Sources and Links

As I put up data on the blog, I will try to compile a list of genealogical resources and links. Who knows, I might be building the next Cyndi’s List! LOL!

General Search Sites:

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet Well, since I mentioned it, I might as well start with it – very extensive list of genealogy resources.

Find-a-Grave Search for famous and not-so-famous grave sites via user-contributed listings and photos.

Family Search International in scope, most records are from ever expanding transcriptions of data collections from official sources.  In addition to the search form, some document images are only available by choosing to Browse collections by location and category.  Other records are user-contributed LDS ancestral records.

Genealogy Gateway provides links to free downloads of historical texts of various locations and other useful information for family researchers.

Google Books Search within a subset of books, journals, magazines, etc.  More focused than a generic Google search.  Please read my article about using Google Books as a Free Genealogy Research Tool.

HeritageQuest Online requires registration through a member institution, such as a university or public library.  A registered user can then login from anywhere to access collections of historical documents: US Census images, historical texts, PERSI index, Revolutionary War Pension documents, Freedman’s Bank, and the U.S. Serial Set of Congressional records.

Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG) is a volunteer effort to transcribe passenger manifests in a searchable format and made available online.

Internet Archive Compilation of various sites including historical texts.

New York Times Archives Some listings are free, others are available for a nominal cost.

Paper of Record Searchable newspaper archives with a Canadian emphasis, but many listings are for other countries.  Registration is free. 😦

Rootsweb, owned by, provides searchable resources for genealogy research and a place for members to record information in family trees, web pages and message forums, all at no charge.  Because so much of the data is user-contributed, aside from some of the genweb pages still hosted there, most of the information should be independently verified.  Register to receive a free email newsletter with truly useful tips for family historians.

U.S. Specific sites:

American Field Service WWI Roster Search by name, location, school.  Check out the rest of the site for a complete history of the AFS.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) records of General Land Office Search by name, location and type of record.  Provides “live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present.”

National Archives and Records Administration ( Official repository of U.S. collections from the Veteran’s Administration, U.S. Census records, Naturalization listings – basically any Federal Records deemed to be of lasting value.

National Parks Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System Search for soldiers, sailors, regiments, cemeteries, battles, etc.

National Parks Service National Register of Historic Places Search for places on the National Register, including parks, battle grounds, churches, lighthouses and such.

U.S. State and Regional sites: New England

New England Historic Genealogical Society  The nation’s oldest genealogical society: “NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America.”  Register for free and receive email newsletters and access to portions of the searchable database.  Paid membership provides full access to all the resources available in the organization.

Ray’s Place Links to historical transcriptions and other genealogical sites with a focus on New England and New York.  Has some early vital records for Massachusetts towns not available elsewhere online for free.

U.S. State and Regional sites: Massachusetts

Early Vital Records of Massachusetts From 1600 to 1850 Search index by town or surname and record type.  Transcriptions and links to page images from earlier published books.

Massachusetts State Archives Vital Records (1841-1910) Search index by surname, town, and year.  The search button is at the very bottom of the page.

Melanie-lynn Brown Marcotte’s family research.  I’m linking to her website, but the information posted here is from email I received from her, with much of it centered around Taunton, MA.  She very graciously has shared the photo of the Rankin monument at Mayflower Hill Cemetery.  She is descended from the Wilsons and Browns of Prince Edward Island, so we are probably cousins, but we haven’t nailed down the exact connection yet.

The Sippican Historical and Preservation Society is located in Marion, Massachusetts.  “Its purpose is to create and foster an interest in the history of Marion; to encourage historical research and writing; to collect documents and relics and to provide proper care for them; and to establish a museum to hold the historical material pertaining to Marion.”

U.S. State and Regional sites: Maine Search by name across various sources on the web filtered to display Maine results only.  Site also has forums and targeted research groups, along with member-contributed photos and content.

Maine State Archives Explore official state documents and cultural collections.

US GenWeb Archives – Washington County, Maine Transcriptions of various items of interest to genealogists and historians.  Source of Machias Union transcriptions by Kenneth Dill.

Downeast ME Genealogy Transcriptions of early records from western Washington County, Maine.

Jean’s Maine Genealogy Page Index of DEATHS and MARRIAGES as published in the ELLSWORTH HERALD its successor, the ELLSWORTH AMERICAN October 24, 1851 through December 29, 1891.

Bob Kiem’s vacation photos Personal vacation photos including New England, Ireland and UK.  Very generous contributor of Whitneyville Congregational Church photo.  If you’ve ever visited Down East Maine, you will recognize some of these places.

U.S. State and Regional sites: New York

Italian Genealogical Group Yeah, I know, what’s an Italian site doing on this overtly Anglo blog?  Well, they provide searchable indices for NYC vital records and naturalizations that cross cultural boundaries.  Bravissimo!

