Genealogical Web Sites
Persons researching their family history now have at their fingertips a number of finding aids available on the Internet. Some of these web sites offer information for free, others ask that the patron subscribe. Many offer help in finding data on specific families and individuals. Most allow you to communicate with individuals who have posted queries.
One drawback to many of these web sites is that many of the participants do not cite sources, and so the careful researcher will have to ask for documentation.
Listed below are a few of the many web sites, and what one may expect to find there.
Ancestry.com is the site of a number of data bases, some of which are free, and some of which are available by subscription. This site hosts the Social Security Death Index, which is invaluable for tracing relatives who died in the last half of the 20th century.
CyndisList is one of the largest web sites on the Internet, and contains links to other sites from all over the world. To find out about resources in other states, go to U. S. States, and then click on the two letter abbreviation of the state of interest.
FamilySearch, maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, contains the International Genealogy Index. By clicking on "Custom Search,' researchers are led to the Ancestral File, the Family History Catalog, and other links.
FamilyTreeMaker has several options. It has a link to the Social Security Death Index, and to various catalogs and other finding aids. If you click on the "Internet Family Finder," and then on "Try the Internet Family Finder Now," you will find a space to enter the first (middle) and last name of the individual you are seeking. You will be given a listing of various family web pages posted by various individuals, and then to a list of all the Family Archives CD's that contain that person's name. The CD's are published by Broderbund, and if you click on that link, you will be shown a list of books included on that CD.
GenConnect has been developed by the county coordinators in the USGenWeb and WorldGenWeb Projects as a means of making available queries, biographical sketches, and obituaries for their various countries, and states. It is important to go to the "Visitors' Center" to read the instructions. There are different color stripes, which have different meanings.
Genforum is one site where the researcher may find a great deal of help. One can search by family, state, or country, or even search for specific topics. The individuals who post messages are willing to share. A researcher who finds something interesting can either post a message in response, or can find the email address of the person who posted the original query, and communicate directly with him or her.