Genealogy is a fascinating hobby. For the serious researcher, it involves trips to archive buildings, court houses, cemeteries, church records, and the list goes on and on. The Internet has added a new dimension to the search for family information. Now, if a person knows how and where to look, he can have rapid access to family histories.
The purpose of this site in to aid the beginning genealogist in making the best use of the Internet to gather family information. Most of the information comes from personal experience in researching my own family tree. With no one to guide me, I "surfed the net" looking for family and finally making those valuable connections which have made it possible for me to assemble the most comprehensive data base in the country on my family. I then have shared my findings on the Internet at various sites to aid other family members in their quest for information on our ancestors.
Now, if you've got lots of money you can pay someone to research your family for you. Or you can subscribe to one of the many genealogy sites who sell their information to the public. For a fee, they'll let you search their data bases for your ancestors. Sometimes you'll get lucky and find your whole family; however, many simply hit a dead end and become discouraged, not only because they didn't find an ancestor but also because they spent their hard earned money for a service which proved useless. This site is designed to help you conduct your search free of charge.
This is also a good site:
Family Tree Maker's How-to Page
Now that you have a starting point, Step 2 involves searching the Internet to see what's available on your ancestor. The following sites have millions of names and thousands of family trees sent in by researchers around the world. Their search engines are relatively easy to use, usually requiring you to just type the name of the person you're looking for or the family name. The more specific you can get the name the more likely you'll get a direct hit. For example, if you type in John Smith, you'll get too many hits to examine. If you type in John Ebenezer Smith, your search will be a little less complicated.
The next site is located at Ancestry.com. Researchers all over the world upload data files to this site for families to use.
The next search site is at Ultimate Family Tree, a genealogy software maker with an excellent engine to search the Internet.
Ulimate Family Tree Search Site
Rootsweb is another excellent search site.
The Social Security Death Index will give you names of family members who have died and whose families filed for the Social Security death benefit. This site will give you the birth and death dates along with the residence of the person you are seeking. If you have a common name like Smith or Jones, be sure to do an advanced search.
Social Security Death Index
You can find all of these and many more on my family web site.
Viverette-Fisher Research Center
There are thousands of genealogy links on the Internet. You can spend hours clicking and looking for just the right site. These two sites below are indexes of genealogy sites. Cindi's List is considered one the best sources for genealogy sites on the Internet. Sharkey's Genealogy Links also has an extensive index of genealogy sites.
Sharkey's Genealogy Links