Internet Genealogy I: Free Genealogical Websites
Becky Hill, Head Librarian
Hayes Presidential Library
2010 Classes Sponsored by RootsMagicTM
I. Obituary Index www.rbhayes.org/index
A. Indexes 1.5 MILLION people from Northwest Ohio and other parts of Ohio.
B. Indexes all of the Fremont, Tiffin and Clyde newspapers, part of Bellevue, Bloomville, Green Springs,
Sandusky, Woodville, and Rising Sun.
Other libraries entering their newspaper indexing: Ada, Barnesville, Bellefontaine, Bloomville, Bluffton,
Bowling Green, Carey, Chillicothe, Covington, Defiance, Fostoria, Gallipolis, Hillsboro, Huron, Kenton,
Liberty Center, Lima, McComb, Marietta, Martins Ferry, Metamora, New London, Norwalk, Oak Harbor,
Ottawa, Paulding, Pemberville, Rossford, Springfield, Upper Sandusky, Van Wert, Vermilion, Wapakoneta,
Wayne, Wooster and Worthington.
C. Use the Advanced Search Engine to search for maiden names, alternate spellings, specific newspapers or a
range of dates.
D. Shopping cart option allows long distance users to order the copies of the obituaries for $3.00 each.
E. Other online obituary indexes in area:
1. Findlay/ Hancock Co., Ohio: http://www.findlay.lib.oh.us/genedatabase.htm
2. Bowling Green/Wood County: http://wcdpl.lib.oh.us/lochistgen.html
3. Cleveland, OH – Necrology File: http://www.cpl.org/
F. Now duplicated on Ancestry.com up to March 2009
G. Special features: Notebook and Post-em features.
II. Family Search: Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) web site: www.familysearch.org
A free website of genealogical information that helps researchers to identify their ancestors and organize family
A. Family Search Record Search – Pilot Site – Includes digital copies of various genealogical
resources, of special interest is Ohio Death certificates from 1908 to 1953, Toledo Diocese Catholic
church records, and federal census images for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900 and indexes (only) for 1880 and
1920 which are now available online for free. Go to http://search.labs.familysearch.org or click on
“Search Records” – “Record Search Pilot” in the FamilySearch.org website
B. Ancestral File. Contains names and other vital information (such as date and place of birth, marriage, or
death) of millions of individuals throughout the world. Names are organized into family groups and pedigrees.
To allow for coordination of research, the file also lists names and addresses of those who contributed to the
file – mostly Mormons.
C. International Genealogical Index. Lists several hundred million names of deceased persons from
throughout the world. It also lists some vital information, such as a birth or marriage date and place. Many
names in the index come from vital records from the early 1500s to 1885. Others have been submitted by
members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
D. Pedigree Resource File Contains names; family relationships; and birth, marriage, and death information
for millions of people. The information in this file appears as it was originally submitted and is not merged with
information submitted by others. The file is indexed on the internet and full information is available on CD’s,
some of which are at the Hayes Presidential Center. All submissions do not necessarily come from Mormons.
E. Census Records – Free index to every name in the 1880 U.S. census or 1881 British Isles and Canada
census, plus additional indexing. Also see Family Search Pilot Site for additional census records.
F. Family History Library Catalog. Describes the records available at the Family History Library for the
whole world. The catalog provides a guide to family histories; birth, marriage, and death records; census
records; church registers; and many other records that may contain genealogical information. These records
may be in a book, on microfiche or microfilm, or in a computer file. Copies of most microfilm and microfiche
records can be loaned to the Hayes Presidential Center for a low cost.
G. http://www.lib.byu.edu/fhc/ - Family History Archives – This digital history project will target over
100,000 published family histories and thousands of local histories and provide them for free on the web.
III. USGenweb and World Genweb - www.usgenweb.org, www.worldgenweb.org
A. County-by-county access to genealogical information - always an important way to search. Easy to use.
B. Wide variety of what is available at each site. Some have volunteers who have packed their site with useful
content; others have only minimal information. Can change frequently. Keep checking back. Typical topics
included on the sites: queries, surname lists, general information on the county and its resources, e.g.
courthouse hours, free look-ups, and information on message boards or email lists for that county.
C. Genweb Archives - http://usgwarchives.net/ - actual documents, databases. Also check out statewide
material. Usually have search boxes to help find your family name.
IV. Rootsweb: A vast clearinghouse of genealogical data, co-sponsored by Ancestry.com; www.rootsweb.com, but
A.. Massive search engines that index a variety of databases.
B.. Worldconnect – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com - index to thousands of
gedcoms, some of which you can download.
