Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Do You Use GenWeb??

USGenWeb was created in 1996 by genealogists who wanted an online home for genealogical research and for sharing information. Each of the web sites are created and are maintained by volunteers. Since the sites are volunteer operated, their quality varies with the skills of the volunteers. Most sites include query boards, listings of local sources for records, county and state histories, online genealogy books, research tips, maps, and links to helpful internet resources. Sometimes transcribed records are available and free. The volunteers are NOT there to answer your genealogy queries. Most of them don't even live near the county that they host.

Each state, and most counties/parishes within each state have sites. By clicking on this link: you can access the link to each state's site.  For example:

From the Ohio GenWeb site,  use the clickable map to navigate to a county you wish to research. The advantage of the map is that you can see the names of the surrounding counties.

By clicking on Medina County on the map you are taken to this site:

It is a fairly nice site. It has attractive graphics that are easy to navigate. It doesn't have annoying music playing in the background. Notice that it has links for:
  • An area to post queries 
  • A place to contact people who will do lookups for you 
  • Maps 
  • Archives 
  • A search box that allows you to search the whole site (useful when you are researching an uncommon name) 
  • And links to the Ohio GenWeb and the USGenWeb sites.
These are the types of resources you would expect to find on most GenWeb sites.

One of my favorite sites is the Calhoun County, West Virginia site, run by Linda Fluharty. They have  a LOT of transcribed records on the site. And it is where I discovered the information that proved that my 2X great grandmother, Bethany HELMICK was the daughter of Abraham HELMICK and Fair Sabra CONNOLLY. She doesn't appear in the lists of their children anywhere else.

This site will always be special to me. A marriage record transcribed here proved that my 2X great grandmother,
Bethany Helmick TANNER MCCUNE, was the daughter of Abraham HELMICK and Fair Sabra CONNOLLY.

Often, you can find the GenWeb sites just by typing in the county name, the state and the word "genealogy". Beware! There are lots of commercial sites trying to mimic the GenWeb sites. If it asks you to subscribe or pay to view, it isn't GenWeb!

Many county historical or genealogical societies also have Facebook pages where you can connect with other people who are interested in the same area you are. But most of them don't have archives of transcribed records to share.

From the WorldGenWeb site you can see which countries have GenWeb sites. International participation in the project isn't nearly as comprehensive as in the U.S. But it is a good place to start your foreign research, if only to see what is and isn't available.

Do you have a favorite GenWeb site?

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