Once again, it's time for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at his blog, Genea-Musings.
This week, he's asking us to
" List your Top 10 (or 20 if you want!) FREE based genealogy sites, and a short reason for listing them."
Recently I had posted my list of top 50 websites - you can download my list for free. A few websites on that list are not free or are not all free, but with careful planning and timing (or in normal times) most can be accessed for free either through a subscribing library or a Family History Centre or during free weekends and the like. These are all websites useful no matter who, where, what you are researching. And I'm not including my favourite search engines here.
It was hard to pick a top ten list, but I'm game. I admit cheating a little bit here and there....
Many of these sites are on social media and/or offer e-newsletters. I recommend you follow them. It will help keep your research choices up to date.
The first three were pretty easy -
From my 'biggest or bigger section' -
1. FamilySearch: https://familysearch.org/ This is the Great Grandma of the genealogy websites. FamilySearch has been assisting genealogists and family historians since 1894. And on-line since 1999! For many searches, you can do it all here - records, books, trees abound, but the Research Wiki is a must. Go there first no matter where you are researching to find out what you need and where to start, and see and learn how to do it in the Learning Center.
2. Cyndi’s List: www.cyndislist.com The Great Auntie, for sure. Cyndi Ingle has made it her ongoing mission to organize and catalogue genealogy's online world since 1996. Here's where you can browse categories for ideas and get links for new-to-you websites. For example, Social Networking for Genealogy for Facebook group links, and Societies & Groups for contacts with all kinds of genealogically useful groups from local on up.
3. World GenWeb Project: https://www.worldgenweb.org/ Your results may vary, all theseGenWeb project sites are run by volunteers, but many small gems are included. Browse here worldwide, currently from Albania to Zimbabwe.
4. World Archives Project, free, Ancestry.com: https://blogs.ancestry.com/worldarchivesproject/ Volunteers are indexing collections for Ancestry, and the indexes (not images) are then added to Ancestry’s free collections. Volunteer indexers do receive Ancestry benefits, and it's another way to help keep a lot of genealogy free. The newest projects are collections from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
From my Genetics and Genealogy section -
5. International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG): https://isogg.org/ It's good to see so much positive interest in adding DNA to genealogy research. The ISOGG site has the up to date answers, and the links you need, whether you are a DNA newbie or a seasoned DNA researcher.
From tools for searching -
6. SearchReSearch: http://searchresearch1.blogspot.ca If you're wanting to up your online search skills, Dan Russell's challenges here are meant for you.
7. One-step Webpages, Stephen P. Morse: https://stevemorse.org Great variety of genealogy tools and aids - test out the immigration record and language searches.
From the Maps of the World section - I can't pick just one. Maps are the first thing I think of when starting research in a new place and time.
8. Map Collection, Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas Libraries: https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/world.html
8.5 David Rumsey Map Collection: http://www.davidrumsey.com
From Library / Publication Collections - No, it isn't all on the Internet, but you can find out where it is.
9. WorldCat: https://www.worldcat.org/ Find that book, document, article, or even a microfilm (!) you've read about on-line at a library near you - or far away. (Or maybe you can find it on the Internet Archive now that you see the correct title on WorldCat. Then you can check it out with your free virtual IA library card.) You will see many archival collection references on WorldCat, but you can check the associated ArchiveGrid too. Yes, both seem predominantly USA collections now, but the database is building. Its archival collections, for example, include material from Australia, Spain, Canada and Sweden, South Africa, Poland...
9.75 World Digital Collections: https://www.wdl.org/en/ This should keep anyone busy and happy - manuscripts, rare books, maps, photographs, and more. This is a project founded by the U.S. Library of Congress, with the support of the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. See the list of current partners here - from Abu Dhabi to Kyiv.
From the 'Asking Questions, posting queries section' – Always be sure to read any rules, suggestions and Codes of Conduct, etc. before you ask questions on a genealogy website, forum or the like. Query writing is almost an art. You need to give enough information for someone to help or answer you, but not so much information that they aren't sure what your question is.
10. Genealogy and Family History Stack Exchange: http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/tour Read first "How do I ask a good question?" including how and what not to ask, for instance, about possibly living people.
END OF TOP TEN
Hope you found a new / not used in a while one here to visit.
I'd have liked to sneak Rootsweb in here, but at the moment, access to many of the information and features there is still a problem. Hoping for next time. It is on my 50 list with a warning. The Rootsweb e-mail lists are no longer, many have moved to Facebook, or groups.io. Message boards are still available. See my note above on 'asking questions'.
Whew! That was hard. Download MY 50 WEBSITES ALL GENEALOGISTS COULD USE… here, for more links to useful websites.