From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 10 Dec 02 - Finding Your Roots
Alex Haley's quest to learn more about his family history resulted in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots. And the 1977 televised mini-series based on that book sparked a renewed interest in genealogy for many people. Twenty-five 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.
Jeffrey Mayer, author of the "Winning the Fight" book, is a renowned time management expert and we're proud to have him as a new TOURBUS sponsor. Ken Leebow (see ad below) is a long-time TOURBUS sponsor. Please visit them both and say THANKS for keeping the Bus rolling!
A comprehensive index to over 178,000 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 1000 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, GenConnect boards, 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 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 church site that allows you to access 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.
While this site has been around for a while, it opened a brand new resource a couple of months ago. You can now enter the name of an ancestor and, if the ancestor came through Ellis Island, you can access his or her records in some detail. It was almost impossible to access the site when it first opened up due to the overload of queries, but things are a bit easier now.
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."
That's all for now, I'll see you next time! --Bob Rankin