Genealogy Online Steps
Genealogy: Online Research
Jennifer Ewing, History Section
San Diego Public Library
Editorial Note: When originally presented, the Library subscribed to
AncestryPlus; the product is now Ancestry Library (similar), provided by another
vendor. This presentation has been updated to reflect the current name of the
product; the PowerPoint and PDF files still reflect the previous product.
This Subject Internet & Technology session will give you an introduction to
using and exploring the vast array of online (Web and electronic format)
genealogy resources and research materials. A major part of the workshop was an
exploration of the Ancestry Library premium subscription database (see
details below). Below are links to the PowerPoint presentation used in the
workshop, and a PDF flyer handout that contains many of the below and additional
Ancestry Library Database
Access: You can access Ancestry Library from any San Diego Public Library
location. You can find Ancestry Library on our Catalog
& Databases page.
What can Ancestry Library do for you? It offers links to literally millions
of genealogy records, indexes, and research for over 1 billion names. It's an
enhanced and richer version of the "public" or commercial version that
is seen on the Web at ancestry.com. It provides information through Census
Records, Birth, Marriage, & Death (Social Security Death Index), Military
Records, Court, Land & Probate Records, and Immigration Records.
Also, the SDPL has subscriptions to newspaper
and magazine databases (ProQuest, EBSCOhost, and New York Times Archive, for
example) which contain obituaries and death notices.
Genealogy: Online Research - Select List of Resources
Library's Collections - Books & CD-ROMS
All of the below are reference or circulating books, available for use in
the History Section, 1st Floor, Central Library, or in the California or
Genealogy Rooms, 2nd Floor, Central Library. The links below link to the Library
Catalog record for each item.
complete beginner's guide to genealogy, the Internet, and you genealogy computer
program by Karen Clifford. 2001. 929.10285/CLIFFORD
Provides detailed information on the mechanics of genealogical research
including: locating sources, evaluating information and processing the results.
An emphasis is placed on resources available through the Family History Centers.
complete idiot's guide to online genealogy by Rhonda R. McClure. 2000.
Basic introductory guide that assumes you know nothing about genealogical
research. It takes you step-by-step from beginning computer use to using your
computer for genealogical research.
list: a comprehensive list of 40,000 genealogy sites on the Internet by
Cyndi Howells. 1999. R 929.10285/HOWELLS
Print version of Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet with 40,000
sites and over 100 categories that correspond to the Web version.
genealogist's virtual library: full-text books on the World Wide Web by
Thomas Jay Kemp. 2000. 025.06/KEMP
A guide to entire books and materials available free on the Internet: family
histories, local histories organized by state and other "general
subjects" that include country & ethnic sites, religion, government,
military & public records.
online for dummies by Matthew Helm. 2001. RGY 929.1028/HELM
Explains genealogical research on the Web, descriptions of various sites, tips
for finding information and instruction on how to search certain sites.
sourcebook to public record information. 1999. RCC 352.387/SOURCEBOOK
Good sources for locating public information with descriptions of the types of
information that are available, the agency that holds it, and how to request it.
It includes Web addresses for those agencies that have them.
Americans in the 1870 census by Family Tree Maker. 1996. RGY CDROM
Contains alphabetical index of approximately 660,000 African American
individuals who were enumerated in the 1870 federal census returns. Areas
represented include GA, NC, PA, SC, VA, and WV, as well as the counties
containing the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and St. Louis.
to the new world, 1600s-1800s from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.
1997. RGY CDROM 929.374/IMMIGRANTS
Contains the names of approximately 58,000 individuals who arrived in New
England or the Mid-Atlantic states between 1572 and 1878. Information about each
individual varies, depending on the source.
Comprehensive Web Sites
One of the most comprehensive collections of categorized & cross-reference
links to genealogy sites on the Internet with over 150 categories and 168,500
The free version of AncestryPlus.
RootsWeb is the oldest and largest free online community for genealogists. It
contains extensive interactive guides and numerous research tools for tracing
The USGenWeb Project
Created by volunteers, this site is working to provide Internet Web sites for
genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States.
Olive Tree Genealogy
Free Ships' Passenger lists, family surnames, church records, military muster
rolls, census records, land records, etc.