U.S. State and Regional sites: Texas

Portal to Texas History  “a gateway to rare, historical, and primary source materials from or about Texas. Created and maintained by the University of North Texas Libraries, the Portal leverages the power of hundreds of content partners across the state to provide a vibrant, growing collection of resources.”  Lots of old newspapers, maps, books, images and history about the Lone Star State.

Texas USGenWeb Archives search.  Returns links to pages on county sites in the Texas USGenWeb Archive project.  Note: These are different pages from the main Texas USGenWeb site, which is found HERE.

Canada Specific Sites:

Canada GenWeb Project Parent Site for free genealogy research projects, maintained by volunteers in each province.

Genealogy Search Canada Search through Canadian record collections by surname, location, year and record type.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) A product of 2004 legislation to combine the National Library and National Archives, this site has many searchable databases and collections, including images of original documents.

Canada Provincial and Regional sites: New Brunswick

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick  (PANB) contains transcriptions of various documents with historical value from the late 1700’s through the mid- 1900’s.

NBGenWeb is the portal to each of the individual counties, and is a well-organized resource for those unfamiliar with the geography of the region.

Queens County Heritage is a local historical society with a useful website.

York Sunbury Historical Society is a local non-profit museum that has a very nice WordPress blog with relevant posts and links for researching in NB.

Canada Provincial and Regional sites: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Search birth, marriage and death (BMD) database by Name (wildcards supported) to view digital images of original documents.

Shelburne County Archives and Genealogical Society Holds many historic collections and artifacts from the area.  No direct searchable database, but lots of interesting information and photos.

Shelburne County GenWeb Hosted at Rootsweb, Provides useful information, links and other resources for Shelburne County, Nova Scotia.  “The Shelburne County Site is a part of the Nova Scotia GenWeb Project, which in turn is part of the Canada GenWeb Project.”

Canada Provincial and Regional sites: Ontario

Ontario Vital Statistics Project is hosted on Rootsweb and provides links to web pages where the user can do searches by surname, county, etc.

Sydenham Discovery is a virtual museum experience sponsored by the  Township of Strathroy-Caradoc.  The cultural section contains vignettes about area history and living conditions.  Other sections describe the geology and biology of the Sydenham River and watershed.  There is also a challenging adventure game for the kids.

Canada Provincial and Regional sites: Prince Edward Island

The Island Register is the host to the PEI GenWeb, but also independently contains most of the searchable online records for historical and genealogy records going back to when the French first inhabited the area.

England and Wales Specific Sites:

The National Archives (TNA) is the official archive of the British Government.  Many document images and transcriptions are available online, while others can be ordered for a fee.

The Parish Chest is a family run business that offers for sale many books, CD’s, etc. of compilations from parish records, cemetery monument transcriptions, maps, photos and more.

Brit-Gen forum, where members assist each other with all sorts of family history research, was purchased from The Parish Chest in 2013, now is run by Forces Reunited, a paid military history and reunion site.

FreeBMD FreeCen and FreeReg are volunteer transcription projects that provide index pointers for locating records from original or official sources.

GenUKI is theUK equivalent of the GenWeb project, with pages for each county.

Genealogy Specialists a.k.a TOP DOG, is a free forum, spun off from Brit-Gen members from around the world with an ever-growing membership of fun-loving family historians.

Scotland Specific Sites:

National Library of Scotland holds many interesting collections, including a digital library where one can search and view page images of old city directories and other items of interest to the amateur genealogist.

Scotland’s People is the Official Genealogy Research site of Scotland.  “A partnership between General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon,” the site offers search results and document image views at a reasonable cost.  The current rate is 30 credits for 7 GBP (British pounds), where each search result page costs 1 credit and each viewed document image is 5 credits.  Records go back as far as the 1500’s up through the early 20th century.

Scotland’s Places “Some of the historical tax rolls and the Ordnance Survey name books are included in the ScotlandsPlaces subscription system.  These resources provide invaluable insight into Scottish history and the people to lived then.”

Scotland Council and Regional sites: Argyll and Bute

Isle of Coll Genealogy and it’s sister site Isle of Tiree Genealogy provide many resources for online research of these rugged islands on Scotland’s west coast.

Paid Subscription sites:

These sites are reputable, but can eat a hole in you wallet.  Here’s some tips to keep costs down:  I signed up for the free trial, which now requires credit card information so they can automatically send you a bill if you forget to cancel on time.  It’s worth it to register for the free email notices that announce major updates on their site.  Then I go to the public library, which has the international library edition and do my research. also periodically provides limited free access to certain collections that you might not catch if not subscribed:Military records become available around Memorial Day or Veterans Day; in April 2011 the Civil War records were open for the 150th anniversary; immigration records are open around St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  Because I’m registered, I can access these records from home during these free time frames.  , formerly  The emphasis is on American military history.  Like ancestry, this site will sometimes make targeted collections available on a limited basis.  My local library has a gift subscription provided by a patron, so I can put in a research request at the genealogy desk when the need arises.  Check around to see if a similar deal is available near you.


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