Top Picks

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy fun challenge is to identify my top fee-based genealogy websites. I’m going to modify this slightly and list both my top fee-based and top-free sites.

Fee-Based

  1. Ancestry – I use Ancestry almost daily to research my family tree and to manage DNA results for myself, my brothers and my mother.
  2. Newspapers.com – This is my number one resource for obituaries, wedding announcements and other family news.
  3. Historygeo.com – First Landowners database: Since many of my lines were among the first settlers in several states, I find this site useful to locate their land on a map and to see their neighbors.
  4. Family Tree DNA – I manage my brother’s yDNA on Family Tree DNA and am checking our yDNA matches and the CRAWFORD yDNA project on a regular basis. The CRAWFORD project has a fantastic manager!
  5. Legacy Family Tree Webinars — When you live 75 miles from the nearest genealogy society or library, you seek out opportunities for genealogy education and this is one of the best.

Free

  1. Google — Google is my go-to search engine for everything, including locating more information on members of my family tree and/or information on their communities
  2. FamilySearch – I love the access to records, particularly deeds, that FamilySearch provides. I also use their family tree to check my research against the community consensus.
  3. Mapsofus.org – I love this website! I first started using this with Kentucky to try and figure out how county boundaries changed in early Kentucky.
  4. Facebook – I belong to a lot of different Facebook genealogy and history groups and find them very helpful. I love reading the historical posts and learn tons from posts on the genealogy community
  5. YouTube – lots of great genealogical and historical information here
  6. Google Books / Internet Archives – great resources for finding digitized county histories
  7. Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office Records — land patents
  8. Kentucky Secretary of State: Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series — early land records in Kentucky
  9. DAR Genealogy Research — learning more about my patriot ancestors
  10. Local Genealogical Societies – The Topeka Genealogical Society and Peoria County Genealogical Society have really stepped up during this time of Covid. Both are offering programs over zoom for their members. This is a great resource – especially for people like me who don’t live close to a society. I also have to give a shout-out to the Kentucky Genealogical Society for their recent digital conference that was fantastic and very economical!
  11. RootsTech — I’ve been ‘not at RootsTech’ for the past several years and encourage everyone to sign up for this winter’s Virtual RootsTech.