After almost twenty years of genealogy research, there are certain sites that have become my ‘go to’ sites for certain aspects of my genealogy research. I thought it might be helpful for me to post my list of my top ten genealogy and ancestry websites.
I have also included a description of the reasons why these sites have proved invaluable to me. If you’re looking for information in these areas, be sure to check out these sites.
The headings are links to the sites described and paid sites are indicated by ($) following the heading.
Maintained and updated by the LDS (Latterday Saints) Church, this site has been invaluable for all of my time researching my family’s genealogy. In the past few years in particular, the databases have expanded substantially as the LDS organization works to digitize more and more information. Recently, the search feature has become much more effective and accurate. No matter what country, region or time frame you are researching, this is a wonderful site. Best of all, it is free.
2. Ancestry.com ($)
Ancestry.com is a favorite for all of the reasons listed for FamilySearch.org, the only difference being that a paid subscription is required. Although I do use Ancestry.com a great deal, I plan my research so I don’t have to remain subscribed all of the time. As I research and find gaps, I keep a ‘to do’ list and when it is large enough to warrant the cost, I will subscribe for as long as I think is necessary, tackle my list, and cancel the subscription when I have completed my list. It has been almost a year since I last subscribed because I’ve been finding a substantial amount of information elsewhere. I am due to subscribe pretty soon to tackle my current ‘to do’ list.
If you’re looking for one paid site that provides extensive data from around the world, this is the one.
3. Cyndi’s List
Cyndi’s List is the largest site that offers extensive links to genealogy sites and resources on the internet. Cyndi has worked tirelessly for decades creating this site of over 300,000 links – sorted, categorized and constantly updated to maintain currency and functionality.
Recently, however, Cyndi’s List has been the target of a hacker who stole her entire site, making minor changes to ‘make it their own’ and attempting to divert revenue to themselves. Be sure the site you’re visiting is actually Cyndi’s List and help protect her extensive investment and our valuable resource.
Olive Tree Genealogy is an extensive portal of links to valuable data and genealogy research information around the world. Although I do find this site somewhat confusing and difficult to navigate, my investment of time and effort has proved valuable as I have found wonderful, obscure data that I was unable to find elsewhere.
You should have seen my surprise when my husband’s ancestry connected directly to nobles and royalty in the medieval period. For the longest time this was a vast brick wall for me as there is very little quality data available online for researching this time.
I can’t remember how I found this site, but it’s an amazing resource as it’s extensively researched and sourced. The sources are described in detail and where there are questions about the data, they make it clear so we can note these gaps and questions in our own research. Where they have drawn conclusions from the existing evidence they examine the evidence and describe their conclusions.
This is another well researched site about royal genealogy from the University of Hull in England that also covers the medieval period, but they are not as clear about the quality of their sources, the evidence they’ve used to form their conclusions and the reasons they formed the conclusions leading to the published genealogy.
Besides finding and sourcing dates and events, I also enjoy finding the details of the lives of our ancestors through written accounts. Access to these publications has helped immensely with writing this blog by enabling me to understand the circumstances and times in which our ancestors lived.
Internet Archive tops Google E-Books on this list because it is totally free.
Google E-Books is essentially a site offering paid and free access to public domain written materials and books with a very accurate, intuitive search feature. If you use the link in the heading, however, it is possible to search only titles available for free access and download. To find free titles, be sure to check ‘Full View’ when conducting a search.
This is a free site offered by Ancestry.com. It’s a valuable resource for providing free access to user input data and family trees. Although I don’t entirely trust the data offered on this site for the simple reason that it is made up from ‘user input’, it has been very valuable to me when encountering those frustrating brick walls. I use the information here as ‘clues’ which have helped me break through those brick walls.
This data is recognizable in my Blythe Database because I do not enter sources or indicate very poor quality sources. Those using my database should interpret these facts as questionable at best.
GeneaBloggers was the genius idea of offering a directory of genealogy blogs. When I have some time on my hands and just want to explore what others are doing and saying, I start at GeneaBloggers.
Have fun checking out these sites!
The following is my transcription of a photocopy of the typed statement of Stanley Kellar regarding the disappearance of Richard Kellar and his relationship to those mentioned in the last will and testament of James Harvey Kellar, of which Richard would have been a beneficiary.
In a previous post, I related the story of Harmond James Reynolds and his wife Louise (Froemling) (nee Matthews) Reynolds (Blythe), the stepfather and mother of my husband Mark’s father and uncle – Marshall Matthews Blythe and Paul Wayne Blythe.
DOMINION OF CANADA
Province of Ontario
IN THE MATTER OF
Title to part of lot 12, Concession 14, Township of Seymour
I STANLEY KELLAR
of the Township of Seymour in the County of Northumberland
DO SOLEMNLY DECLARE THAT
I am a cousin of Richard H. Kellar, formerly of the Village of Havelock. That Richard H. Kellar is a son of the late James Harvey Kellar who died on or about May 28, 1936. Under the will of the last will of the said James Harvey Kellar, the said lands were devised to the said Richard H. Kellar and Helen Elizabeth Reynolds in equal undivided shares.
On or about the First day of July, 1920, I was talking to the said Richard H. Kellar in the Village of Havelock but from that date until the present time, I have never seen him or heard tell of him.
The said Richard H. Kellar disappeared from his home in Seymour Township on or about the 2nd day of July, 1920, and no trace of him or his whereabouts have since been known by anyone in his home locality.
At the time of the said disappearance of the said Richard H. Kellar, he was unmarried.
The said Helen Elizabeth Reynolds died on or about December 17, 1944, and by her last will, devised her interest in the said lands to her son, James Harmon Reynolds, and by Instrument #15476 dted april 5th, 1945 and registered April 6th, 1945, the executor under the will of the said Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, conveyed the said lands to the said James Harmon Reynolds.
