June's Favorite Sites


 June Byrne's Favorite Sites junebyr@yahoo.com

This site is maintained for the convenience of myself and my friends and those who attend my lectures on genealogy.  I find it is difficult to type in a long series of URLs without error and aggravating as well.  So I have started putting my interesting sites here.  I have omitted fancy graphics to make the pages load quickly.   If you find any broken links, please let me know immediately.

This is Page One which features: General Sites, locating people, places, resources; death record and obituary problems; and sites with free printable forms, newsletters, and learning programs, free email.

Guide to General Research in Virginia and West Virginia

Link to Page 2 Page Two features, 1798 tax lists, Census problems, Immigration Problems, Old Maps, Military Records, Sites on the origin of names and naming patterns, plus a group of little known sites with very interesting records.

Link to Page 3 Page 3 Features preservation of old documents, pictures, adoption sites, and a number of miscellaneous places to find great information.


Link to Page 4  Page 4 features some interesting sites with unusual information.  

Link to Page 5 Page 5 features links to help you find newspapers all over the United States and the world.

 General Sites 

These are some of the top genealogy sites on the Internet.

Cyndi's site Click here: Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Genweb: Click here: The USGenWeb Project- Links to States

Rootsweb: Click here: RootsWeb.com Home Page

Internet Sites by Kip Sperry  These are sites associated with FamilySearch.org  with blogs and much of general interest.  

Family Search (LDS)  You need to know that most of the material recently added is part of the massive Morman plan to abstract vital records from all over, make them easily accessible and free.  More are added monthly.  It is easy to check what databases are already there.
The databases are NOT necessarily complete. For example, they fewer California marriages than Ohio Marriages. You need to check all of these. Look at the record carefully. Most of the new stuff is extracted from their microfilms and highly reliable.  See the film number, look it up and see what the film is for.  It is says that film number is for Hamilton County marriages, then that is the source of the record.  There may be transcription errors, as always.  But this is a major new source which many people are not taking full advantage of. 

Original LDS Site: www.familysearch.org

Also see the LDS Beta Site with records included many copies of death certificates, etc. https://beta.familysearch.org/

Pro Sleuth Genealogy Sleuth Search for your Ancestors on the Internet  This is a professional site but it has great links.  There is no charge for using this page of the site.  Be careful where it leads you. 

Lots of Interesting Links:  Genealogy is…..   This site also has links to a fabulous site where people will do limited lookups on CDs for you. It also has access to other resources.  

Site to Cross Reference NARA film numbers with FHL film numbers: https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/NARA_and_FHL_film_numbers

Selected Sites for locating people/places/resources.

Zip Codes and mailing information  Post Office Online 

Government Guide

You can look up the location of a town, or other place here if you don't know what state it is in or what county it is in.: USGS GNIS (GNIS)

Locate the web sites for State Archives or State Library for all 50 states: State Archives Referral List

Locate public libraries in all 50 states: Public Libraries

World Wide Respositories for Primary Source Material

Telephone Directories, White pages and Yellow Pages

This subject has gotten much more complicated. There used to be several sites where you could look up a telephone number or address easily, quickly and free.  Unfortunately, the free part of that is mostly disappeared. The best thing for you that I can find is now:http://www.theultimates.com/white/
This subject seems to change monthly so if one of these doesn't work try another.

This one also looks good.


Super pages.com has the info but seems to want you to pay for almost everything.

www.SuperPages.com  Be Careful, some of the items are not free.

These two are primarily for other countries.
http://www.infobel.com/world/default.asp Great site for telephone directories US and World

International telephone directories http://numberway.com/ 

This one is for reverse phone number look ups.  Does not cover cell phones.  Really works.

This is one for investigating someone.  It was sent to me with this message: I have tried the $2.00 one and have had no issues with unauthorized credit card use.  If you get the discounted offer then you have signed up for a monthly fee and service which you probably don't want to do. .

Peoplefinder has a more up to date database.  But http://www.peoplesmart.com has similar information.  If you find different ages on Peoplesmart and peoplefinder, the older one is probably right.

Free Digitalized Old Newspapers

Library of Congress has many early newspapers digitalized  

Brooklyn Eagle 1841-1902 sponsored by the Brooklyn, New York Public Library.

Old New York State Historical Newspapers, mostly near Fulton County, New York.  20,000,000 pages of newspapers.

Rensselaer County New York has newspapers back to 1790. The local society is in the process of digitalizing them and transcribing marriages and deaths from the old newspapers.  https://sites.rootsweb.com/~nytigs/TroyNewspaperProject/TroyNewspaperProject.htm

There are a lot of newspaper sites out there, but this one specializes in Historical Newspapers. Note the advanced search feature.

For old newspapers in other areas, check with your local library.  Most libraries subscribe to Historical Newspapers site. You can usually use this from home with a library card.  Ask your local library.  It has searchable newsapapers from 1690 to 1920. It may be available as a part of NewsBank. These are paid sites but probably available free at your library.   The bad news is that these newspapers are all indexed by Optical Character Recognition software. That means that the software has trouble with the old print and does not always index correctly.  John Glover will be indexed as John Clover, for example.  

This Google site has the newspapers arranged by name with links.  


            See instructions for searching. https://support.google.com/news/topic/13635?hl=en&ref_topic=2428810

If you go to a local Family History Center, they have free access to some sites with a lot of newspapers.  Ask the volunteers for help.  

