03 May 2009

Challenge: Top 10 genealogy web sites

We can always count on Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings to challenge us with his Saturday Night puzzles.

Here's his latest:

"Let's do a Top Ten list of Favorite Genealogy Web Sites. These can be record databases, data portals, how-to sites, family trees, software, entertainment, blogs, etc. Your choice, your opinion - what educates, helps, or entertains you in your genealogy quest for a big GEDCOM file?"

I use these resources so frequently that there really isn't any relevant order - therefore, no numbers:

- Jewishgen.org - All things Jewish genealogically-related, particularly Ashkenazi.
- SephardicGen.com - Extensive Sephardic resources.
- Ancestry.com - For so much.
- Sephardim.com - Sephardic Name Search Engine indexing many essential books.
- Library of Congress - Extensive exhibits, information, photos, collections.
- Footnote.com, NewspaperARCHIVES.com and GenealogyBank.com - Provide historical event context and more specific family mentions. (Similar yet different resources!)
- Cyndislist.com - So many resource categories.
- RootsTelevision.com - Genea-videos.
- MyHeritage.com - An amazing genea-relevant search engine for 1,500 sites.
- Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906 - The Jewish world the way it was.

And, of course, Chris Dunham's The Genealogue for a daily genea-giggle. Too many blogs for this challenge - I'd need a top 50 just for blogs.

And while we're on that subject, do you remember when a genealogist was a generalist who knew everything?

Today - as so many more people have found their passion and focus through blogging - there is an entire field of specialists. This is an important development, in my opinion.

If we need an answer to a Polish research question, we know whom to ask. Determining the proper answer - if we haven't previously researched that area - could take hours of study. For an expert, it might take only a few minutes to provide proper direction.

While this does not negate each researcher's responsibility to learn as much as possible about his or her own possible sources, localities and available records, it also means we do have a list of friendly genea-bloggers to ask direction from and save ourselves from wild goose chases.

It is now easier to find (Genealogy Blog Finder, Cyndi's List, Joe Beine) where the experts for a certain topic "live," and who can be counted on to know as much as possible about a specific topic or locality.


  1. Schelly:

    It is so true that we have less of a generalist bent, and I'm glad. The ability to tap our online experts is amazing.

    A few short years ago I could never have gotten a question answered by Maureen Taylor without writing to a genealogy magazine.

    Now the answer can be here in minutes. I love technology!


  2. Very good blo and quite interesting.

  3. Hi, fM - Things will move even faster in the future! It is wonderful to be part of such a great community which shares such expert knowledge!