Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Online Research Strategy

I updated my Online Research strategy list of databases and web sites recently, and am working through it to search databases with the names of Russell, David, Lyman and George Smith in specific localities - Rhode Island (unknown County) and New York (Oneida and Jefferson Counties) - in the 1740-1840 time frame.

Here is my Online Research database list -

1) Search the LDS Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File (free) for member-contributed data.

2) Search the LDS International Genealogical Index (IGI) (free) for extracted or submitted data.

3) Search the Rootsweb WorldConnect user-contributed databases (free) for data on the given names in the specific counties in the 1750-1850 time frame.

4) Search the Ancestry user-contributed Family Tree databases ($$, free at some FHCs) - One World Tree and Public Member databases, but not Ancestry World Tree, since that is in the WorldConnect database.

5) Search the GenCircles user-contributed databases (free).

6) Search the We Relate user-contributed databases (free).

7) Search the My Heritage user-contributed databases (free).

8) Search the user contributed World Family Tree database ($$, many on CDs at libraries).

9) Search the Family Finder at (free) (enter name in search box) for user-contributed reports.

10) Search the Rootsweb Freepages at (free) for user-contributed reports.

11) Search the Rootsweb Web Sites at (free) for user-contributed reports.

12) Search the Ancestry Historical Records at ($$, free at some FHCs and libraries), especially census, vital military, land and court records.

13) Search the Ancestry Stories and Publications collection at ($$, free at some FHCs and libraries).

14) Search using the MyHeritage Search engine at (free, links to $$ sites).

15) Search the surname and locality book collection at HeritageQuestOnline (free at FHCs and some libraries, free at home with a participating library card).

16) Search Google Books at (free).

17) Search all Rootsweb databases at (free).

18) Search the USGenWeb archives at (free).

19) Search the USGenWeb State and county web sites at (free). Review the resources available there, especially the vital records, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, etc.

20) Search the USGenNet user-contributed databases at (free).

21) Search the PERSI (PERiodical Source Index) on HeritageQuestOnline (free at FHCs and some libraries, free at home with participating library card).

22) Search the Rootsweb/Ancestry surname and locality message boards at (free). Post messages on these boards to try to draw responses from other researchers.

23) Search the GenForum surname and locality message boards at (free). Post messages on these boards to try to draw responses from other researchers.

24) Search the Rootsweb mailing list archives at (free). Subscribe to some of the mailing lists and post messages there.

25) Search the Google Web at (free) - especially on genealogy researcher web pages.

26) Search the University of Michigan "Making of America" database at (free).

27) Search the BYU "Family History Archive" book database at (free).

28) Search the New England Historic Genealogical Society databases ($$, free at some libraries) - especially the NEHGRegister archives, the Early American Newspapers, and the NY Will Abstracts 1787-1835.

29) Search the Footnote databases on ($$, free search, free at FHC and some libraries) especially the Revolutionary War Pension files and other military records.

30) Search the databases at ($$, free at FHC and some libraries) especially the historical newspapers, surname and locality books and Everton databases.

31) Search the databases at ($$, free at some libraries), especially the historical newspapers.

32) Submit a request to the DAR Patriot Index at and search the GRC National Index at (free).

33) Search the cemetery sites and (free)

34) Search the database indexes ($$, free search)

35) Search Olive Tree Genealogy at (free, links to $$).

36) Search free online data portals, such as,,, (free, links to $$ sites).

Note that this list does not cover the "traditional" resources found at repositories - libraries, genealogy societies, historical societies, museums, courthouses, and the like. That's another list!

I have updated this list in the past several months. If you have a suggestion for a user-contributed database or a useful web site with databases or information, especially for New York, please let me know in Comments or via email (

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