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When you’re looking for Web sites relevant to your research — record databases, how-to advice, family pages — you probably surf over to Cyndi’s List <cyndislist.com>, the popular directory of more than a quarter-million categorized genealogy links. Indeed, this mammoth site-finding tool is a great place to start your search. But did you know you have dozens more directories at your disposal? When you’ve exhausted Cyndi’s catalog or just need new avenues to explore, try these 26 general and specialized directories of genealogy Web sites.
This well-organized site has links for African-American and American Indian genealogy, as well as cemetery, census and military records.
Genealogy Blog Finder
Chris Dunham, the wickedly funny guy behind the Genealogue, maintains the most extensive directory of genealogy blogs.
Now numbering 50,000-plus, these links lead you to free sites from many countries.
With 6 million-plus links in two stream-lined categories (locality and surnames), this may be the best genealogy directory.
Online Genealogy Records and Resources
Joe Beine’s terrific directories index key census, immigration, military and vital-records sites.
ProGenealogists: Genealogy Sleuth
Compiled by professional genealogists, the Genealogy Sleuth pages focus on searchable online databases.
Foreign and ethnic gateways
The AfriGeneas List of Links
This extensive directory links to family histories, church sites and military records.
Canadian Genealogy and History Links
Though it hasn’t been updated recently, this site has many well-organized links.
Denmark RootsWeb List FAQ Site
Locate key Danish databases and research helps with this short-but-useful links list.
Genealogy.net: The German Genealogy Network
Among many great resources for German genealogy, this site has an extensive set of links to archives, family sites and German genealogy worldwide.
This encyclopedic guide to UK and Irish genealogy includes numerous links to online records and indexes.
Italian Genealogy Links
Start your search here for Italian sites and immigration and naturalization records.
JewishGen Family Links Database
Check this directory for family Web sites covering your surname.
National Archives and Records Administration: Ethnic Heritage Resources on Other Web Sites
The archives has handpicked genealogy resources for all major ethnic groups.
Link to public libraries and library catalogs around the world.
State Archives and Historical Societies
The Ohio Historical Society compiled this handy directory of state agencies.
Military site rosters
The American Civil War Homepage
In addition to regimental histories and battle accounts, George Hoemann’s directory covers biographies and state resources.
Civil War Rosters Arranged by State
This is probably the most complete directory of online rosters and muster rolls.
Confederate Regimental History Links
March double-time to online muster rolls and regimental histories.
Shotgun’s Home of American Civil War
This collection of more than 10,000 links is especially strong for Civil War battlefield and cemetery sites.
BRB Publications: Free Public Record Sites
Locate living relatives with online public records, including court, motor vehicle and real estate documents.
This site has nearly 33,000 links that connect you to free transcriptions, indexes and images of US, Canadian and British census records.
Outdoing Census Findel, this site has more than 45,000 links to US, Canadian and British census data.
Obituary Links Page
Link to recent and archived obituaries.
US Newspaper List
Find newspaper Web sites for all 50 states.
Short on time (or patience) to explore these sites’ plethora of links? Follow these four tips for using online directories effectively and efficiently:
1. Do a site search.
To quickly locate a specific subject — perhaps a surname or place name — start with the directory’s sitewide search box. At Cyndi’s List, you can take advantage of the Google Search at the top of each page to comb the entire site, including new, yet-to-be-categorized links. What if the directory has no search? Use the site search feature at Google <google.com>. For example, to find references to the Battle of Antietam on Shotgun’s Home of American Civil War, type antietam site: www.civilwarhome.com. To find a word or phrase on a Web page, go to Edib Find in your Web browser (shortcut: press Control-F in Windows or Command-F on a Mac).
2. Open the link in a new window.
It you’re browsing a directory and click on a link, the destination site usually will open in the same window. Then, if you return to the directory, you have to wait for the page to reload and find the place where you left off. To save time, click the link with your right mouse button (Control-click on a Mac) and select Open in New Tab or Open in New Window. When you’re done viewing that page, close the tab or window and return to the spot where you left off in the directory.
3. Track down a site that’s moved.
Hate when you try to open a link and get a “page cannot be found” error? That dreaded message isn’t necessarily the end of the road. Search the Internet for the Web site’s title to find the site’s current address (if it still exists).
4. Locate more genealogy links.
To turn up links to other genealogy sites focused on a place or ethnic group, add genealogy links to your search: for instance, netherlands genealogy links.
From the March 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine.