Genealogy Web Links
The following links can all be access for free.
$ by a name means it’s a subscription service but is free at Family History Centers. Ancestry and Heritage Quest are free at all Allegheny County libraries.
Ancestry $ One of the two largest repositories of genealogy records. Automatically finds results close to the entered name and displays other records that match the one you’re looking at. Free access only allows viewing of U.S. and U.K. records
Familysearch The other large repository, free to use from any PC. Has a large collection from all over the world.
Fold3 $ Focuses on military records for the U.S.
Heritage Quest $ Most useful for U.S. census records which are separately indexed from Ancestry and Familysearch. Exact name spelling required.
World Connect User submitted genealogies with millions of names and family connections. Beware – as with all submitted genealogies, quality varies and some are very incorrect.
Familysearch A catalog of the millions of microfilm tapes collected from repositories all over the world. Organized by town, county and country, must be ordered from Salt Lake City and viewed at a Family History Center. Some have been electronically converted for online viewing. Popular local films are kept onsite.
Google The most popular and best search engine. Search by full name and/or location. Combine search terms and include names in quotes to find anything posted on the web related to your ancestor.
Steve Morse Provides flexible search capability for many of the most popular genealogy web sites. Allows use of partial names and wild carding within names if you aren’t sure of the spelling of the name.
Findagrave Over 100 million gravestones recorded by volunteers. Worldwide, but mostly has gravestones from the U.S.
Norm Meinert Similar to Findagrave but limited to Western Pennsylvania, with gravestone information collected by local volunteers.
Google maps Find and view any location in the world, with both a map and satellite view. Sometimes knows old names of towns that have changed in recent times.
Mapquest Previously the most popular map site. Satellite view is less granular image than google maps.
David Rumsey Map Collection Large and searchable collection of old maps from all over the world. Zoom in and see all the detail of the original map and the area where your ancestor lived.
Ellis Island Searchable collection of immigrants into New York City from it’s opening in 1892. You can view the original ship record, which might have the place they came from when they arrived in America. Use Steve Morse for a more flexible name search.
National Archives Access to Archival Databases Has immigration records for arrivals from several countries, mostly notably Germany from 1850 – 1897. Use Steve Morse for a more flexible name search.
Castle Garden Has arrivals in the port of New York for years before Ellis Island opened. Steve Morse useful here too.
Rootsweb Has posts organized both by last name and location. Find what others have posted or post an entry for your own ancestor to connect with others searching for the same family.
Genforum Has posts organized both by last name and location. Find what others have posted or post an entry for your own ancestor to connect with others researching the same family.
Family History Center in Green Tree Staffed three days a week by volunteers who can provide research assistance, there are PC’s for free access to multiple paid sites and viewers for microfilms ordered from Salt Lake City.
Carnegie Library Pennsylvania Room The main repository for genealogy information on Western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Experienced librarians provide research assistance. Microfilms ordered from Salt Lake City can be delivered and viewed there.
Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society Their office is co-located with the Pennsylvania Room, and offers a paid service to do individual searches. Has a quarterly journal and offers seminars regularly.
Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society Our local society with over 100 members, it has eight meetings a year on topics of interest to our members. There’s no fee to participate and all are welcome to attend.
Findmypast $ U.K. based site has U.K. census, birth, marriage, death and other records.
Genuki Lots of information on towns and counties, also has many links to local and regional searchable databases.
Freebmd Searchable site for birth, marriage and death records for the U.K. starting in 1837 Information is only recorded by quarter of the year. Once you have located a record, you can order the original from the General Register Office.
General Register Office The holder of official records for the U.K. You can order originals of birth, marriage and death records from them for a fee.
Rootschat Message board for U.K. locations. Searchable for information posted about ancestors, and with volunteers who will look up information for free.
Archives.org Many local histories from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s contain biographies written by the person. Quite a number have been scanned and are viewable and searchable.
Google Books Many local histories from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s contain biographies written by the person. Quite a number have been scanned and are viewable and searchable.
Worldcat A repository of catalogs from libraries all over the U.S. If you know a title, you can look it up and all libraries that hold it are displayed, organized by distance from your location.
Education and Tools
Ancestry Learning Center Many tutorials and research aids for the beginning and experienced researcher.
Familysearch History Research Wiki Many tutorials and research aids for the beginning and experienced researcher.
Youtube Ancestry channel Hundreds of short and informational videos on topics of interest to the beginning and experienced researcher. Very oriented to the Ancestry site, but worthwhile beyond that.
Cyndi’s List Last but certainly not least and in a category of its own, a site with links to every meaningful genealogy site. If you’re interested in areas beyond the general U.S. and U.K. links listed on this page, this is the first place to go. There is a search capability to locate and display just the sites for whatever place you’re interested in. The links are very well maintained.