Sites and more sites
Genealogical research is one of the top uses of the Internet. The number of web sites devoted to the topic can bewilder a new user. With years of collective experience searching the net, Minnesota Historical Society reference staff share their list of favorite and most useful web addresses.
Places to Get Started
An alphabetical listing of more than 150 genealogical categories with more than 250,000 links to web sites. An excellent starting point for any genealogical research on the Internet.
A massive web site run by volunteers. There is a web page for every state and county within a state. Some counties have volunteers to do look-ups in local collections. The project also includes a digital library of transcriptions of public domain records.
This project is divided into 15 world regions arranged by country and usually operated by someone living in that country. Again, the site is run by volunteers and offers access to information from provinces, states or counties.
This is the Mormon Church’s web site, containing hundreds of thousands of compiled genealogical records from all over the world. The U.S. 1880 census and British and Canadian 1881 indexes are also found here. The online catalog of material from the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City is also available. Many materials in the FHL can be borrowed and used in a local Family History Center.
This list of articles from genealogy blogs has everything from helpful hints to interviews with Ghengis Khan.
This extensive collection of databases provides on line access to many resources. Some are free but only paid subscribers can view the majority of the materials. Pricey but invaluable for wide ranging searches.
Ancestry Library Edition is available to use (for free!) in the MHS Library and many public libraries.
Libraries and Archives
This web site provides information about many of the research tools that can prepare you for a visit to the NARA Research Rooms in Washington, D.C., or one of the thirteen regional research facilities. The site also contains information about federal census, court records, military records, immigration and naturalization records, and African-American and Native-American materials. You can find a guide to records that have been microfilmed by NARA and are often available for purchase.
The Library of Congress
Has a huge amount of material on its American Memory site, including the full text of books no longer under copyright, maps, and photographs.
Internet Public Library
A source to connect to all current newspapers, numbers of encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries. It is all free.
The Canadian Genealogy Centre
Bringing together the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada, this umbrella site makes it easy to access the services of both institutions. Databases here include images of the 1901 Canadian census and a file of immigrants naturalized in the early 20th Century.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
This ambitious project—putting online the names and other basic information from 5.4 million Compiled Military Service Records— numbers more than 5 million names from more than 30 states and territories, North and South. If you find your ancestor's name, you can click on his regiment for a brief history and a list (in Excel format if you prefer) of all soldiers in the unit.
This site includes databases of dead and missing U.S. service personnel from the Mexican War through Vietnam. Most listings are for overseas cemeteries.
This site features a database of over 2 million land transfers from the federal government to individuals. These include homesteads, preemptions and purchases. Images of the original patents are also available here.
This web site contains a searchable database of over 22 million names of immigrants, passengers and crewmembers that came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York from 1892 to 1924. The data links to images of the original records.
The Iron Range Research Center is a library and archival facility located at the Ironworld Discovery Center in Chisholm, Minnesota. Record holdings include census, naturalization, and passenger arrival records. The Center provides several online databases to Minnesota records, including MN naturalization records and 1918 alien registrations.