Are there genealogy web sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?
As more records enter into the public domain and are not protected by privacy and copyright laws, there are more and more books, records, and information being digitised online by a virtual plethora of web sites. How does one sort through the internet to find the web pages most useful in your ancestral search projects? There is not one way to find the best sources for information but several web sites which will hold up a torch and help to light up the path on your journey.
Ancestry.com is the new name for Rootsweb. Rootsweb has many volunteers manning the World Gen Web which includes the United States Gen Web, Canada Gen Web for instance and all the various states or provinces and their regions as well. Rootsweb volunteers provide regional local information, mailing lists and query - posting boards for internet visitors for free. rootsweb also provides the World Connect program where users can submit their family tree ged com file to share online as well, for free Ancestry.com took over Rootsweb and does charge for select databases, but not those databases or transcription projects put online by volunteers.
As far as other sites to use for genealogical research other than Ancestry.com, it would depend upon your region of ancestry to know if there would be additional sites to use. It is always best to search online for as much information as is available and not just search on one web site.
In Canada for instance the National Archives and Library web site has been making huge improvements and additions, and genealogists have appreciated the census being put online in the form of primary source documents, which have been transcribed on other websites as secondary source documents. It is on this website as well that WWI records can be found as well as Dominion Land Grant Patents, and scrip land records.
For researching ancestry in the United States one would be amiss to not check the Social Security Death Index SSDI, which is searchable now on many and several web sites.
If your genealogical research takes you afield to the British Isles, GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) has some excellent resources.
To try to keep a handle on the huge amount of information that is flooding the internet for genealogists and historians, Cyndi's List has been cataloging the information by subject.
Family Search.org is the web site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This denomination provides a large amount of information via microfilm in their LDS libraries and a lot this is coming online as well.
There are too many web sites world wide to include them all here. Start from what you know and work towards the unknown. Local sources may indeed be the best source for birth, marriage and death certificates as well as cemetery photographs or internment records. The regional library or archives would have the newspaper records for obituaries, birth, wedding and anniversary announcements. The genealogy society in your ancestor's country of origin is devoted to helping professonal genealogists and researchers and can provide resources and information guidelines. Rootsweb, by providing regional genealogy web sites through World Gen Web helps to find regional genealogy internet URLs, local web sites and postal addresses of interest to genealogists. World Gen Web also has established various transcription and assorted genealogical and cemetery projcts depending on the region and resources available. As well Cyndi's list mentioned above helps in fiding the relevant web site or the "needle in the haystack" in a very organised way.
This brief introduction to online genealogy intends to help researchers discover where to research the internet for reliable sources. Good luck with your genealogical endeavours.
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For more information:
Saskatchewan Gen Web a Rootsweb genealogy region on ancestry.com
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