country for a court record that can't be found online. According to a blog I saw here the site is down for a while for several reasons. Expains why I can't get the site to load on my laptop.
  • Roots Web - It looks like it's a part of the pay site ancestry.com. It's one I've never used before.
  • USGenWeb - This is a site I've recently started to use. It has break downs for every state, then every county. It's handy for finding cemeteries. I've used to to track down census images when FamilySearch didn't have the actual image. The census images aren't transcribed, but if you already know the county to look in & the township or town (for non-farmers) it's not a very daunting task. A little time consuming yes.
  • WeRelate - This is a genealogy wiki. I'm sure it's useful for newbies to go & gather some tips & that. I've never checked it out.
  • WorldGenWeb - Would be the world equivalent of USGenWeb. I've never used it, but from my quick once over it starts by having you click on the continent (I did Europe), then it has it split into regions (I did CenEuro), then country. I found both Germany & Norway on the list, so will cover my paternal lineage (assuming the German parts came from a part of Germany still in Germany). I'll have to check it out some more later.
Best Record Resources
The email I got says nothing about this section. Will just have to see as we go then.
  • Access Genealogy - FTM says that its strong suit is Native American records, which wouldn't apply to me to the best of my knowledge. When I clicked on Iowa though it has a link about Scandavians & their biographies. Looks to be a book. I'll have to give this site more of a try in the future I think.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution - From what I've done so far I haven't found any relatives that were here during the Revolution. OK ancestors would be more accurate then relatives, so I'm probably going to hold off looking this site over more.
  • DistantCousin.com - FTM says the site is strongest in thins like city directories & school alumni lists. I'll have to give a try later.
  • Find a Grave - This site is working on (through the work of volunteers) getting all the cemeteries in the US transcribed & with pictures of each tombstone. Will take a lot of time. I have a "virtual cemetery" (where you can store the memorials you have an interest in to make them easy to find again) that's just relatives (both ancestors & a little more distant) that haven't been put up by a volunteer yet & where I, for whatever reason, don't know where they were buried. You can see my page here. It's my main way of keeping track of what I need to look for cemetery-wise. If you can't tell already I recommend this site.
  • Google News Archive Search - a tool I haven't used. May find it useful for other non-genealogy stuff though.
  • Interment.net - The homepage says it has cemetery burial records from around the world. 'm going to have to check this out & see if I can find the burial places of some of those previously mentioned relatives on this site.
  • Newspaper Abstracts - It looks like the site has images from historical newspapers. It even has an obituary section. I'll have to actually try it sometime & see if I can find some of the obits I'm missing. Just have to be careful. Looks like it sends to ancestry.com where you have to pay at least part of the time. It did for the Waukon Standard that I just clicked on.
Now that's not all 100 of their sites. Just the first 2 of the 13 sections the list has been broken down into. Will have to continue on tomorrow.

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