Some tips for researching on the Internet
1. Newsgroups - USENET
I would say subscribing to these is a must. Although some of them
have a heavy throughput, following some of them, at least for a
while, is of enormous help. You may find other people researching the
same families, but the main value is the wealth of general
information about resources both on and off the Net and how to use
them. You may also come across other people who will help research
your particular interests.
The genealogy Newsgroups are as follows: (Taken from a FAQ posted to
"What Genealogical news groups are there?
There are 17 newsgroups in the SOC.GENEALOGY hierarchy (and the
equivalent GENXXX mailing lists). These are:
11 geographical/ethnic groups (it should be self evident where to
post a particular query):
AFRICAN AUSTRALIA+NZ BENELUX FRENCH
GERMAN HISPANIC JEWISH NORDIC
SLAVIC UK+IRELAND WEST-INDIES
6 specialist groups:
COMPUTING all aspects of computing and software AND
discussions on the structure/splitting of
groups and new groups.
MARKETPLACE genealogical resources, ie materials and researchers
MEDIEVAL special problems associated with medieval (before
about 1500 AD) genealogy
METHODS 'how do I...' type queries which are not
geographically/ethnic based. Queries about getting
information from St Catherine's house, London are
best directed to UK+IRELAND, but queries on how to
document an ancestor's business activities are
best posted here.
SURNAMES ALL surname queries from THROUGHOUT the world.
Surname postings to many of the
geographical/ethnic groups are not tolerated
MISC - A ragbag group covering issues not covered
Genealogical News Groups outside the SOC.GENEALOGY.Hierarchy:
There are also a number of genealogical groups in addition to the
SOC.GENEALOGY hierarchy. These change from time to time and the
best way of finding them is doing a wild card search (*genealog) on
the list of newsgroups taken by your service supplier. For
information on their coverage you are advised to lurk or study the
appropriate FAQ. The best known of these are: ALT.GENEALOGY and
the FIDO.xxx.GENEALOGY series."
To subscribe to Newsgroups, consult your service provider who should
carry them and be able to help enable them on your system.
There are numerous mailing lists. Some of the Newsgroups, above, are
mirrored in mailing lists. There are also many specialised lists.
e.g. there is one for people searching in the New York area,
and also many surname lists e.g. for people searching for Stevensons or
3. Search engines
The URLs of some search engines are as follows:
Open Text http://index.opentext.com
Web Crawler http://webcrawler.com
There are also Metasearch sites where you can use more than one
search engine at the same time:
SavvySearch http://guaraldi.cs.colostate.edu:2000/ ./
Please note the case matters. Where upper case is specified, ensure
it is copied correctly.
4. Surname sites.
These will point you to other people who are researching families
with the same names.
(Roots Surname List) RSL - Millions of names submitted for linking to
This is an archive of postings to the soc.genealogy.surnames
GenWeb - another surname search place with many names.
5. Generalised sites with categorised areas with links to useful
The Olive Tree
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
6. Primary source material
There is some on the Internet, but don't expect to be able to limit
your research to the Internet. More and more transcriptions are
becoming available on the Internet, but your chances of finding your
"lost" relative in the primary source material that is available is
Some government bodies are beginning to publish BDM on the Internet
as are some Family History Societies, but this is an emerging trend -
most records are incomplete.
I believe this gives a good starting point for genealogy research on
the Internet. It is worth mentioning that, as with off-Net research,
recording your sources is vital. Many of the Web pages are
transitory, a bookmark which works one day, may not the next.
7. TMC Families
Finally - and not least - of course TMC Families
Camilla Gemmingen von Massenbach