Updated: Dec 30, 2018
I did a lecture back in 2013 for FamilyTree Webinars on the Best Irish Genealogy websites. I wondered how much had changed so I decided to take another look.
I broke down the lecture into US sources important for finding the place in Ireland, and then Irish sources, once you jumped the pond. This week I’m going to discuss the US Sources and next week, Irish Sources.
US Sources - My list from 2013 (* indicates subscription)
Of the sites above, I’d say AmericanAncestors has made a big leap with the addition of the records from the Boston Archdiocese. Roman Catholic records can be hard to view as most churches consider their records to be private.
Now, I’d also add
FindMyPast was on the list of Irish resources, but they have added a large number of US records including their excellent Marriage Collection and their Catholic Records Collection which currently contains records of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. They have also secured agreements with the Archdiocese of New York and Baltimore so stay tuned!
I hope you don’t “just type in a name” into the search box, but explore these sites for the additional learning material they provide. This is especially true of the FamilySearchWiki which provides excellent sources for every state in the US. Ancestry has removed links to their Wiki, but you can still access the Red Book and the Source by typing in https://wiki.rootsweb.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. You can follow the blogs for FindMyPast, MyHeritage, AmericanAncestors and GenealogyBank to keep up to date with what’s new.
Another source and one I didn’t focus on in 2013 is Facebook. There are thousands of Facebook pages and groups for genealogical societies and localities where you can meet with other researchers who have ancestors from the same place. These groups usually include local people who can answer your questions about the locality. Just search for the name of the locality and genealogy (e.g., Fayette County Pennsylvania genealogy). Other groups specialize in a topic such as DNA or adoption. Some of the groups are private and you will have to request to “join.” Don’t be intimidated by this…they just want to make sure you have a specific interest in this group and that you’re not a computer bot.
And while I’m on the topic of social networking, Twitter can be a great place to find out what's new in genealogy. With both Facebook and Twitter you can select those sites and/or people you want to follow. For example, if you follow me at DonnaMoughtyGenealogy you will only hear about things that relate to Irish research…no pictures of my grandchild, etc. The same with Twitter…I only tweet about #genealogy or #IrishGenealogy passing on information from other Irish specialists both in the US and in Ireland.
This is not a comprehensive list. I encourage you to explore by searching for specific items or areas of interest. Local groups may have posted information that doesn’t occur anywhere else on the Internet, including the large commercial databases.
So go forth and explore!
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