Best Genealogy Websites of 2012 - Part 1

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Presentation given on March 17, 2012. Presentation rounds up and examines the best genealogy websites of 2012 available for researchers to use. List includes paid and free websites.

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  • **Ongoing project for LAC to digitize its microfilm & microfiche collection; often new records sets such as school files can be found; IMAGES only – no nominal index
  • Free BMD – transcribed index books for civil registration for England & Wales; spans the period from 1837-1983 DeathIndexes – directory of links to websites that offer online death indexes listed by state & county
  • Ellis Island – list of immigrants who arrived in New York between 1892 to 1924 Castle Garden – New York’s first immigrant receiving station in 1855 but the records go back to 1830 and stretch till 1892 Bremen Passenger Lists – Bremen was one of the most important ports of departure for Europeans; however many of Bremen’s records have now been lost so don’t expect to see any earlier years than 1920;
  • Swiss Refugee Database: contains the names of 25, 000+ individuals who fled to neutral Switzerland during WWII. Info about each individual includes name, date of birth & nationality (day-month-year) **note: Site is in French!!!
  • Atlas of the German Empire by Ludwig Ravenstein – map was printed in 1883; The atlas helps in tracing the roots of families with origins in any part of the German empire from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Besides Germany, the maps of this atlas also cover the bordering portions of present-day Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
  • Scotland’s People - The 1911 census joins earlier enumerations from 1841 to 1901, parish records and statutory registers; you can start searching for about $11. Sections on wills and testaments (1513 to 1901) and coats of arms (1672 to 1907) are free.
  • Digital Archives of Norway – offers census and parish records; the place to begin your Norwegian genealogy research; The 1910 Norwegian census is now available at this record-packed site from the National Archives of Norway, joining the enumerations from 1801, 1865, 1875 and 1900 Swedish National Archives – offers the 1880, 1890 & 1900 census records Arkividigital – nearly complete collection of Swedish parish records Finnish Family History Association – images of original church records (communion books) Danish Demographic Database – “Emigrants” section offers searchable list of Danes who left Denamkr from 1869 to 1908; site also offers census records - Here you can search nearly 13 million census records and 400,000 emigration records, 1868 to 1908, all without spending a krone.
  • HalGal - Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia; starting point for anyone doing genealogical research in Western Ukraine/Eastern Galicia EastEuropeGenWeb – free online data repository for queries, family histories & source records Federation of East European Family History Societies – organized in 1992; website contains a resource directory with links to organizations, databases & an extensive online map library (free to view) PolishRoots – site offers info from 16 th century up to the later 20 th century; offers maps, history, immigration & other useful info
  • German Roots – Make sure to check out the “Emigration & Immigration Records” section where a researcher can expect to find extensive lists & explanations of German departure records as well as US arrival records of immigrants The German Genealogy Network – click on the “Regional” link to find descriptions of your ancestor’s German state of origin; similar to Genuki (lists of resources) GeneaNet - Over 2 million user-contributed civil and parish records are available online through the French site GeneaNet.org, plus subscription-based access to additional records, including civil and parish registers, digitized books and additional French genealogy sources. Genelias –collaborative efforts of a number of archives in the Netherlands; project aim to index all the open civil registers (post 1811); searching is free while copies can be ordered for a fee Italian Heritage and Home Page – good “jumping off” point for Italian genealogy research, including a name translator, a list of Italian immigrants and links to Italian genealogical societies
  • Best Genealogy Websites of 2012 - Part 1

    1. 1. May P. Chan Email: maychan@reginalibrary.caPrairie History Room, Regina Public Library ©2012
    2. 2. OutlineBrief Introduction “The Usual Suspects” “By Record Type” – e.g. BMDs “Crossing the Pond” – eg. English“Other Noteworthy ResearchTools”
    3. 3. Why do you need such a list?Not all genealogy websites are the sameSome require a paid subscription (per view or monthly) or are free; some provide only images, an index (points you to the original source), etc.; some are created by libraries/archives/genealogical societies while others are done by volunteersList of online resources is not meant to replace “traditional” formats like books & microfilm. Rather the list is meant to be used “in addition to”List features both paid $ and free web resources
