Get your foreign research off to a flying start—no travel required. We've got your passport to the best databases for tracing your roots in the old country.
However your ancestors got here—be it on the Mayflower or a 747—the Internet makes it easier than ever before to track them in the old country. Just consider these 51 world-class Web sites: Such collections of family facts are your ticket to faraway genealogical sources without leaving home.
If you've surfed foreign-focused family history sites, you know real records resources—indexes, transcriptions and digital document images—can seem scarce in international cyberspace. You generally can't expect to find a country's full slate of censuses, for example, or an expansive roster of its vital records (that is, unless your kin came from the United Kingdom or Scandinavia; see pages 24 and 27).
Not so for these sites: In our quest to honor the best foreign databases, we searched for sites that deliver actual ancestral data, not just how-to tips and links lists. Our search targeted tools for tracing your ancestors in their native lands, rather than records generated upon their arrival in America.