Genealogy
This page contains a extensive collection of web site links I found useful, in no particular order, except for County Formation Maps, Google Searches, Living People Lookups, and Newspaper Research that I listed first. Browse and see if there's any topics that interest you, or do a "find" for something in particular.
County Formation Maps
There is an excellent Ani-Map program from Goldbug.com they call the County Boundary Historical Atlas. Several web sites give credit to Ani-Map in generating their County Formation maps. One site is Genealogyinc.com with an example using Pennsylvania Counties. Also, http://www.mapofus.org/ has an extensive set of Ani-map-like county formation maps. Another tool is the Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (mentioned in James Tanner's Genealogysstar.blogspot.com blog. Randy Majors created a free website tool that uses this excellent Newberry source, overlaid on a Google Map. Just type in any present day US address and historical year. http://www.randymajors.com/maps.html.
Also, read two blog posts by James Tanner that cover this topic very well. Take Time for Geographic Timeline
History, Growth of a Nation and the World
Google Searches
  • Six "Secret" Genealogy Google Search Tricks, especially the "around(x)" operator.
  • Google Advanced Searchhas a form for you to input a variety of search terms. Very useful!
  • Google Genealogy Searching Article from Genealogy In Time Magazine.
  • Search Term to produce list of Free Kindle Genealogy Books" site:www.amazon.com “Free in Kindle Store” Your Search Term(s)
  • Guide to Google - http://googleguide.com - Will make you an "Expert" Google searcher
  • Good overview course on Google search http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/ by a Google scientist.
  • Focused Searches: Precede your search with the tilde symbol to limit the search to synonyms... e.g. ~genealogy (Google says they removed this feature)
  • Remove items - If you want to search for something and exclude results, add a word preceded by the dash symbol
  • Exact phrase - Surround a series of words by quotes e.g. "William Cullison George"
  • Search just for images http://images.google.com including uploading a .jpg file, and find similar images.
  • Find Clipart... Google "clipart genealogy", or use Bing.com "clipart genealogy" and find even more genealogy clipart
  • Search for date ranges, add this to your query "1910..1930"
Finding Live People
Here are my favorite "live people" search sites. If you REALLY want to find out about someone, you can find a lot by using any/all of these sites. The latest one I added is http://www.zillow.com that estimates your home's worth if you supply the address. I read about it on Dick Eastman's Blog http://www.eogn.com.
  1. http://www.advancedbackgroundchecks.com/
  2. http://www.411.com
  3. http://familytreenow.com * Comprehensive
  4. http://www.infobel.com (http://www.us-info.com this also points back to infobel - seems to be non-US oriented)
  5. http://instantcheckmate.com (kind of slow)
  6. http://www.intellius.com
  7. http://www.peekyou.com
  8. http://www.peoplefinders.com
  9. http://www.peoplesearch.com
  10. http://www.peoplesmart.com
  11. http://www.pipl.com * Gathers from Multiple sources
  12. http://www.radaris.com
  13. http://www.spokeo.com
  14. http://www.switchboard.com
  15. http://www.whitepages.com
  16. http://www.whowhere.com
  17. http://www.zabasearch.com * Very good
  18. http://www.zoominfo.com
Newspaper Research
The Challenge of Adding Sources to Family Trees
My favorite blogger James Tanner is writing a series about "The Challenge of Adding Sources to Family Trees". He has a great perspective on the topic with a trial lawyer background and years as a researcher and teacher of genealogy.
  1. The Historical Reality (20 Aug 2016)
  2. The Citation Issue (4 Sep 2016) James lists many (ten) citation standards.
Forms for Genealogy
Various sources of blank genealogy forms
Irish Genealogy
  • Irish Genealogy Toolkit and Irish Genealogy News by Claire Santry. Irish Genealogy Toolkit was created as a way of passing on that knowledge to another generation of amateur genealogists and, she hopes, sparing them the wasted hours and money of going round and round in circles or following blind alleys. It covers all the basics of tracing ancestors in Ireland. Irish Genealogy News came along a few years later to keep family historians up to date with the surprisingly fast-moving world of Irish genealogy. Professionals and amateurs alike have come to depend upon it.
  • The Septs - Outstanding publication about Irish Genealogy
  • Irish Clans, Tribes and Septs - Tries to be the biggest index of freely available eBooks (or 'e-Books' if you prefer) on Irish History, Biography and Genealogy! The eBooks are listed in a wide range of categories.
Word Clouds
  • http://wordclouds.com is the simplest to use and the most flexible of all the word cloud generators I've seen, and, it's free
  • If you have a Family Tree in FamilySearch.org, the web site http://treeseek.com has a namecloud function for your ancestor's first names and last names that's pretty good.
  • Also http://wordle.net does word clouds from pasted-in text, but it requires Java.
Free Conference Calling
Genealogy Web Site Ranking with Woorank.com
  • Will rate your favorite web site numerically & analyze in many ways. See if your favorite web site stands up to this scrutiny. An example is: https://www.woorank.com/en/www/eogn.org
  • Census Search
  • Find out details about your city. Originally developed as a research tool for reporters to include background information. http://censusreporter.org/
Migration Analysis
FamilySearch
  • This is a very powerful and free genealogy tool. It is similar to Ancestry.com in that it has record search and Family Tree capabilities. It is located at http://familysearch.org.
Online Calendars
Publishing a family's history
Find GPS Coordinates
  1. Type in address to get coordinate: http://jytangledweb.org/maps/addy2gps.html
  2. Navigate Map to get coordates: http://jytangledweb.org/maps/getgps.html
  3. In Google Earth - Navigate to your location, then click on New Placemark Icon (looks like yellow stickpin), move to desired location, then copy paste L/L from the New Placemark Dialog Box
  4. In Google Maps - Navigate to the location, then right-click and click on "What's Here"
Social Security Death Master - Find Social Secuiry Numbers
http://sortedbybirthdate.com/ Just change the date in the URL. You might get lucky. e.g. http://sortedbybirthdate.com/pages/19150129.html
Cemeteries/Graves
  • I have generally been aware of Find A Grave but finally got around to registering and adding a few memorials of my relatives. Let me tell you, it is addictive. If you have feelings for your relative who have died, what a great way to remember them. See http://findagrave.com. Don't forget to register.
  • Interment.net - Free, 6 million records
  • gravelocator.cem.va.gov - military graves
  • abmc.gov - maintains cemeteries, foreign cemeteries - 125k solders
Connecting with Irish History
Ireland History
Scotland History
Correcting On-Line Family Trees
  • An excellent article by Kimberly Powell of About.com. It covers seldom-discussed on-line trees such as Ancestry's Online Family Tree, One World Tree, RootsWeb's WorldConnect Family Tree
Find photos of Street Addresses and Values of Homes
  1. http://www.zillow.com - Provides real estate values.
  2. http://showmystreet.com - Key in street & see a picture of property via Google Maps
DNA Testing
My wife and I have "indulged" in DNA tests (Autosomal Tests with Ancestry, FTDNA and Y DNA with FTDNA for me, a Y DNA test fo rmy wife's brother's son and an autosomal test for her). We found very close Y matches with our same surnames, but unfortunately, none of our matches have done research far back enough to identify who the common relatives are. There is a lot to learn about genetic genealogy, especially if you want to understand what is being tested. It's complicated and geneticists have their own terminology, A DNA SIG was started by the SRVGS group in 2012 to help us understand it and ended about 6 month later. There are many web sites that shed light on the subject. DNA testing can be expensive and, I would imagine, quite profitable for the companies that provide the testing. Therefore there's a lot of advertising and inflated clains. YDNA tests cost between $125-$175 and mitochondrial test are over $200. Autosomal (so called "Family Finder") tests are more reasonable as millions are taking it, on special as low as $59 and normally about $99. Here some links I've run across:
I would say that Ancestry.com and MyHeritage have helpful sections on their web sites that focus on DNA matching and connect common individuals in uploaded family trees. This saves a great deal of effort.