Archives & Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has many records that
are useful for genealogical research, such as the Federal population censuses,
1790-1920; military service and pension records, ca. 1776-1900; immigration
records, 1820-1957; and naturalization records.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- Official Federal Land Patent Records Site
The General Land Office provides image access to more than two million Federal
land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908.
This is the source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from
the Federal government to individuals.
Great for locating places in the US and its territories. GNIS contains
information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in
the United States and is our Nation's official repository of domestic geographic
Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records
The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is
the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of
discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors
System (National Park Service)
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a computerized database containing
very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War.
The source of the data being entered is the General Index Cards in the Compiled
Military Service Records at the National Archives. The CWSS database currently
contains over 5 million soldier names from over 30 states and territories.
American Civil War Research
This is a commercial fee-based site. It calls itself the largest, most in-depth
and fully searchable database of United States Civil War soldiers and events. It
has the records for 2,678,000 soldiers and provides statistical analysis of the
Civil War on a company and regimental basis and/or the military records for the
combatants. The records can be examined on an individual basis, too.
Security Death Index
From the U.S. Social Security Administrations Death Master File, the index
contains 68,969,762 names of deceased persons who possessed Social Security
numbers and whose death was reported to the SSA.
Addresses for state and county offices for birth, death, marriage, and divorce
Libraries & Archives
Library of Congress: American Memory
American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the
history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million
digital items from more than 100 historical collections.
Local History & Genealogy
The genealogical section of the Library of Congress includes information about
conducting research using the Library, descriptions of the collections,
bibliographies and guides and Internet links.
List of Genealogy Libraries
(Select "Genealogy Libraries" from list on left, or go here)
This site is sponsored by Golden West Marketing Genealogy which sells genealogy
books and databases.
In addition to collecting of state and local governments, the archive has
Spanish and Mexican land grants and family history resources.
San Diego Public
The California Room collects Southern California history especially San Diego
and Imperial Counties and Baja California. It houses the San Diego Union-Tribune
newspaper index, the Sanborn Fire Maps and other early San Diego maps, San Diego
Great Registrar of Voters (1866-1909), and City Directories, etc. Next door, the
Genealogy Room has over 3,000 books (an emphasis on the Eastern states),
military records, the DAR collection, Filby's Passenger & Immigration Lists
Index, many family and county histories, the Dawes records, and over 100
genealogy CD-ROMs. It is open to the public during regular library hours. To use
the room, check in at the California Room. For more information, please call
Remember that the comprehensive Web sites will also have lists of ethnic
AfriGeneas: African Ancestored
This site is devoted to African American genealogy, especially to researching
African Ancestry in the Americas and includes an e-mail list, message boards and
Christine's Genealogy Web site
A comprehensive collection of African American genealogical resource links, news
articles, and forum.
Part of the Genealogy How-To portion of the Family Tree Maker site, this article
contains general information on researching African-American ancestors, a
contact list of societies, and links to Web sites of interest to researchers.
This Web site's purpose is to connect researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide
through the discussion group, databases of surnames, towns, and people and
Internet links to over 200 communities.
Ethnic Sites -- Hispanic
A genealogical society - Los
Los Californianos works to preserve the heritage of the early Hispanic
Californians in Alta California by conducting research on genealogy and civil,
religious, military, social and cultural activities in order to provide an
accurate and authentic oral, written, and pictorial interpretation of the
history of Spanish and Mexican Alta California.
A library -
Hispanic Local History and Genealogy in the United States
This bibliography lists titles on two primary topics: histories of American
families of Hispanic origin, and histories of places in the United States
settled by people of Hispanic origin.
Attempts to identify all printed, microfilmed, and online directories, and their
repositories for the United States.
Includes how-to articles, online classes and reference works. Check out
Beginning Genealogy & Internet Genealogy
GenForum by Genealogy.com
An example of a message board (forums) providing both surname boards and
The Computer Genealogy Society of San
A local association of people who perform genealogical research using their
computers. Site includes current events, membership and meeting information and
Use this search box from Google for fast results.
Here is a linkrack for web pages featured at this site. Click On.