5 Easy Steps

Types of Family History Websites

There are 5 main types of family history websites you need to be aware of:

Records Sites – these give you access to large repositories of original documents and records, such as census records, vital records, church records, military records, etc. from the U.S. and countries around the world.  Examples include: FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, and EllisIsland.org.

Family Tree Sites – users share their family histories on these sites. RootsWeb for example has over 648 million names and 432,000 user-submitted family histories you can freely access.

Resource Sites – have valuable how-to information to assist you in your research. For example: FamilySearch Wiki.

Link Sites – these are websites that collect and categorize other family history websites.Cyndi’s List for example has an index to over 291,000 family history websites organized by country and topic.

Message Boards – these websites let you post family history messages, queries or requests for specific surnames and localities.  The largest is the RootsWeb Message Board with over 17 million posts on more than 161,000 boards.

Then, of course, there are thousands of other sites of various types and functions.

These other sites include:

  • Search Engines
  • Genealogical and Historical Society Sites
  • Map Sites
  • Translator Sites
  • Software Sites
  • and much, much more

While most family history websites are free — many of the larger ones do require an annual subscription.  Here’s a nice compilation of the 100 Most Popular Family History Websites.

The Family History Internet Bookmarks you installed on your browser include the main family history websites you’ll need.

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