Whether you've gathered a ton of information or you're just beginning, you may be wanting to research genealogy on the internet. I looked for pages that compared several different genealogy website, but only found one that listed more than ten choices.
50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2009 is a terrific page put together by ProGenealogists. Below, I've quoted the beginning and the top 20 choices!
50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2009
Kory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA
This list was created in the first quarter of 2009. It was developed from a list of criteria explained in an article published in the Digital Genealogist, edited by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens. The 2008 ranking is given in parenthesis after the website description. Sites new to the list for 2009 are marked with *.
Rank Website Coverage/Content
- Ancestry.com $ - Ancestry.com is the leading genealogical data site, with some articles, instruction, and reference help. (1)
- Genealogy.com $ - This is major data site, with instruction and reference help. (4)
- MyHeritage.com - MyHeritage focuses on genealogy community building and networking. (3)
- RootsWeb.com - Rootsweb is a major data site, with free instruction and reference help. (2)
- MyFamily.com - Hosts family websites for sharing photos, genealogy, and more. (5)
- FamilySearch.org - This is a major data website sponsored by the LDS Church and includes with instruction and reference help. (5)
- FindAGrave.com - A database of cemetery inscriptions and photos. (7)
- Geni.com - Web 2.0 and focuses on genealogy community building and networking. (18)
- Footnote.com $ - In conjunction with the U.S. National Archives, Footnote offers data, original records images, and more. (8)
- AncestorHunt.com - A site consisting of collected genealogy links. (12)
- OneGreatFamily.com $ - This is primarily a family trees sharing and collaboration website. (9)
- GenealogyToday.com - Genealogy Today includes instruction, reference articles, and includes some unique data collections. (11)
- WorldVitalRecords.com $ - WVR is also known as Family Link, and represents a major data website, with instruction and reference help. (10)
- AccessGenealogy.com - A website that includes references to helpful articles, especially for Native American information, and some data. (13)
- USGennet.org - Historical and genealogical web hosting service. (17)
- Interment.net - Transcribed and indexed cemetery inscriptions. (16)
- CyndisList.com - A huge website dedicated to cataloguing genealogy website links. (15)
- GeneBase.com - A DNA ancestry cataloguing project (24)
- SearchForAncestors.com - Interactive directory of free genealogy websites and data. (21)
- EllisIsland.org - Database of passenger lists that is free to search. Actual passenger list images can be purchased. (14)
Out of this list, I have personally used Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, RootsWeb.com, and FamilySearch.org.
My recommendation is to do the following:
- Sign up for Ancestry.com for a month or two. After all, it does have the most members! In one month, I found out a great deal from a fellow member who is a grandson to my paternal great-grandfather. He had already traced that family line (my maiden name) back to southwestern Germany!
- After that month or two, cancel your paid subscription. You can still use their free family-tree builder and search for others that have been made public. You can also choose to receive notifications of when certain information is free or offered at a "special price".
- Use MyHeritage.com and/or The USGenWeb Project for further research. I'm in the process of putting my family history on MyHeritage.com which provides free services and a free "family-tree" software download. It's rated third on this list and you can have up to 250 names on your records without spending a dime.