Genealogy Black Hole
(brought to you by Gar's Genealogy Page)
CAUTION: Genealogy is an addictive hobby that can suck away all of your free time!
That's why you need to use the BEST databases on the web!
Here are my favorites:
Ancestry.com has a tremendous number of databases that can be searched by members!
To name only a few:
Over 1800 databases! Over 500 million records! Only $5 per month!
- 1790 - 1870 All available census indices for all states!
- Alabama Marriages, 1800-1920
- Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Lineage Books (all 152 Volumes!)
- Connecticut Marriages to 1800
- Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy
- Ancestry World Tree -- Searchable / Downloadable GEDCOMs from other researchers!
Try it out, by searching from some of their FREE databases with the form below . . .
Rootsweb was my very first Genealogy source. I was a subscriber to "ROOTS-L" beginning in 1990.
Since that time it has grown to include over 370,000 genealogists participating in more than 16,000 mailing lists!
No matter what name or location you are researching, there is probably a mailing list for you! In addition to this,
Rootsweb hosts around 5,000 genealoy related websites, and has hundreds of Gigabytes of genealogy-related material
A few recommended starting points:
The US GenWeb Project
The US GenWeb project aims to have a genealogy site for every county in the United States.
If you are looking for information about a certain locality, this is DEFINITELY the place to start!
State Coordinators were assigned to find County Coordinators for each County within their state. Some counties are even
broken down into cities!
To get started, go to the State Index table
For an example of just how incredible this service is, check out a couple of my favorite counties . . .
Genealogylibrary.com is a service that provides full-text searchable genealogy books online. You pay a modest membership fee
(its free if you are an owner of FamilyTreeMaker) to access the full text of more than 2,000 books! All of the "standard" genealogy
texts are available, plus many rare and hard to find surname, vital record, and local history books of genealogical value. For the price
I paid for my original "A History of Waterbury Connecticut", I could have had a three year subscription to this service!
This one is new for me. I've just started using GenCircles, which is user contributed family trees with a very nice Global Tree search feature. The thing I like about them is that there seems to be a great deal of documentation among their researchers. The search makes it easy to see whether the "hit" is "your person" or not before you have to navigate to the other site. Highly recommended. www.GenCircles.com
Family Search -- the Mormon files Online at Last
Those Mormons may have some Curious Ideas about my Lord and Saviour, but they sure do know their Genealogy!
That said, their database is actually in a total shambles because they accept basically any fact from
any source. But once they have it in there, it is VERY easy to find! Just be very careful that you authenticate the data separately.
See A Cautionary Tale for an example of the kind of confusion found here! An EXCELLENT source
for generating leads though. The two main tools are "PAF" and "IGI".
Ancestral File -- This section is based on PAF, which was the original genealogy software,
and we owe the ability to easily exchange genealogy data to the Mormons for the invention of "GEDCOM", PAF's database format. The records you find in the PAF section of the web pages
are actually exports from PAF users' databases. Because of this, you can often find large family trees for your ancestors.
International Genealogical Index This is a database of vital records from millions of sources around the world.
It shows births, deaths, and marriages, as well as giving enough information that you can order a copy of the original source document from the church's
"Family History Centers", which can be found in every major city. Their rates are very reasonable too!
Film / Fiche Search The "film" number that is given at the bottom of
each IGI entry can be entered here to find out what the original source document was. Often this will be a clue to how "trustworthy" the data should be considered.
GenForum is the host of an enormous, searchable collection of conversations based on surname. From the main page, you can
find a surname discussion list. ALMOST every surname I've ever tried has been present, though some are more active than others.
The Power Key for this site though is its "Search All Forums" box, found at the bottom of most pages. For instance, I would OBVIOUSLY go to the "Bean" Forum to find
information about "Frank Bean". But would you have thought to check the Dubois, Martindale, Leighton, Lefebvre, and Paine forums? Now THAT is POWER!