C.. Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild http://www.immigrantships.net/ listing of ship
D. Obituary Daily Times - http://obits.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/obit.cgi – listing of fairly current obituaries
V. Google: http://www.google.com/
A. Best search engine for the web. Try your names. Put in quotes; add location, to cut down on hits (e.g. “Asa
B. www.books.google.com - Find complete books and preview versions at this website. Go to Advanced
Search and search for “full view” and that will bring up books that are completely digitized and free on the
C. Google Images, Maps, etc.
VI. Other Genealogical websites of interest
A. OPLIN research databases – FREE – http://oplin.org/databases/index.php - includes Sanborn Maps of
Ohio towns which show outlines of houses, also NewsBank – digital copies of fairly recent newspapers for
Ohio’s large cities.
B. Kris Kuhn Krumm’s personal page, highlighting pictures of tombstones from local cemeteries:
C.. Cyndi’s List: Largest site for finding genealogical web pages by general topics – over 270,000 links listed
D.. http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy/index.html – Fort Wayne, Indiana’s huge genealogy library
E. http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/index.html Ohio Historical Society’s various
databases, including Ohio death certificates.
F. http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/ – Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State
University. Includes listings of northwest Ohio newspapers, church records, manuscripts
G. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/PatentSearch/ - Bureau of Land Management – lists original land
patents for the US govt., including Northwest Ohio lands.
H. http://www.familytreemagazine.com/101for2009 - Family Tree Magazine lists their 101 top genealogy
sites – wide cross section of a limited amount of good sites to check out.
I. .http://genealogybuff.com/np/ohio_newspapers.htm - Listing of Ohio newspapers with their websites,
mostly very recent archives.
V. Library Catalog
A. The Hayes Library book collection is on-line and available from your home computer.
http://maurice.bgsu.edu . Also our catalog is part of Bowling Green State University’s BGLink and part of
OhioLink and WorldCat. Search by author, title, subject, keyword or call number.
1. BGLink – searches BGSU and Hayes Presidential Center: http://maurice.bgsu.edu
2. OhioLink – searches all of Ohio’s public universities’ libraries, including BGSU and Hayes –
3. WorldCat.org – searches libraries nationwide.
B. Examples of genealogical searches: try for your family name to see who has books about the “Sherman
Family”; try a locality to see what books are available for “Clyde, Ohio”; try a name of a relative who may be an
author or a recorded musician and see what libraries have their books or recordings
C. Manuscript collections are also being put online – try WorldCat.org for your family name and you may
come up with some original material. Example – Thaddeus Hurd.
VI. Personal Genealogical Programs
A. My favorite: Roots Magic Easy to use, inexpensive, flexible, good support. Purchase from the Hayes
Museum Store for $29.95. Used for Hayes family genealogy. Also can be ordered online at
http://www.rootsmagic.com or by phone 1--876-766-8762
B. Family Tree Maker: Popular program widely available, linked to ancestry.com. $40.00 1-800-262-3787
C. Personal Ancestry File – Free LDS program; free download at www.familysearch.org
VII. Immigration web sites
A. www.ellisisland.org – Ellis Island records from 1892 to 1924
Register (for free) to access full information. Example – Donato Iannantuono. Be sure to see if there
is more than one page of information.
Different sections – printed info. on form, manifest listing of image; printed listing of manifest, image
of ship. Photos of ship and manifest can be ordered for a fee.
B. http://www.castlegarden.org/ - offers free access to a database of information on 10 million
immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 73 million Americans can
trace their ancestors to this early immigration period
C. http://stevemorse.org/ Steve Morse created these One-Step tools: they provide more powerful
interfaces for searching existing databases. Indexes Ellis Island, Castle Garden, Ancestry’s databases,
http://stevemorse.org/onestep/onestep.htm - explains why his index is helpful. Good examples on
how to search for ancestors using names like Irving Berlin and Albert Einstein.
Note that some links on his site are to fee-based databases($) and some are free (1 step).
D. Cyndi’s List: Largest site for finding genealogical web pages by general topics – over 270,000 links
http://www.cyndislist.com/immigrat.htm - lists about 500 web sites, all on immigration, divided into
web sites on Ellis Island , Migration Routes, Roads & Trails, Ports of Departure. Ports of Entry, Ships
& Passenger Lists
E. All about immigration and migration from Genealogy.com - free informational pages
F. Immigration: The living Mosaic of People, Culture, and Hope
Informative site on the history of immigration into the United States with interesting graphics.
G. http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maggieoh/pioneer.html - A web site for pioneer migration routes
Becky Hill, Head Librarian
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Fremont, OH 43420-2796
419-332-2081 ext. 31