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          Online Genealogy Class



           Instructor: Kathy Wedyke







Surfing Online for Your Ancestors  


Page Four

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How to spot a reliable Web Site


When conducting genealogical research on the Web, it is important to know your information sources are reliable, accurate, and timely.



Searchable Databases 

Searchable Databases are a wonderful way to enter you surname and 

see if that specific surname is in their database. Here a few but there are 

many more to choose from.     





Commercial Sites - is the premier resource for family history online. The site offers thousands of fully searchable databases containing information on hundreds of millions of individuals. New databases are being added to the site each business day. By the end of 2000, the company expects to have over 1 billion records searchable on the site.


Family Tree Maker's Internet FamilyFinder - Finder is out searching the Internet for more family information every day. It looks for your ancestors across a wide variety of data.


GenServ - Family History - More than 19 million individuals in over 15,000 GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data Communications - GEDCOM is a specific file format invented to allow sharing of data between two potentially dissimilar computers. All vital information on each individual in the database is collected and put in a format the receiving computer may understand.) databases this site is maintained by Cliff Manis. The first requirement for subscription is a GEDCOM of the subscriber's personal family history. The system is based on sharing the information each has about his family. The regular annual subscription fee is $12/year with a discount to $6/year for senior citizens (over sixty) and students. Other levels of access are available for more money. Subscribers query the system and receive reports. The GEDCOMs will never be sold on CD or given away.

Heritage Quest, AGLL Genealogical Services - Heritage Quest is a commercial site with access to free information resources.  It is sponsored by America's largest family history provider.  They rent microfilm to members and institutions. 


Free  Databases or Look ups 


AHGP-American History & Genealogy Project - The American History and Genealogy Project (AHGP), an unincorporated not-for-profit network of independent sites devoted to History & Genealogy, and covering North American Countries and Territories.


ALHN-American Local History Network - The American Local History Network, a central point of entry into independent, genealogical and historical web sites. If you are interested in hosting an American Local History state or a topic, we welcome your participation.


Common Threads, Searchable Surname Database - Common Threads was constructed to help you find other genealogists who happen to be researching the same family line. The entire database, resulting from individual entries, is fully searchable.


Directory of Royal Genealogical Data - a database containing the genealogy of the British Royal family and those linked to it via blood or marriage relationships. It contains, in fact, the genealogy of almost every ruling house in the western world because of the intermarriage that took place between them at some time or another. There are in excess of 30,000 individuals from the earliest times to the present in the database.


Ellis Island - Your family's history will come alive at the American Family Immigration History Center.


FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service (LDS)-Was founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records and assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in tracing their family histories. Has the largest collection of its kind in the world.  Is open to the general public at no charge.


General Land Office Records - provides live database access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Image access is provided to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. 


GenForum - provide users a forum to provide genealogical information or to discuss topics related to genealogy and other related issues of interest. - The most advanced genealogical research site in the world. houses the World's Largest Pedigree-Linked Database allowing you to find family names fast. You can search over 1 billion names with every query.


Pow/MIA Database - This database has been established to assist researchers interested in investigating the U.S. Government documents pertaining to U.S. military personnel listed as unaccounted for as of December 1991


Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - Originally begun by the Coordinators and researchers of a small site, which grew rapidly into a national, then international, movement.

Many internet researchers give of themselves unselfishly in aiding others in their research. This project expounds on this premise by going one step further: The volunteers of this movement are agreeing once per month to either videotape cemeteries, etc., or to visit county courthouses in the county (or area of a country) they live. The cost to you would be reimbursement of costs incurred in granting your request (video tape, copy fees, etc.).

RootsWeb Database - Over 895,512 Surname Entries On File that have been submitted by more than 194,000  genealogists,  with  additional names arriving at the rate of more 700 a day.


Social Security Death Index, SSDI - offers you the most powerful and up to date Social Security Death Index on the Internet! Best of all, the collection is available FREE for subscribers and guests. The database contains information provided by the Social Security Administration through the end of 17/10/2000 and contains 64,551,696 records. 


Social Security Death Index, SSDI - Rootweb's Social Security Death Index Interactive Search September 2000 Update - 64,553,230 records - Updated Monthly.  The most full-featured and up-to-date SSDI search engine on the internet


Surnames - English versions of Foreign Names.


SurnameSearch - A multitude of ways to search for your surnames. There are many different database to choose from to search for your surnames.


U of M Surname Database - This search form will look for *any* mention of a surname on the Surname pages of Genealogy Resources on the Internet, and will produce a listing of pages that have that surname on it. After following one of the links from the results page, you can use your browser's search function to find your surname.


USGenWeb Archives - The USGenWeb Digital Library (Archives) was developed to present actual transcriptions of public domain records on the Internet. This huge undertaking is the cooperative effort of volunteers who either have electronically formatted files on census records, marriage bonds, wills, and other public documents, or are willing to transcribe this information to contribute.

Local Michigan Searching


Genealogy Helplist Michigan - Volunteers will do look ups. Arranged by counties.


Michigan History and Genealogy of Sanilac County -The Michigan Local History Network is a central point of entry to independent web sites with historical and/or genealogical generations to come.


Michigan Thumb Genealogy  - The Deckerville Public Library has compiled web pages consisting of Thumb genealogy on the web dealing with Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, St. Clair and Lapeer Counties. If you have a web site that deals with Michigan Thumb Genealogy and would like me to link to it please email me at

MiGenWeb -Michigan Genealogy on the Web Part of the USGenWeb Project. 


Sanilac County AHGP - This is a site that deals with Sanilac County, Michigan local history and genealogy.







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