    4. 4. Criteria Offers the most authoritative and trustworthy websites to use for genealogy How did I select the best genealogy websites for you to use?  Annual “Best of” featured on the Family Tree website: http:// www.familytreemagazine.com/  Magazines such as Internet Genealogy & Family Chronicle  Various genealogy blogs  Tips from other genealogists  Personal experience helping patrons
    5. 5. “The Usual Suspects”These websites consistently top the “Best of the Best” online resources to use:  Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com or http://www.ancestry.ca) - $ (ALE is free through RPL – Central Library only!)  Canadian Genealogy Centre (Library& Archives Canada; http://www.genealogy.gc.ca /) – FREE  FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org) – FREE  Cyndi’s List (http://www.cyndislist.com/) – FREE
    6. 6. Tip # 1 – Canadian Genealogy Centre Microfilm Digitization Page http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-di
    7. 7. Tip #2 – FamilySearch.org Browse by Location Feature
    8. 8. “By Record Type” Births, Marriages & Deaths Indexes (BMDs)  Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics (https:// novascotiagenealogy.com/) – FREE  British Columbia Vital Events Indexes ( http://search.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/sn-5B37DD3/gbsea ) - FREE  Manitoba Vital Records ( http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php) – FREE  Free BMD (UK; http://www.freebmd.org.uk/) – FREE  DeathIndexes (US; http://www.deathindexes.com/) – FREE
    9. 9. “By Record Type” – continued Census Records  Automated Genealogy (Canada; http:// www.automatedgenealogy.com) - FREE
    10. 10. Tip # 3 - “One to Keep An Eye Out For…” National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) 1940 website - will be launching April 2, 2012 (http://1940census.archives.gov/) - FREE
    11. 11. “By Record Type” – continuedCemetery Records  SGS Burial Index (http:// www.saskgenealogy.com/databases/indexes.a )-$  Canada’s GenWeb Cemetery Project ( http://cemetery.canadagenweb.org/search.html ) - FREE  Deceased Online (UK; http:// www.deceasedonline.com) – $  Interment.Net (Global; http://www.interment.net/) - FREE
    12. 12. “By Record Type” - continued Find A Grave (Global; http://www.findagrave.com ) - FREE
    13. 13. “By Record Type” – continuedCity Directories  Peel’s Prairie Provinces (AB, MB & Saskatoon; http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/henderson.html) - FREE  British Columbia’s City Directories, 1860-1940 (http://www.vpl.ca/bccd/index.php) - FREE  Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) (Quebec; http://www.banq.qc.ca/collections/collection_nume ) - FREE
    14. 14. City Directories - continued Toronto City Directories 1833-1899 ( http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/digital-archive/ ) - FREE Distant Cousins (US; http://distantcousin.com /Directories) - FREE Historical Directories of UK (http:// historicaldirectories.org/hd/) – FREE Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) ( http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archive ) - FREE
    15. 15. “By Record Type” – continued Immigration & Passenger Lists  Ellis Island (New York, US; http:// www.ellisisland.org/) - FREE  Castle Garden (New York, US; http:// www.castlegarden.org) - FREE  Bremen Passenger Lists, 1920-1939 (Germany; http:// db.genealogy.net/maus/gate/index_en.html) – FREE  Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG) (Global; http://www.immigrantships.net/) - FREE  The Ships List (Global; http:// www.theshipslist.com/) – FREE  Ship Index (Global; http://www.shipindex.org/) - $
    16. 16. Tip #4 – Really Interesting Database… Swiss Refugee Database 1942-1945 (Switzerland; http://etat.geneve.ch/dt/archives/a_votre_service-liste_ ) – FREE
    17. 17. “By Record Type” – continued Local/Family/General Histories  Heritage Quest - $ (FREE through RPL – Central Library only!)  Our Roots (Western Canada; http:// ourroots.ca) - FREE  Canadiana (http://www.canadiana.ca/en/home ) - FREE  Google Books (http://books.google.com/) - FREE  Internet Archives (http://archives.org) - FREE  Family Histories Archives ( http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc) – FREE
    18. 18. “By Record Type” – continued Maps  Canadian County Atlases (Ontario; http:// digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas) - FREE  Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (global; http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/tgn) - FREE  Cassini Maps (UK; http://www.cassinimaps.co.uk) - FREE  Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection (global; http://lib.utexas.edu/maps) – FREE  David Rumsey (global; http:// www.davidrumsey.com/) – FREE
    19. 19. Tip # 5 – Really Cool Map!!! Atlas of the German Empire by Ludwig Ravenstein (Europe; http:// library.wisc.edu/etext/ravenstein) – FREE
    20. 20. “By Record Type” – continuedMilitary Records  Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial ( http://www.svwm.ca) – FREE  Commonwealth War Graves Commission (British Commonwealth; http://www.cwgc.org/) - FREE  Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System (US; http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/) - FREE  National Archives & Records Administration: Military Resources (US; http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/m ) - FREE
    21. 21. Tip # 6 – War of 1812 Ancestors Fold3 (http://www.fold3.com/) - $ except for War of 1812 Pension Files!!!
