The Big Genealogy Sites
FamilySearch.org – Possibly the best resource available and it’s all FREE! This is where you can search enormous databases for your ancestors, find a FamilySearch Center near you (previously called Family History Center), find out what microfilms are available for your ancestral town, and much more. The site has been redesigned and volunteers are busy digitizing millions and millions of
records so they can be searched online. Don’t neglect this resource and check back regularly because new information is being added literally every single day, if not every hour!
Ancestry.com – This popular site has hundreds of databases for the United States, England, Ireland, Canada and a growing section for Italy. The best sections for Italian researchers: US Census, Immigration & Naturalization, and World War 1 & 2 Draft Registrations. You do have to pay to access most of the information on their site, but they do offer free trials. One item of note: You can always build your Family Tree on Ancestry for FREE! You will not be able to search and save vital records to your tree, but you can save information you already know to your tree. See the Ancestry Tree section at http://trees.ancestry.com/.
Genealogy.com – This site also has US Census, Immigration records and World Family Tree.
Fold3 – Formerly called Footnote, this site has an awesome military records collection.
FindMyPast – If you also have British roots.
Rootsweb – Now part of Ancestry.com, this website offers great mailing lists (join lists for your ancestral town or surname!), messages boards, databases, hosted projects, WorldConnect family
trees and much more.
FindAGrave – Awesome resource and growing every single day!
Cyndi’s List – Links to every genealogy site out there. How she keeps it all straight, I don’t even know!
SteveMorse.org – Mr. Morse has made several web sites that help you search national databases, such as the Ellis Island database, in one easy step. He may not be a big corporation, but I consider his search engines the best out there so his site is a BIGGIE in my eyes!
Smaller But Great
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – The founder of this website has sadly passed away, but others are trying to keep it going.
Ancestral Findings – An interesting site that offers FREE lookups for many databases! They even
have a section where you can look up Italians to America. Join their mailing list and receive a daily email telling you what the days FREE databases are.
The National Archives Genealogy Page – Find out everything you need to know about what the
National Archives and Records Administration has to offer for genealogists, and how to get it!
TreasureMaps – This site offers a monthly e-newsletter filled with useful tips and Famous for “The Pajama Genealogy System”-how to do genealogy from your house in your pajamas!
Anglo-Italian Family History Society – This site offers a listing of Italians in the UK, Wales and Scotland censuses of 1841-1891. Great resource if your family was living in the UK.
Vital Records & Military Links
*Note this is not an all-inclusive list. These are sites I have come upon through my own research that I have found helpful. Putting them here helps me find them again later when I need them and I hope it helps you too!
Search Birth, Death, Bride and Groom information for New York City – Great web site with
very useful information.
Illinois State Archives online databases – Includes Marriages and Deaths, land records, Court Records and much more.
Vital Records Information – For all the US states and territories, this site can tell you how to get vital records, such as birth, marriage and death records.
Cemetary & Funeral Homes
Fulton History – Here you can search over 13.5 million New York State newspaper pages! This site allows you to learn more about the life that your ancestor led, besides the usual names and dates. I learned my mother had perfect attendance in 4th grade, I found reference to my grandmother’s bridal shower in 1939 and I read about the time my Uncle fell off a train bridge and was rushed to the hospital. This is an incredible resource and one of my favorites!
Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 1841-1955 and searchable for free!
GenealogyBank – Excellent subscription newspaper site.
Google News Archive – Newspapers from all over the world and searchable!
Italian/Sicilian Genealogy Bookstore – This is a selection of helpful genealogy books, cookbooks, history books and other goodies that I have put together. If you have any suggestions for this list, please let me know!
A MUST is the book entitled Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Italian Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage by Lynn Nelson. Subtitled “How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage”, this book is full of excellent tips including translations of documents you may see on microfilms, help with deciphering old style handwriting, research options, and letter writing aids. To purchase this book online, click on the title above. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR ANYONE RESEARCHING IN ITALY or SICILY.
Family History Books in the Family History Archives at BYU
FREE forms you can download to help your organize your research! On this website by Family Tree Magazine you will find fabulous forms to help you transcribe records, keep track of what you have searched and more!
I use Legacy Family Tree for my own family tree as well as for all of my clients. Including the proper sources for any information you add is extremely important and this program has a fantastic template for adding source information. They have a free version that you can try out, but the pay version is very affordable (usually $29.99) and they often offer coupons too.
I also have the newest version of Family Tree Maker. I used this a long time ago but I didn’t care for the new layout of the program when they changed it back in 2010 and that is when I switched to Legacy.
There are many other programs to choose from with a variety of features and costs. See below for more information!
Genealogy Software – This website has information about different genealogy software and links to different company websites. It can help you compare before you buy.
This website offers a review of 10 different software programs, with prices, ratings, and comparisons of available features. Legacy was the Gold medal winner and Family Tree Maker was a close second.
Louis Kessler’s Genealogy Software Links – This is the most extensive and informative set of links I have seen about available software!
The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG)–This software is
awesome for making great genealogy websites. It’s how I do the Jennifer’s Family
Tree section of my site. Check it out!