Genealogy Tools
Behind your Name
These sites can be used to discover the meaning and history of your name.
TNG - The next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (version 9)
  • After being shown some TNG web sites recently, I became very interested in this software. It appears to be a very flexible way to put your personal genealogy on the Web so that potential collaborators will see it and contact you with a wealth of new information. It has been installed successfully in August, 2011 and my wife and I are experimenting with it. They came out with a version 9 earlier in 2012 and it's working well. Some example sites are: Lisa and RogerAuthor's TNG Site (Darrin Lithgoe) and the Kloosterman family. It is very cool software, only costs $30.
Obituarieshelp.org
  • Lots of info about obituaries and a bonus is many manual chart forms that you can easily download from their site map.
Gedcom Issues
  • There appears to be a dearth of good information about the Gedcom format used to transfer genealogy data between computer programs. Maybe there's a book or web site that's so good, nobody needs to publish anything else! Well, I think that people concentrate so much on their own genealogy programs that they don't share data with other programs. So they don't have issues of sharing files between genealogy programs. I noticed a couple blog entries from geneamusings.com blog dealing with this very issue and I hunted down a couple other web sites that talk about Gedcom issues.
Publish Free Genealogy Web Sites and Files
Browser Access Web Sites
Ancestry Magazine Back Issues
  • Ancestry has ceased publishing the Ancestry Magazine. But all back issues are available from Google Books.
Personalized Maps
  • Discovered this map-making gadget & couldn't resist showing our travels, mostly in the U.S., Mexico & Canada and UK with some Caribbean. The web site, bighugelabs.com has ALL KINDS of artsy craftsy web pages like this, from calendar makers to comic book captions.

