Wednesday, January 18, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 3 Free Online Genealogy Tools

This is Week 3 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.   Only 49 more to go!  HA 

Week 3 – Free online genealogy tools are like gifts from above. Which one are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience?

It took me a bit to recall what free tools there are:  Family Search, Rootsweb, Genforum, US Genweb, Interment, Ellis Island, Digital Library of Virginia, and plenty more.  At one time or another, I’ve used them all with varying degrees of success, depending on what I was researching. 

Right now, Find A Grave is at the top of my frequent-visit list.  I’ve added several names to many of my lines thanks to volunteers who have posted photos of tombstones and linked them to tombstones of other family members.  Some have even included obituaries.  Cha-ching!  This is a handy place to get some more current information that won’t be available in census records for years to come. 

Even very old information is sometimes available at Find a Grave.  I’ve found resting places of ancestors from the early 1800s.  Most often there are no photos because graves are unmarked, but names of those interred have been preserved. 

Every time I get a freebie, I am sure to check for local cemeteries on Find a Grave to see if there are any photo requests.  If I can pay it forward by taking a picture of somebody’s loved one’s tombstone, I will be glad to do it. 

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