This information was taken from FamilySearch: Family History Lesson Series: Use the Internet for Family History Research at http://www.familysearch.org/eng/lessons/L7_Internet_Research.pdf.
Quick Reference Table
Tools or Tasks
What to Search for
Some Sites to Try
Use search engines
Search for an ancestor, a book, or almost anything. Use these to search the Internet for almost any genealogical need:
• Search for an ancestor by name or a family surname.
• Search for biographies, and family histories by author or title.
• Search for tools, such as maps and gazetteers.
Use Genealogical Directories
Search for links to genealogical Web sites. Genealogical directories have links to many different genealogical sites. Link to sites about an ancestor, about regional research, about an ethnic group, or just about any genealogical topic you can think of.
(250,000 links by title or topic)
(50,000 links by subject)
Find Compiled records
Search for already compiled genealogies. Look first to see if someone else has already compiled a genealogy about any of your family lines. You may find pedigrees that link generations of your family. (These may or may not be accurate.)
Electronic family trees:
Find original records
Search for an ancestor’s birth, marriage, death, census or other records. Look for many public records made by governments or churches at the time your ancestor lived. These are keys to documenting your ancestor’s lives. You should know the name and the approximate date and place of an event.
Find online Books
Find histories, biographies, and local histories. Many can be read on the Internet. You can search for family names and places where your ancestors lived.
Find Family Web sites
Work with others
Share your information
Find online Genealogy Courses
Search for Web Sites about your family. A distant relative may have created a Web site with information about your ancestors.
• Use mailing lists, message boards, or other lists to find and collaborate with others researching your same family lines.
• Post messages, queries, and replies.
Share your family information online. Put your genealogical research into an electronic format, and post it where others can see it.
Find reference tools, such as maps, gazetteers, and dictionaries.
Find step-by-step instructions. Look for guidance on hundreds of topics and specific areas of research (such as military records or California records) or skills (such as reading old handwriting).
Find online and other genealogical courses. There are classes for beginners and many expert topics as well.
See the search engines at top of this
(Click on Search and then Search Family
History Web Sites)
Pedigree Resource File at
(Look under Search, then Research
Guidance or Research Helps)
(Introduction to Family History)