Tracing Your Family Tree

on the Internet

by Barbara Renick ©Copyright 2001

Barb@ZRoots.com

 

Home ] BYU ] Shortcuts ] My Collection ] NGS ] Local ]

 

The Internet provides many different types of tools to help genealogists trace their family trees. Different tools are needed in different phases of research. Genealogical research has classically been defined in four phases: the survey phase, the research phase, the evaluation phase, and the publication phase. Each time you add a new generation, surname, or location to your family tree, you go back and do a new survey phase of research.

GOAL OF THE SURVEY PHASE: To seek out and find research done by others so that a duplication of effort is avoided. This often means searching for secondary or compiled sources, rather than the more primary types of sources sought in the research phase.

 

Survey Phase Resources:

1.    FamilySearch available online at http://familysearch.org.

2.    Finding family members and also contacting them via E-fax and e-mail.

Yahoo! People Search http://people.yahoo.com/

Bigfoot  http://www.bigfoot.com/

Switchboard Searchable Telephone Directory   http://www.switchboard.com/

Zip Code Lookup and Address Information at http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/

3.    Search library catalogs online before going on location.

      Library of Congress – LC Online Catalog http://lcweb.loc.gov/homepage/lchp.html

 Los Angeles Main Public Library http://www.lapl.org/

      Library of Virginia http://vsla.edu/lva/

 BYU Library http://www.lib.byu.edu/newhome.html

4.    Search databases and genealogical resources without having to leave home.

      GenSearcher – The All-in-One Genealogy Search Page

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/8310/gensearcher.html

Cyndi’s List of Databases, Search Sites, Surname Lists

http://www.cyndislist.com/database.htm

Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com 

(some databases are free, some are not)

5.    Commercial database services (these online services allow you to search for free but charge you a membership fee to see most of the results/matches from your searches).

6.    Look for Web pages about your surnames.

Cyndi's List of Surnames, Family Associations and Newsletters Index

http://www.CyndisList.com/surnames.htm

FEEFHS Search Engine Index, item #2 http://www.feefhs.org/feefhsei.html

Rafael Prinke's Searching the List for Surnames 

http://main.amu.edu.pl/~rafalp/GEN/szk_eng.htm

7.    Place free queries and/or register your research interests online

USGenWeb Project http://www.usgenweb.org/

World GenWeb Project http://www.worldgenweb.org/

RootsWeb Surname List (RSL) http://www.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/rslsql.cgi

GenForum at Genealogy.com http://genforum.genealogy.com/

8.    More family history books are being published than ever before thanks to computer software (with fewer excuses for producing a “fairy tale” genealogy without documentation). Much research is even being published on the World Wide Web. A search using an Internet search engine today finds nothing on the surname ZUCKNICK, but next month may turn up eleven matches.

     Excite http://www.excite.com/

Lycos http://www.lycos.com/

Yahoo! http://yahoo.com/ (site specific search engine)

Infoseek Express http://express.infoseek.com/ (browser utility)

9.    Find out about local, regional, county, state, national, ethnic, and religious historical and genealogical societies.

10. Subscribe to free Mail Lists on the Internet.

      Genealogy Listservers, Newsgroups & Special Homepages 

http://www.eskimo.com/~chance/lists.html

Liszt, the mailing list directory http://liszt.bluemarble.net/

Cyndi's List http://www.cyndislist.com/mailnews.htm

John Fuller's site http://members.aol.com/johnf14246/gen_mail.html

RootsWeb http://www.rootsweb.com

11. Follow Usenet newsgroups via software like NewsRover  http://www.newsrover.com/. 

        The following Web sites tell about newsgroups.

Liszt Usenet Newsgroups Directory http://www.liszt.com/news/

MIWorld Usenet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

http://www.miworld.net/usenfaq.html

Princeton University's USENET Newsgroups 

http://www.princeton.edu/~spigot/internet/knownet/usenet.html

deja.com http://www.deja.com/

 

GOAL OF THE EVALUATION PHASE: To evaluate what you
have found, set new goals, plan your next survey and research phases.

 Evaluation Phase Resources:

1.    Free mail lists from FamilySearch Internet.

2.    Genealogy and/or Internet classes online.
Spectrum Virtual University http://www.vu.org/

3.    Dictionaries.

Genealogy Dictionary  http://www.electriciti.com/~dotts/diction.html
OneLook Dictionaries http://www.onelook.com/

4.    Translation services.

travlang's Translating Dictionaries http://dictionaries.travlang.com/

5.    Citing Sources from Cyndi's List  http://www.cyndislist.com/citing.htm

6.    Tutorials online.

7.    Chat areas and online newsletters.

8.    Do not believe everything you read on the Internet. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOAL OF THE PUBLICATION PHASE: To preserve and disseminate information about your family tree. Secondarily, to prevent floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes from destroying your years of genealogical research.

 

Publication Phase Resources A. D.:

Today's genealogy software makes publishing your data on the Web quick and easy. Web publishing disseminates your work around the world for all to see (so long as you pay the rental fee for that Web space). "Cousins" can find, check, add to, or correct your research efforts. Update your Web pages as often as you like at no additional cost and with very little effort. 

See Richard Wilson’s Home Page  http://home.earthlink.net/~richardw/ for examples of what Web pages generated by different genealogy software programs can look like.

For free publishing space in a protected environment, go to http://www.myfamily.com/.

 

Home Up Links Schedule OFHC Notes My Surnames