101 Best Websites for Genealogy: Online Genealogy Tools

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Cyndi’s List

If our 101 sites aren’t enough for you, turn to this classic list of genealogy links, compiled since 1996 and now on an easier-to-navigate site. At last count, Cyndi had listed and categorized more than 310,000 sites.


Pronounced “DEE-go,” the name of this free online highlighting and collaboration site stands for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other Stuff.” In practice—on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android device—this means you can highlight online family finds just as you would on paper, add sticky notes, then sort and share finds.


We couldn’t live without this cross-platform digital scrapbook for clipping and saving family history finds online, as well as notes, photos and even voice recordings. It syncs seamlessly and puts your data at your fingertips on PC, Mac, iOS devices, Android and Blackberry.


Is there anything Google can’t do for family historians? Besides the web search, there’s Google Books, Maps, Earth and Translate. News Archive has stopped adding old newspapers, alas, but its Facebook competitor Google+ may soon see genealogical applications that will make up for that minus.

Live Roots
Search 242,438 resources and 546,718 indexed names in a single step with this metasearch site. Besides the big names like and, Live Roots digs deep into lesser-known sites and data providers you might never have thought to check.


Like Google but just for genealogy, this simple yet powerful search engine has indexed more than 6 billion names and added the Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records, the Social Security Death Index and Geni’s World Family Tree—and made them searchable with iPhone and Android apps. The Discovery Stream adds user-generated content from uploaded trees and documents (which get automatically digitized with optical character recognition) as well as search-engine matches. Basic searching is free, or upgrade ($79.95 a year) to get more power and search fields.

One-Step Web Pages

Recently spotlighted for its powerful tools to find ancestors’ enumeration districts in the 1940 census, this unassuming site also lets you “drill down” to search sites including Ellis Island, Castle Garden, other immigration databases and census collections—all in, as the title says, one step.


Find resources for researching your ancestors in the world’s libraries using this powerful search of 1.5 billion books and other items in 10,000 repositories. WorldCat will even tell you which library holding your hits is closest to you. Apps for iPhone and Android let you search on the go.
Check out the rest of our 101 Best Websites for genealogy in 2012! Click on a category below.
From the September 2012 Family Tree Magazine