By Instrument # 17137 dated August 14, 1956 and registered August 16, 1956, one Harmond James Reynolds conveyed part of the said lands to Hubert W. Butcher and Butcher as joint tenants. The said James Harmon Reynolds and the said Harmond James Reynolds are one and the same person.
AND I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath, and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.
Declared before me at the
this day of
The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.
It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.
All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.
All through history, during our own lives and those of our ancestors, big change was often marked by relocation, such as for a new job, to purchase property, to be closer to family, or to seek one’s fortune. To handle such moves well, a moving checklist is a necessity.
In my lifetime, we moved several times because my husband and my father were in the military. In fact, although I’m Canadian, I was born in Baden Söllingen, Germany while my father was stationed there in 1960. After accepting his proposal of marriage, my mother packed up everything at her home in Moncton, New Brunswick and moved to Germany to marry my father. With the moves since marrying my husband, I could have used an ultimate moving checklist like this.
We went into the moves believing everything was being taken care of by the Canadian armed forces, but I was amazed at how much we needed to take care of ourselves. I can’t imagine the burden when a family is being moved without any support from their employer.
Following is a guest post by Mayes Marilynn.
Moving is both an exciting and stressful time as it brings about new beginnings, new opportunities, and a whole lot of packing! It’s imperative to plan, create a ‘to do’ list or moving checklist, and schedule time frames for execution so your move will be as smooth as possible. Let us help you get organized with detailed tips on how to prepare for the big day.
60-90 Days before your moving date
Most home purchase agreements include a 60 or 90 day close. This gives you ample time to start the purge and plan your packing.
- The Big Sweep: Go through every rooms of the house and make decisions on what will be coming to the new place and what is destined for donation. If you haven’t used it in over a year consider the trouble it will take to pack, especially heavier items. Be vigilant.
- Decide on Day-of Plans: Will you require friends to help you move? Are you in need of cargo vans or bigger trucks for the transport of your belongings? Will you be doing it yourself or would you prefer to book a professional company? When do you receive your keys for entry? Do you need to book a condo elevator?
- Research trusted companies: If you have decided to go with a moving company, do your research! Read reviews, inquire about pricing (pay by hour or flat rate?), number of employees that come with packages, time allotted for driving and unpacking, etc.
- Create a Folder: Record all information on your move such as appointments, along with to-do list, receipts, and all records so they are handy and available when needed.
- Book Home Walk-Through: If you can, organize a day to go to your new home to take measurements and check room dimensions. This will help prepare you for furniture planning (can you bring your current collection or do you need to find something new?) along with selecting decorating supplies (amount of paint, wallpaper, etc.).
30 Days before move
- Confirm day of details: Call moving company and any other help you may have that day to ensure all is booked and ready to go. See if they provide boxes and do the packing for you, or if these are arrangements you must make on your own.
- Get boxes: You will require different sizes, shapes, strength, and more for different items. Remember to get protective packing wrap and tape to seal boxes as well as permanent markers to label boxes stating what is inside and what room you wish for them to be delivered. Include the word FRAGILE on delicate and breakable object boxes.
- Keep valuables separate: To take precaution, move heirloom items and personal jewelry in either a safe or in your own personal vehicle. Dishes can be replaced if lost, where as your grandmother’s necklace cannot.
- Get Moving Insurance: Check with your moving company about details!
- Get Home Insurance & Update Car Insurance: Remember to transfer all pertinent paperwork to your new address. Get a copy of all policies to make sure everything is current.
- Do a change of address with the post office effective for a few days PRIOR to move to ensure all mail is forwarded to your new home. Contact all bill companies for transferring phones, utilities, credit cards, and bank statements.
- Obtain medical records: speak to your doctor about getting a copy of your file if you are moving a fair distance and make arrangements to update health card and procure a new family doctor.
- Make school arrangements: look into schools and daycare in the area. May all necessary arrangements for transfer.
- Finish all packing aside from a weeks’ worth of clothing and personal items for in vehicle transfer.
Two weeks before move
- Book time off work for day of.
- Secure childcare if needed for day of care.
- Arrange for an oil change, car maintenance to assure a safe trip without incident.
- Reconfirm all moving day arrangements.
- Change bank branch and clean out safety deposit box (if necessary).
One week before move
- Refill any pertinent prescriptions.
- Pack last of the odds and ends.
- Pack your personal suitcase.
- Start a thorough clean or arrange for cleaning company.
Three days before
- Prepare payments for moving company, maid service, etc.
- Reconfirm details with all pertinent parties.
- Take inventory and record it! In your moving folder write down a list including number of boxes, furniture, etc. and how they are being transported to best prepare for potential missing items and misplaced boxes.
- Breathe! You are prepared and ready for today. Remember to check your list, assign boxes as your list dictates, and record any changes in inventory, travel, and destination.
- Greet your movers with a smile! Attempt to be calm and kind and the day will be smoother for everyone! It helps to have a few snacks and beverages on hand to offer professional and personal helpers.
- When the house is empty, do a walk through: For nostalgia, and to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything, check each room including closets, cupboards, and any nooks and crannies that may contain your belongings. Check garage, shed, and outdoors as well.
- Happy Trails! Enjoy your journey and new home where the unpacking and organization begin!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock.com
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock.com
Mayes Marilynn, professionally a interior designer. She has been in the home management field for a long time and since then she shares her views and ideas through her articles. As she always says, “I love to help people make their home, A HOME”.
As a matter of fact, this went so well, we have decided to run it on a monthly basis. Periodically, the prize may change, but the contest will always end the last day of the month. One entry is permitted per person or email address.
I have sent a confirmation to Joan Bos via the email address on her comment.