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GREEN VALLEY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

From the Green Valley News, Sunday January 8 2006, page B7


Genealogy Today, by Betty Malesky

More on the Internet

We’ve all heard that old saying, "There ain’t no free lunch." As the Internet has grown up, we’re tempted to say, "There ain’t no free genealogy."

Last month I mentioned Ancestry.com with indexes to over 2 billion family names searchable by subscribers. A similar, less comprehensive Website, www.genealogy.com, also costs $199.99/year or $19.99/month to subscribe. Beware: Both websites have automatic credit card renewal policies.

The Godfrey Library in Middlefield, Connecticut is a bargain at $35 per year. Subscribers may access Readex Early American Newspapers, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, and several other newspaper databases at www.godfrey.org/. You can search obituaries and articles in over 3,000 historic newspapers, some back to the 1700s. Another database FindUSA can find missing relatives through public records of the past 30 years. A number of new additions to the 100s of databases already available at Godfrey are planned in the coming months.

Several genealogical societies have online access to many of their holdings for members. Most notable is www.newenglandancestors.org/, website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). The $75 per year individual membership includes a huge, constantly growing collection of resources for the New England states and New York, as well as England and Ireland. One feature is images of NEHGS’ quarterly journal, The Register from 1847 through 1994.

The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYGBS) launched an eLibrary in 2005 at www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/. Digitized New York State cemetery and church records held by the Society’s Library are fully searchable and will be joined by new material weekly. The National Genealogical Society (NGS), http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/, offers "members only" access to their Bible Records Collection with plans to add their Family Papers Collection and Members’ Ancestor Charts. An individual membership in NYGBS is $60, while NGS is $55 annually. Both memberships include their print publications and member discounts.

Free and worthwhile sites such as USGenWeb at www.usgenweb.org, totally manned by volunteers, are still favorites of savvy researchers. From the homepage click the state and then the county of interest. You may find digitized books, transcribed cemetery records, county atlases, vital, census, and Bible records, photographs, and more. Some counties are more complete than others, depending on their volunteers’ motivation. Millions of genealogists still rely on RootsWeb, the pioneer website for free genealogical query boards and mailing lists at www.rootsweb.com.

The Genealogy Society of Utah is sponsoring digitization of books housed in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The images are free and searchable on the Brigham Young University website at www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/. An advantage of the search engine is that it identifies hidden surnames that would not otherwise appear in a catalog entry. Search by surname, author or title.

The Making of America digital book sites are maintained by the University of Michigan at www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/ and Cornell University at http://library8.library.cornell.edu/moa/. Both are worth exploring as offerings vary and the search engines work differently.

Finally, new, promising and free is www.linkpendium.com, with nearly 3.2 million links to genealogical websites in the U.S. and world, many buried beyond Google’s reach. Give it a try.


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