Monday, December 31, 2012

The Internet

Marian asks:
"How much research can I reasonably do using just the internet? My health keeps me from traveling to courthouses and such."

You can't do everything but you can do a lot, more every day thanks to organizations such as FamilySearch. Even if you can't visit courthouses and other repositories you can phone them, email them and write letters to them requesting information and documents so all is not lost. You can also hire other researchers to do some of the leg work for you.

The two things I would recommend to you are Cyndi's List and Online State Resources for Genealogy. Between the two I think you will have access to every online source there is.

I always exhaust all my internet options first, then I formulate a research plan for those things that I can't do on the internet. So many things are being added daily that I go back and try again on the internet if I am looking at a research problem that I haven't worked on in a while.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Great advice Michele. Resources are finite and time is precious. The more we can accomplish prior to visiting any repository, the better our time there can be spent.

    I would also suggest making use of US GenWeb sites and query/message boards. Many folks are happy to help.

    Lastly, sites like FamilySearch grow through volunteer indexers. Consider becoming one.

  2. I am a big believer in volunteerism within the genealogy community. I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would be if we didn't have USGenWeb, FamilySearch and Find-A-Grave (along with many more freebie resources). I encourage everyone to do their part.

    I wrote a blog post just on volunteering and USGenWeb was the very first resource I talked about :) You can read the post here:

    Thank you so much, Rorey, for your very kind comments :)