OTHER FAMILY HISTORY WEBSITES
Minnesota Historical Society Death Certificate Index
This database indexes the official statewide death certificates of the Minnesota Department of Health. The certificates themselves are available on microfilm in the Minnesota Historical Society's Library or through the Library's interlibrary loan service. The web site contains an extensive series of FAQ's with additional information on the index. The index currently holds more than 2,600,000 names.
Minnesota Historical Society Birth Certificate Index
This database indexes the official statewide birth records of the Minnesota Department of Health. The web site delivers non-certified copies of these records directly over the Internet.
Rootsweb Mailing Lists
Rootsweb bills itself as “the Internet's oldest and largest genealogy site.” Individuals, businesses, and organizations provide financial support for its operation, which focuses on providing online data with search engine access. Rootsweb currently hosts over 3,000 independent web sites. Among the more popular of these are Cyndi's List, the USGenWeb Project, the WorldGenWeb Project, and the site for the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild. Additionally, Rootsweb coordinates over 26,000 mailing lists which fall into such categories as general interest, surname/family, regional, ethnic, and practical advice. The largest family history mailing list is Roots-L, which has been running for more than ten years and currently claims more than 10,000 subscribers.
This site, operated by Cyndi Howells, has grown from a part-time project into one of the most respected and visited family history resources online. Howells offers over 179,000 categorized and cross-referenced links, with more added on a regular basis. Categories are ordered alphabetically on the site's main page, and are dated to indicate currency. Choosing a category reveals further layers of organization and lists of links, some of which are annotated with brief descriptions. Researchers are further aided by indexes and a search engine.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—Family History Center
Probably no group is better known for its family history activities than the LDS, and with good reason—as part of their faith, the Mormons have cataloged and collected information on millions of individuals. Until 1999, however, researchers could only access all of this information through LDS Family History Centers located around the world. Visitors to this fully searchable web site now have online access to the Ancestral File (organized by family and pedigree), the International Genealogical Index (indexing vital records), the Family History Library Catalog, research outlines and guides, and lists of other web sites. With more information being added all the time, this has become the first stop for many family historians.
Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records
Directory of online death indexes listed by state, including obituaries, cemetery listings, probate records, and the Social Security Death Index.
The goal of the USGenWeb project is to establish non-commercial free family history web sites for every county in every state through the work of volunteers. Although web resources vary from area to area, at least some information is available for each state, along with links to official state home pages. USGenWeb also sponsors several ambitious special projects including a national tombstone transcription effort, the transcription of all census data, work on digitizing and making available a variety of maps, and online archives of obituaries from around the country.
The WorldGenWeb project hopes to achieve on an international scale what the USGenWeb project is aiming for in the United States. In this scheme, the world is hierarchically organized first by region (fifteen total), then by country, then by individual provinces, states, or counties. Presently, more than fifty per cent of the world's nations have volunteer hosts working under a regional coordinator.
National Archives and Records Administration
NARA's Genealogy Page offers guidance to researchers interested in locating and accessing federal records. Detailed information is provided on each of its regional facilities, as well as ordering instructions for NARA publications, including microfilm catalogs. Several research guides are available covering such record types as census, immigration, naturalization, and military. Visitors can also access the Soundex Machine through this site and obtain surname codes for the 1880 through 1930 federal population censuses.
The Archival Research Catalog (ARC) serves as NARA's online catalog to a limited portion of its nationwide holdings, replacing the older NAIL (National Archives Information Locator) system. As well as providing search access to the collections, it also allows users to view online selected digitized items such as World War II casualty lists.