    22. 22. “By Record Type” – continued Newspapers  Google News (US & Canada; http://news.google.com) - FREE  Chronicling America (US; http://www.loc.gov/chronicling america/) - FREE  British Newspapers, 1800-1900 ( http://newspapers.bl.uk/blcs) - $  International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) (global; http://icon.crl.edu/digitization.htm) - FREE  Newspaper Abstracts (http:// www.newspaperabstracts.com/) - FREE
    23. 23. “Crossing the Pond”English Genealogy  FindMyPast (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/) - $ (available through SGS)  British Origins (http://www.britishorigins.com) –$  Genuki (http://genuki.org.uk) – FREE  London Lives 1690-1900 ( http://www.londonlives.org) - FREE
    24. 24. “Crossing the Pond – continued” Scottish Genealogy  Scotland’s People ( http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) - $
    25. 25. “Crossing the Pond – continued”Irish Genealogy  The National Archives of Ireland ( http://nationalarchives.ie) – FREE  Ireland Gen Web (http://irelandgenweb.com) – FREE  Irish Family History Foundation ( http://www.irish-roots.ie/) – $
    26. 26. “Crossing the Pond – continued” Scandinavian Genealogy  Digital Archives of Norway (http://arkivverket.no /eng/Digital-Archives) – FREE  Swedish National Archives (http://www.svar.ra.se ) – FREE  Arkivdigital (Sweden; http://www.arkivdigital.net) –$  Finnish Family History Association (FFHA) (http:// www.sukuhistoria.fi/sshy/index_eng.htm) – FREE  Danish Demographic Database ( http://www.ddd.dda.dk) - FREE
    27. 27. “Crossing the Pond – continued”Eastern European Genealogy  HalGal (Western Ukraine & Galicia; http://www.halgal.com) – FREE  EastEuropeGenWeb ( http://www.rootsweb.com/~easeurgw) – FREE  Federation of East European Family History Societies (http://feefhs.org) – FREE  PolishRoots (http://www.polishroots.org/) - FREE
    28. 28. “Crossing the Pond – continued” Western European Genealogy  German Roots (Germany; http:// www.germanroots.com/) – FREE  The German Genealogy Network (http:// www.genealogienetz.de/genealogy.html) - FREE  GeneaNet (France; http://www.geneanet.org/) – FREE  Genelias (Holland; http://www.genlias.nl/en/page0.jsp) – $  Italian Heritage and Home Page (Italy; http:// www.daddezio.com/) - FREE
    29. 29. “Other Noteworthy Research Tools”Search Engines  Mocavo (http://www.mocavo.com/) - FREE  One-Step Web Pages (http:// stevemorse.org/) – FREESoftware & Hardware Reviews  GenSoftReviews (genealogy software; http://www.gensoftreviews.com) – FREE  CNET (software and hardware; http:// www.cnet.com/) - FREE
    30. 30. “Other Noteworthy Research Tools”Tech Tools  Google Translate (http:// translate.google.com/) – FREE  Google Earth (http:// www.google.com/earth/index.html) - FREE  Evernote (online notes ; http:// www.evernote.com) – FREE  XnView (screen capturing & basic photo editing; http://www.xnview.com/) - FREE
    31. 31. “Other Noteworthy Research Tools”Staying Up-to Date  Prairie History Blog ( http://www.reginalibrary.ca/prairiehistoryblog/) - FREE  Dick’s Eastman’s Newsletter ( http://blog.eogn.com/) – FREE  Ancestry Insider ( http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/) - FREE  Genealogy Blog Finder ( http://blogfinder.genealogue.com/) - FREE
    32. 32. Tip #9 – online genealogy articles Hobbies and Craft Reference Center ( http://www.reginalibrary.ca/databases/db_hobbies.ht ) – FREE w/ Regina Public Library Card  Full text of Family Chronicle (2009-2012) and Internet Genealogy (2009-2012)

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