101 Best Websites 2010: Eastern US Resources

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Cincinnati Virtual Library

Right in Family Tree Magazine’s backyard, this online outpost of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County offers downloadable books of all sorts. Most notable for genealogists is the extensive collection of Cincinnati city directories, all at your electronic fingertips.

Cook County Genealogy Online

Find your Chicago-area ancestors in this slick site from the Cook County, Ill., clerk’s office. Searchable databases cover more than 8 million birth, marriage and death records.

Digital Library of Georgia

This peachy gateway to more than 110 collections from 160 institutions and agencies gives you one-click access to a million digital files, including images; Colonial wills; Confederate enlistment records, muster rolls and pension applications; and seven historic newspapers.



Though technically part of the USGenWeb network, this state site deserves an individual mention for its spiffy design, well-organized county information and especially, its special projects. These include a family group sheet collection, gravestone photos, history book transcriptions, articles from old newspapers, state censuses and WPA graves registrations.

Massachusetts Archives

A triple threat, this site’s Massachusetts Archives database, spanning 1629 to 1799, is just the beginning. The vital records database spans 1841 to 1915. And the in-progress project to index more than 1 million arrivals through the port of Boston (1848 to 1891) is worth checking back on even if your ancestors didn’t stay in the Bay State.

Minnesota Historical Society

Along with indexes to birth and death records, this site’s state census records and rich photo resources also get gold stars. In the works: a project to digitize Swedish-language newspapers published in the United States.

Missouri Digital Heritage


The Missouri State Archives site <> has long been one of our favorites, so we’re delighted to see its superior online collections under this umbrella of all things Missouri. Whether you’re seeking military records, naturalization documents, photographs or land patents, this is the place to start if you have Missouri kin.

OK/IT GenWeb

Also under the USGenWeb umbrella, this site stands out in part because it’s no ordinary state page: It’s dedicated to the “twin territories,” Oklahoma and Indian Territory, and exists in addition to a strictly Oklahoma site. As a result, it’s of interest to researchers with any number of American Indian heritages. Packed with links to related tribes, the site also is home to special projects, including migrations, “removals,” timelines, trails and roads, the 1900 census and 1903 postal routes.

Seeking Michigan

You’ll be drawn here by the nearly 1 million digitized Michigan death certificates (1897 to 1920). But don’t overlook the collections of Civil War photographs and records, WPA property inventories, oral histories, maps and more.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Search the Wisconsin Genealogy Index for more than 150,000 Wisconsin obituaries and biographical sketches, 1 million births, 400,000 deaths and 1 million marriages. You also can milk this site for Dairy State images, Civil War records and history articles.
For additional tips and resources, research guide digital downloads of every US state (including Washington, DC and Puerto Rico) are available at Family Tree Shop
From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine