50 Essential Websites for My Genealogy Research

Did I mention that I love lists? I think I did, just yesterday when I compiled my list of 50 essential books for my home genealogy library.

I decided that I haven’t had quite enough of lists so today I am sharing my 50 essential websites for MY OWN genealogy research. Some of these websites are universal, or nearly so, but others are lesser known. I hope that some of the other genealogy bloggers out there decide to share their own lists of the “50 Essentials” as I know there are many jewels out there that are WAY underused.

Obviously, some of the sites on my list are free, but others are fee-based. (I’ve added a dollar sign after the subscription sites.) My criteria for including them here is simply how useful they are to where I am researching. The websites are not in any particular order. A handful of sites are listed more than once because I use several of their databases often.

  1. FamilySearch
  2. Ancestry        $
  3. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (Canada) – Daniel F. Johnson’s New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics
  4. Provincial Archives of New Brunswick – Federated Database Search – You can search all databases at once, including digitized birth records, old military records, early land grants and much more.
  5. Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD)
  6. New England Historic Genealogical Society     $
  7. Missouri Digital Heritage – County History Project
  8. Missouri Digital Heritage – Death Certificates Online
  9. Oklahoma Historical Society – Genealogy Resources   There are many links here, from pioneer stories to historical newspapers not on Chronicling America and much more.
  10. Heritage Quest – free online access from home through my local public library. U.S. census collection with indexing by Ancestry. Check your local public library to see if it is offered.
  11. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records – free to search, fee to order documents
  12. FamilySearch Wiki – Over 85,000 articles on where to find genealogical records, both on FamilySearch and elsewhere. This is a resource that is way underused!
  13. ArkivDigital     $ – Best quality and most complete online Swedish records out there. Almost 70,000,000 images!
  14. Danish National Archives – church registers, census records and more, digitized, and free online. Some collections, like census records, are indexed and searchable by person and place. For others, like parish records, you need to know which parish to search as they are not indexed. There is a link on the home page for info in English.
  15. US GenWeb Project
  16. Canada GenWeb Project
  17. Find-a-Grave
  18. Historical Atlases and Maps of U.S. and States
  19. Google News Archive Search – Look for historical newspapers here.
  20. Chronicling America
  21. New Brunswick Genealogy Records Online (Canada)
  22. Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index – Digital images are being added to the county collection of court records online. Tremendous resource for Virginia ancestors.
  23. Politiets Registerblade – Copenhagen police census (not criminals – all the Copenhagen population) in the early 1900s. Searchable and great if you have family in the city at the turn of the 20th century.
  24. Connecticut State Library: History and Genealogy – Reference – includes some online databases
  25. The Carpathian Connection – Slovak immigrant history mainly in the Passaic-Clifton-Garfield area of New Jersey with a bit of Pennsylvania ties.
  26. DAR Library – Ancestor searches can be done free online (for all), along with a search of Bible records. Past issues of the DAR Magazine have also been digitized and are available free online to everyone.
  27. Linkpendium – over 10,000,000 genealogy links!
  28. Cyndi’s List – over 3,000,000 genealogy links!
  29. Family Search – Slovak church and census records. The church registers are the same collection found on partner site, Ancestry. Free to view on FamilySearch, but subscription required on Ancestry. They are digitized and baptisms are searchable. If you can find a baptismal record for someone in your family, you will then know the town where they lived and can look for them in the 1869 Hungarian census, which included today’s Slovakia.
  30. Find My Past    $ – British records, but FMP is also updating the PERSI collection it acquired.
  31. Fold3    $ – U.S. military records
  32. Google Books – Great for finding historical and reference books in digitized versions
  33. WorldCat – How to find the closest copy of that book I really need for my research
  34. FamilySearch Books – not as extensive as WorldCat, but it is a great option for locating hard copy and digital books
  35. MyHeritage Digital Book Collection – no subscription needed as access is free
  36. HathiTrust Digital Library – a third option for online books
  37. Library and Archives Canada – includes digitized, free images to many Canadian censuses
  38. One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse
  39. U.S. State Digital Collections – This link goes to my blog. Scroll down for links to each state with digital collections online.
  40. Missouri Probate Records 1750-1998 – online on FamilySearch. I use this collection often for all of my husband’s Missouri connections.
  41. Indian-Pioneer Papers Collection at the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections
  42. United States Genealogy and Historical Society Directory – links to societies in every state
  43. David Rumsey Map Collection
  44. Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems    $
  45. Digital Public Library of America
  46. Internet Archive: Digital Library and Wayback Machine
  47. Historical Newspapers Online – Another link to a page on my blog (scroll down several categories) with a list of websites that have newspapers digitized and online. Some are free, some are subscription.
  48. Online Maine Death Records and Indexes  – links to both free and paid sites, but searching is free
  49. Index to the Probate Records of the County of Middlesex, Massachusetts – First Series from 1648-1871
  50. Facebook for Genealogy – Katherine R. Willson’s incredible list of genealogically affiliated groups on Facebook. It is updated regularly.

That’s it! My 50 essential websites for my own genealogical research. As I review my list, there actually aren’t all that many that require a subscription. I have no issue with paying for access, but if it is available for no cost somewhere, that’s obviously my first choice.

What are your most essential websites? Leave a comment, please. I love to discover new resources.

2 thoughts on “50 Essential Websites for My Genealogy Research”

  1. RootsTech 2018 Contest Entry. What a great list of websites to use. I knew about most, but there were a few new sites I am going to check out. Thank you.

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