The Wikipedia site has links to sources of a lot of the free newspapers. They are by location and name of newspaper. 

Listing of historical digitized U.S. newspapers available online for free. Excellent links


Paid Newspaper Sites
Most of these have lists of the newspapers and dates so you can check ahead of time.  They all have free trials or temporary memberships. So this route does not have to be very expensive.  

Newspaperarchives.com  [discount with Ancestry]

Some Free, some not:


Free Sources of Digitalized Books

There are a lot of books which have recently been digitalized.  They are either old enough to be out of copyright or the authors have given permission to have them copied.  Many of these are useful genealogy texts.  

WorldCat is a worldwide catalogue of books.  It tells you the closest library which has a book, and if there are digitalized versions of it online.

The Making of America from Cornell University  at http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moa/

FamilySearch.org Free Books  https://books.familysearch.org If you have trouble using the book, you can download it and use it easier.  Just delete it when  you are finished. If the book is large, it is slow to search and they have a tendency to lock up my computer if you try to use them on line. Do not try to use with an AOL browser.  Use your Internet Explorer instead.  Also check the catalog at this site for links to many of their free books on line.  

Google Books at http://books.google.com/ Some of these are free, some are not.  But it is a good place to look for old books.

Heritage Quest has about 25,000 genealogy books digitalized and searchable. This is not free but it is available free through a lot of public libraries. Most likely you can have remote access to this with a library card.  If not, find another library close by or a state library which offers this with remote access to residents.

Internet Archive at http://archive.org/details/texts  This has a lot of books.  Not all of them are useful for genealogy. Do a search for the book title.  Or click on American Libraries.  Half way down the page, there is a place to browse by title name.  These are transcribed books which makes them faster to search.  One advantage  is that I have found the indexes are not complete in a lot of old books.  For example, in the Early Germans in New Jersey, I found a number of names by searching that were not in the index. But some of the transcriptions are OCR. This can be a problem because the Optical Character Recognition reads Clover for Glover etc.   

Various Death Record, Obituary, Tombstone, and Probate Problems

The title of this site is Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records.   There is a page for each state and this will give you a lot of places to search for DC and obits etc.  Excellent site and is kept current unlike many sources.

Note that Rootsweb no longer has the SSDI database.  It is still on the LDS site at https://www.familysearch.org
Scroll down to Browse by Location, then to United States.  On that page scroll down to United States Social Security Death Index.  It appears to be out of alphabetical order at this time. It is just before the 1890 census.  

Tombstone Date Calculator: Javascript Birth Date Calculator

Funeral Net has funeral homes, obituaries, etc  www.funeralnet.com  

Obituary Lookup Volunteers - Rootsweb List

Obituary Daily Times Web Site

How to get vital records from everywhere. http://www.vitalrec.com/usmap.html

Birth, Death, and Marriage Indexes http://www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com/  

Most of these are free. Some of these just lead back to Ancestry.com
However, it also leads to those supported by other free agencies.

Death, funeral and tombstone information: Interment.net 

The USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project

FindaGrave.com has marvelous information which is added to daily.  It is still a work in progress. 

Billion Graves is similar to findagrave.   

Probate Problems: [Now includes some naturalization and guardianship indexes.] This is mostly a set of indexes but does include some actual records. Click here: SAMPUBCO

Free Printable Forms




Free Lessons and Genealogy Courses

I have always been overwhelmed by the knowledge of Elizabeth Shown Mills and her ability to communicate it. She now has a website with links to many of her articles speeches and TV appearances.  HistoricPathways

The best free online classes on genealogy can be found on the LDS Site. Go to www.familysearch.org and scroll down until you see classes in the middle of the page.



Start looking for Blogs on Cyndislist  There are hundreds more on special interests like DNA, Cemetery Repair, Newbies, Advanced, Irish Genealogy, etc

Blogs change rapidly.  Google is your best friend to find them.  If you have tested your DNA at FTDNA, for example, sign up for their blog or whatever they are calling it this week. They periodically have webinars etc. This is pretty much true of various companies you might use.  Ancestry runs a blog and sponsers videos on Youtube which can be very useful.  

Learning and Newsletters and Blogs

I love Newsletters and blogs but I subscribe to several and I don't always have time to read them and they mess up my mailbox.  So I got a special email address just for blogs.  Then they sit there until I am ready to read them.  

This is a great site for anyone with grandchildren who would like to learn more about their heritage.  This site is sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/youth.htm

Richard Eastman’s Newsletter-one of the best deals on the internet. He has a free version and a paid version.  Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter  Go to this site and sign up for the free version.  You can sign up for the paid version if you think you like it.

The newest rage is blogs which are the same as newsletters are far as I can see. Anyway, google blog  [special interest] to find one for you. There must be hundreds.  

Computer Problems

www.yahoo.com This is a site for free email.  You should have at least one extra email address that you use for lists, etc. It will cut down on the spam and yahoo has a good spam filter. If it gets bad, you can dump the address and get another free one.  Also if you have to change your server you can still get your mail.   Also try gmail.com which is free on google.  Each has certain advantages.

Spyware Control Programs Download both of these and run them once a week. One of the main reasons for slow computer functioning on the net is ad ware.  In all cases, the free version is probably fine.  I am using malwarebytes and have been satisfied.  

Last updated  14 March 2014. If you find a non working link, please let me know. junebyr@gmail.com