The following is a list of top genealogy websites and links to help you find information in the Midwest.
I find Ancestry to be the top genealogy website for doing research and managing my family tree. Using it means I don't have to carry my personal computer with me when I go to a library or research center, because my family tree and all my research is already online.
My free Ancestry set-up guides will help you get logged in and show you how to do the research. I'll guide you through how to know which records are right to add and which ones are not. We'll look at Ancestry's powerful search features that get smarter as you accumulate information about an ancestor you're working on.
On my FamilySearch page, you'll learn how to set up your account, how to identify a place on the tree to begin research, how to use the search function to find and attach records, how to do indexing, how to enter foreign language special characters, and how to use FamilySearch in another language.
I use FamilySearch exclusively to manage my church-related functions. You don't have to be a Mormon to use their free genealogy website though. This crowd-sourced database contains all of the family trees compiled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over the last two centuries. FamilySearch also has access to the resources at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Through FamilySearch, you can track down microfilm and have it lent to an LDS family history center near you so you don't have to go to Salt Lake City to do research. This website is really good for finding census and marriage records, but they also have death records, such as the U.S. Social Security, the U.S. Death Index, death certificates, Find A Grave, and much more.
You might be surprised to learn that you have distant family members who are LDS. If you do, you'll likely find a lot of research that has already been done on your family. Come and find out!
There's a tendency by some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to believe that their genealogy research is "all done". Puzilla is a top genealogy website that was built for the express purpose of showing FamilySearch users that this is never true!
You can use its various features to quickly traverse an extensive family tree and find a new place to work.
It's really easy to use! You just go to www.puzilla.org and sign in with your FamilySearch credentials.
By clicking on the different nodes, you can see a pop-up like this one with my name in it. It will show the name of the ancestor you clicked on along with birth information as you can see here.
The "Ancestors" button allows you to see ancestral lines that still need to be expanded.
The "Descendants" button allows you to see all known descendants for a given ancestor, which in turn tells you what lines could use some fleshing out.
While I consider Ancestry and FamilySearch to be the absolute top genealogy websites to use, MyHeritage also brings value. I've had MyHeritage find stuff that I couldn't find on other websites. I also use MyHeritage to double-check my research when I feel like I could benefit from a "third opinion".
Coming soon: When I get time, I'll write a page on how to use MyHeritage to verify research.
There are many options, and you can't make effective use of all of them. But if you're curious, it would also be worth looking into FindMyPast.
A thorough review of AncestralQuest (formerly PAF).
Legacy FamilyTree software allows you to manage your research on your own computer, but it also allows you to perform record searches and synch your data with FamilySearch. I'll do a review as soon as I can.
I'll do a review for RootsMagic as well. You'll be able to buy all of these directly from my website.
Are you working on Indiana genealogy? Ancestry and FamilySearch will give you census records, death records, marriage information and so on. But if you really want to learn the history of your Indiana ancestors, you need to find your way into some records that are more specific to them.
Did your ancestors participate in the Underground Railroad? Fight in the Battle of Corydon in the Civil War? Which side? Were they German immigrants? How about preachers or government officials? Do you want to know if a certain one of your ancestors had a will? Want to see a map of their city as they would have known it? or find out if they were ever in the newspaper, or won an award in Indiana? All of this information is available if you know where to look.
In this section, I'll show you some of the local libraries and courthouses you'll want to visit if you're doing Indiana genealogy. If you live near New Albany and you've ever checked a book out of a library, this will be easy! If you live out of state feel free to contact me, and I'll find the information you need for you.
Read my article on local resources available for doing Indiana Genealogy: The New Albany-Floyd County Library!
More coming, so keep checking back!
Missouri African American Genealogy was built expressly to make it easier to do research on negro genealogy in Missouri.
Perform state-by-state African American and slave research on www.theroot.com
A friend from a German genealogy Facebook group shared this link to top german genealogy websites on FamilySearch.
Also consider www.archive.org. This website provides access to over 6 million books in addition to media of all kinds. You'll never if they have something about your ancestors unless you look.
This FamilyTree Magazine article gives you all kinds of things you can do to start tracing your Russian ancestors: