From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS 09 Dec 03 - Find Your Roots
"Roots," the 1977 television mini-series based on Alex Haley's book sparked a renewed interest in genealogy for many people. Twenty-six years ago, learning about your ancestors was a tedious job. But now, personal computers and the Internet make the job MUCH easier. Today's TOURBUS will take you to the best starting points for genealogical research, tools, and software. If you know someone interested in family history, please feel free to forward this issue along.
A comprehensive index to over 206,000 genealogical resources on the Internet. You'll find a list of links that point you to genealogical research sites, all categorized & cross-referenced. It's like a "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet.
This site is particularly good, because it has links to genealogical resources in many different countries. Over 2000 new links are added each month!
This site co-authored by TOURBUS rider John Fuller is similar to Cyndi's List though there are significant differences. The two main sections are web sites and genealogy mailing lists. The web section is extensive though it is somewhat modest related to Cyndi's List; however, the mailing list section is the premier site for such lists with over 25,000 entries and 100 or so added weekly.
The oldest and one of the most extensive genealogy sites on the Internet ... and everything is free. It serves as host to many of the genweb sites (discussed next), thousands of mailing lists, census projects, Cyndi's List, WorldConnect, has a large number of genealogy search engines, and much more.
An outstanding project that has pages for each state and each county in each US state with extensive links to applicable resources, query boards, surname lists, and most anything else imaginable. You can get to the county pages from the state pages, and to the state pages from the main page shown above. You can also get to the state pages using: www.usgenweb.org/xx where "xx" is the two-letter postal code for the state.
A project similar to USGENWEB that has sites for every country other than the US. This project is a bit younger than USGENWEB and there are some countries that still need coordinators; however, these are generally countries that folks have never heard of :)
The Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) site that allows you to access the the top level documentation available from the LDS archives. Obviously it would be a huge job to put their millions of microfilm records online, but what they have available is an excellent starting point for anyone contemplating use of their resources.
If one of your ancestors came to the USA by way of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, search their name and you can access his or her records in some detail. I was impressed that the database allows you to search using last name, ethnicity, name of town they left, year of arrival and more. You can even see a copy of the ship's manifest listing their names!
The Freedmen's Bureau is a reference for people with slave ancestors. Prior to the advent of the Net these records were too sparse and scattered for most African Americans to research their geneaology. What was once a painstaking county by county search is now online and people are discovering a past they once thought was lost. Thanks to Greg Franseth of Lexington Kentucky for pointing me to this site.
Over four thousand RAOGK volunteers have agreed to do a genealogical research task at least once per month in their local area. It's people helping people, by going to local courthouses, photographing tombstones, etc.
Here are some additional links you may find helpful if you're interested in digging into your family history:
My thanks to John Fuller for providing some of the info for this issue. John adds: "I have barely touched the surface -- genealogy on the Internet is growing by leaps and bounds. While it will never replace tramping though cemeteries and recording tombstones or visiting libraries, genealogical societies, and vital records offices to gather information, it does provide a tool that can help those who are obsessed with the never ending search for their ancestors."
Linda from Marlinton, West Virginia recently wrote and said "The next best thing to Tourbus is the Smart Computing magazine that you guys recommend. I've been getting it since last summer and it has solved numerous problems for me and my friends."
Thanks, Linda! We hope other Tourbus riders will discover the Plain English answers to their computing questions that Smart Computing delivers every month. Do you want to speed up your PC? Get rid of spyware and keep hackers out? Try Smart Computing today -- get your FREE TRIAL issue NOW!
That's all for now, I'll see you next time! --Bob Rankin