Best Tech Tools for Genealogy in 2016

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Just in case, protect all your hard work by taking advantage of this site’s free backup service. It works with most popular genealogy software, and saves up to 25 previous versions in case you accidentally import an error-filled GEDCOM or delete a whole branch.

Cyndi’s List

A classic that’s been collecting links since 1996, Cyndi’s List is especially useful if you don’t know where to look next or you’re wondering what resources are out there. The Related Categories links on each page of this recently revamped site give you even more sites to explore.


Clip or copy your genealogy finds—text, photos, PDF files, videos, web pages—into Evernote and this cross-platform digital notebook makes them available on all your gizmos.


Store and share your old family photos and cemetery shots, or view the “photostreams” of historical images from the Library of Congress, National Archives and more.


How did we ever live without Google Search, Maps, Books, Translate, Patents, Earth and Gmail? Start or amp up your genealogy research by using the search engine—or Google’s many other helpful tools.

Internet Archive

Home to everything from old radio programs to “antique” video games, this sprawling site is also packed with digitized books and articles of use for your family history. Don’t miss the Wayback Machine at the top of the page, which searches 472 billion archived web pages—including, perhaps, that great page about your family that’s gone offline.


This nifty genealogy-focused search tool spans more than 1 billion records, including the 1940 US census. Keep clicking on your finds to discover a whole trail of relevant records, with no non-genealogical junk.

One-Step Web Pages

Use Steve Morse’s flexible search forms to search other sites’ genealogy databases—censuses, passenger lists (including those from less well-known ports), vital records and more—with one click. Results from subscription sites require a fee to access the record. 


Part image search engine, part online scrapbook, plus a source of tips and inspiration, this “pinning” site will keep you busy for hours following its visual threads.

Randy Majors

This lively blog stands out for a pair of cool tools: One makes it easy to compare past and present locations in the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries; the other builds a better, genealogy-specific Google search using terms you fill into blanks.


Want to build your own family history website from scratch? These powerful but simple tools make it a snap. You also can create a blog-style site at <>. Read our complete step-by-step guide in the March/April 2016 Family Tree Magazine <