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Genealogy: Finding Your Ancestors Online: Essentials

A guide to genealogy resources on the Web and in the Cornell University Library

Essentials

Essential Databases

Ancestry Available through Cornell or a local public library or by personal subscription
This is the premier site for searching US Federal census records and viewing the schedules online. Also contains draft registrations, passenger and immigration lists, SSDI, and much more.

Heritage Quest Available through Cornell or a local public library
A good complement to Ancestry for the census. Also features indexes to tens of thousands of genealogy books and PERSI, an online index to genealogical journals.

Family Search (LDS)

Includes several databases and services. The main search is newly designed. Also recommended: International Genealogical Index(IGI) index of birth and marriage registers from all over the world submitted by volunteers who transcribed information from the microfilms of original records collected by the FHS; Family History Library an online catalog. Microfilm can be borrowed through a local Family History Center.

Note: Resources marked with are restricted to subscribers, either through Cornell University or your local public library.

Additional Recommended Resources

Cyndi's List
The largest collection of genealogical lists on the Web today. So big it can be difficult to use.

RootsWeb
The supporting organization for thousands of surname discussion lists. Features many primary documents that have been transcribed or scanned by volunteers and made searchable such as obituaries, county histories, tax lists, etc.

The USGenWeb Project
Run by volunteers. Organized by county and state. Provides gateways to and email discussion lists for counties.

The USGenWeb Archive
A collection of ongoing volunteer transcription projects for census records, marriage bonds, wills, and other public documents.

GenForum
Another option for finding other people working on your family and to share information.

Find a Grave.com
60 million records. Includes forums for discussion.