Travels of Bill and Diane through 2014
chart

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com/map.php

The Genealogy Research Plan
To do family history research, you need to have goals and a plan.
Research Assistance
Search Your Family Tree Using Google
Macintosh Genealogy Resourse
TV Programs about Genealogy:
Local (to Castro Valley, California) Genealogy groups:
Regional and National and Regional Genealogy Groups
Census Analysis Tools
Very Helpful Tools when analyzing Census Record. Try googling "Census Image Templates"
Wikis
Genealogy Research Libraries - Bay Area
  • Oakland Regional Family History Center (with list of 12 Bay Area FHCs)
    http://www.oaklandfhc.org
    4766 Lincoln Avenue
    Oakland, Alameda, California, United States
    Phone: 510-531-3905
    Hours: T, W 10am-9pm; Th, F, S 10am-4pm
  • National Archives Pacific Region
    https://www.archives.gov/san-francisco
    1000 Commodore Drive
    San Bruno, California 94066-2350
    Phone: 650-238-3500
    Fax: 650-238-3511
  • Sutro Library
    https://www.library.ca.gov/sutro/
    480 Winston Drive
    San Francisco, CA 94132
    Phone: (415) 731-4477
    Fax: (415) 557-9325
    E-Mail: sutro@library.ca.gov
  • Santa Clara Central Park Library
    Genealogy Collection in Heritage Pavilion
    http://library.santaclaraca.gov (search for Central Park Library)
    2635 Homestead Road
    Santa Clara, CA 95051
    408-615-2900 Reference Desk
 Genealogy Lineage Software
Linux
Macintosh
PC
Research Web Sites
Charts for Genealogy
Books (free)
Common Genealogical Data Format
Popular SF Bay Area Libraries
Photography Sites useful to Genealogists
Genealogy Blogs
There are some very informative Genealogy Blogs. A couple noteworthy ones are Dick Eastman's Online GenealogyGenea Musings, the Genealogy Bank Blog and a terrific Resource, a genealogy blog finder.
Podcasts
Podcasts are very helpful. You can play them on your mp3 player (iPod or equivalent) and learn when you have downtime traveling or waiting. You just downlod the podcasts (mp3 files) and upload to your music player. iPods and iPhones make it very easy to automatically choose and get new podcasts using iTunes.
Webcasts
Ancestry.com
British Royals
Research Tools
Genealogy Inc - See also their list of county formation maps of most states.
Some Interesting Genealogy Sites:
  1. Family History 101 - Great Genealogy site http://familyhistory101.com/index.html - Contains much information including a nice selection of genealogy forms and how county map boundary formations evolved.
  2. Shoestring Genealogy - Save Money! - http://shoestringgenealogy.com/
  3. Geni.com - Very compelling way to share your family tree and motivate relatives to provide biographical information.
  4. Genetic Genealogist web site
  5. Surname Distribution in the world - Shows where people with your same last name are living in the world. Read about it.
  6. Cyndi's List is a tremendous resource, at http://www.cyndislist.com/.
  7. Google Genealogy Search - There is also a clever genealogy search page using Google technology that's quite helpful at http://www.genealogy-search-help.com/index.html.
  8. Family Tree Searcher - This is a Multi-Site Genealogy Search utility that lets you search eight genealogy sites at once. It may save you some time. http://www.familytreesearcher.com/
  9. About.com. A good free resource for beginning genealogists is http://genealogy.about.com. They have podcasts and frequent email updates available as well as the web site itself.
  10. History of the Census
  11. Facebook.com Millions of users - Do a search on "Genealogy" to find friends, blogs, podcasts and web sites. Maybe get lucky and run into relatives (and maybe not).
  12. Self-publishing site for people who want to publish their blogs. http://www.blurb.com
Maps
George Genealogy Research
I am working on a brick wall, trying to locate any information about my third great grandfather. I have information about my second great grandfather Samuel George, b. 1815 Indiana cty, PA, d. 1889 Mercer Cty, PA. An 1880 census record indicates that Samuel's father is from Ireland. That's all I know about him. So I'm looking into immigration from Ireland to the U.S. before 1815 and families that existed in nearby Indiana, PA. I located a William George born in Ireland, who lived close to Indiana, PA and am tracing his family. Updated Mar 2015. Fairly likely guess at given name for 2nd ggf is "William" according to Irish family naming conventions. So I'm on the trail of William George, in early Pennsylvania (1810-1830), and before. My aunt and I commissioned some work by Salt Lake City LDS Researchers and found some additional information including a will, where a William George left Samuel George land and a home in Pennsylvania. It's looking like William George may be our man.
I'm also researching the George line using Ancestry, Rootsweb, MyHeritage and FamilySearch sites.
  1. George Surname Origin & Last Name Meaning
  2. George Study
  3. George DNA Surname Project
  4. Memorabilia - Crests & gifts
  5. George Surname web sites on Genealogy.com
  6. My family is connected to Sir Godfrey Kneller, it is thought through family lore - But it isn't clear how. I have Knell surnames. To find out more Google Godfrey Kneller and visit this web site http://www.twickenham-museum.org.uk/detail.asp?ContentID=62 and the Wikipedia Page on him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfrey_Kneller.

Last Updated April 20, 2020 
by bg
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