Monday, July 20, 2009

My Favorite Genealogy Web Site

Genea Challenge #29 is to Write about your favorite genealogy web sites.

I actually have several favorite sites. Probably number one on mine, and many others, list is I've had a $299 membership with them for years, and will continue to do so as long as I can scrape together the money every year! The plethora of documents available on this site alone has saved me literally thousands, [I mean in the tens of thousands] of dollars in travel and research expense. That has far more than paid for the yearly membership cost! For anyone who is unable to travel to the source, I highly recommend this site!

Another site I have used over and over is Footnote. This is another pay site. But I have obtained military records for Civil War era family members, and client research, that I was unable to retrieve when sending to NARA for! And this site just keeps right on growing and expanding! The clarity of their scans at times far-exceeds even that of Ancestry! is another pay site. But it literally paid for itself in the very first day that I purchased it! My husband's family has a very notorious "Old West" outlaw in it. I would have had to travel to Texas and Oklahoma to get copies of the newspaper articles that were printed about him back in the day. And then, I would have had to have known which papers to research, or spent days and days in local libraries searching through microfiche! However, in one single afternoon I was able to uncover over 40 articles on this old rascal! What a find! I wouldn't be without this site!

I am a big fan of Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet. Whenever I hit a roadblock, and don't know where to turn to next, I inevitably head over to Cyndi's List. And I would feel safe in saying that 9 out of 10 times I go there I am at least headed in the right direction when I leave. Cyndi has literally THOUSANDS of Internet sites for you to head out to check on research material. What a treasure!

Family Search is another great site. While I haven't had alot of luck in utilizing their numerous family trees that are posted, they have often guided me in knowing what area I should be researching, or in giving me clues on how to continue my research. Family Search has also been quietly expanding, and adding numerous records to their site. As a big Texas researcher, I was especially pleased when they added the Texas Death Certificates to their site!

West Virginia Division of Culture and History has a wonderful WV Vital Research Records site. Here you can find Birth, Death and Marriage records for most all of the counties in West Virginia. Many dating back to 1800 and moving forward into the 1960's. The majority of my personal research has been in West Virginia and Virginia, so this has become my personal treasure trove!

The Library of Virginia is another hidden treasure for those researching Virginia ancestry. Here I have uncovered Land Grants, and Bible records for my own family, and many I've been researching. While the site does not allow you to print off these documents, it does allow you to order them at a modest fee. And believe me, there's nothing like holding these documents i your hands!

I have also become a huge fan of genealogy blogs. Most of them I receive daily in my news reader [I utilize NewsGator]. There's a few without an RSS feed, and those I go to directly, having saved them in my "Favorites" folder.

I am especially fond of Dick Eastman's Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. Dick offers his free daily newsletter [usually having more than 5 posts per day!!!]. And he offers a paid subscription which includes the free and a weekly newsletter that when printed out will make a small book! [Last week's was over 30-pages!] [Incidentally, I don't recommend printing it out! How about saving it instead, and reading it later? You can save the Plus Edition in a PDF format, and view it at your leisure.]

I also like the blogs. These are very informative. You won't find them any better!

And I could go on and on! [I think I subscribe to about 125 genealogy blogs!]. But for a really good over view of genealogy blogs, and to get a great insight to writing a genealogy blog, you can't find a better reference than GeneaBloggers. Here you'll find a comprehensive list of blog sites. [If you look close enough, you'll even find the ol' Mountain Genealogists listed!]

Hope you've enjoyed my tour of my favorite genealogy web sites. This is only a small taste of the many I utilize on a daily basis. But these, as far as I am concerned, and in my humble opinion, are the BEST!!!

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