Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Genealogy Websites

Saw this meme over at The Armchair Genealogist and it reminds me of Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day. I have found a number of great tools this way that also cross over from elearning to researching ancestors on the web and I have been spending a lot of time researching my roots so I have definitely have my favorites. Here is my list.
  • Footnote - I love the search feature the best! It makes it so much easier to find a document when you can find it using convention search methods. It is a subscription site but does offer some free records like the social security index.
  • Family Search Pilot - The pilot website has a similar search feature and it really speeds up searching for documents where you think a name might be misspelled or when you want to search by location. They also have added documents recently. One of my recent finds was a birth document for child of my maternal gg-grandfather. It helped document details in a letter one of my great-aunts had written to my grandmother.
  • Illinois Archives - This site has marriage records dating back to early 1800s as well as birth and death records. Great for cross-checking and ordering hard copies of records.
  • Seeking Michigan - Developed by the Library of Michigan, this is site has death certificates stored online as well as a wealth of information about Michigan's history
  • Find A Grave - The site has over 48 million grave records and is a great site to use as a cross reference. I have found some great stuff here. I should contribute as well.
  • Dead Fred - Great site for browsing old photos and you even might find an ancestor or two
  • Google Books - Google's ambitious project has delivered a wealth of books that once were gathering dust in back rooms of many of libraries. I find it fascinating to read books that were written in the 19th century. Reminds you of how much things have changed. And of course the site offers great search options.
  • National Archives - This site has everything a genealogist loves. it all. military records, old newspapers, photos, and historical documents. 
  • - I can't say I have found anything useful here but the site does offer a window into the past and I have a few disaster stories I would like to confirm and document so it is great place to find clues
  • Ancestry/WorldGenWeb Project/Rootsweb - I lumped these three together because Ancestry pretty much controls Rootsweb with WorldGen project being a part of Rootsweb. Ancestry is great site and has much useful information. It is a subscription site and is reather expensive for an individual. I like to look at the discussion boards for clues. The WorldGen sites are also a great resource to find information you may not find anywhere else.


  1. To bad all states do not a site like the Illinois Archives. It is one of my favorites also!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. I agree with you and Theresa on the Illinois State Archives - it's one of my favorites, as well. Some of my other favorites are also state archive sites, such as the Texas and South Carolina state archives sites.

  3. Hi Sue!

    This is my first time stopping by your blog (found it on GeneaBloggers) and I just wanted to say hi!

    This really is such a great collection of websites. As the other two commenters have said, I wish all states had websites like Illinois and Michigan! Too bad I don't have Illinois or Michigan roots.

    One of my favorite websites is WikiTree ( - it is a free family tree building website but it has these privacy controls that no other family tree building website has (that I've ever seen). Most family tree websites have everything public or everything private, but WikiTree gives you the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers by making a limited amount of your research public and protects your information by making the rest private. Plus, you can create pages for heirlooms or places - I really like that because I can create a page for the family bible and share that page with cousins.

    I really like your suggestion of GeniDisasters. Is the website international or does it only show natural disasters from the U.S?