Genealogy List: Onward To Our Past®’s Ten of our Favorite (Free) Genealogy Websites
Genealogy is awesome fun! There are so many aspects of genealogy and family history that enhance our lives at times they are hard to count.
Depending on how long you have been in working on your genealogy one of the great aspects is how much material is coming online. Of course there are the monsters of the industry, such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, Fold3.com, and Familyseach.org, but there are many, many others that offer all kinds of support and information for us genealogy fans. Some of these are lesser known, but we think they deserve to be on your ‘Favorites’ bar.
The following list are ten of the free sites we believe are amongst the best for our work in Czech genealogy, Cornish genealogy, and others. We wish more sites would emulate these. We are certain some folks may disagree with our choices and find deserving sites we left off, but this is our list at this point in time. Enjoy and let us know what you think. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Academia: https://www.academia.edu/ As the company points out on their site: “Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow. 19,039,027 academics have signed up to Academia.edu, adding 5,345,209 papers and 1,482,874 research interests. Academia.edu attracts over 15.7 million unique visitors a month.”
ACASA http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/slavic/acasa.html This archive holds thousands of items on Czech and Slovak immigrants to the United States. They also hold the most complete set of the Czech genealogy gem “Amerikán Národní Kalendář”. They provide outstanding service and one example is when they realized the demand for the “Amerikán” journals, they began to digitally image them all and put them online for free.
Cornwall Online Parish Clerks http://www.cornwall-opc.org/index.htm This all volunteer organization has recorded tens of thousands of records from every parish in Cornwall. Plus each parish has a volunteer who you can communicate with via email for additional questions, etc. It is beyond amazing and is our ‘go to’ site for Cornish genealogy work.
Cornwall Records Office http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/community-and-living/records-archives-and-cornish-studies/cornwall-record-office/ This archive and records office for all of Cornwall in the United Kingdom has a very robust search feature and offers copy services as well. The materials held are amazing and the staff is highly knowledgeable and helpful.
Digitalni Knihovna Mestske Knihovny v Praze (Digital Libraries of the Municipal Library of Prague) http://kramerius.mlp.cz/kramerius/Welcome.do This fabulous site is the digital holdings of the Municipal Library of Prague. They have more than 5,000 monographs representing more than 899,000 pages! There are some wonderful materials here and you can access them all for free (although the images are only available onsite in the Library). We have found some exceptional items in these holdings for our work.
Immigration History & Research Center and Archives http://www.ihrc.umn.edu/ A part of the University of Minnesota Libraries, this Center offers a wealth of information on over 26 ethnicities and much of their materials are one of a kind. Surveys and oral histories abound and the staff, again, is wonderfully helpful.
JSTOR http://about.jstor.org/ JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization, founded to help academic libraries and publishers. JSTOR is a shared digital library created in 1995 to help university and college libraries free up space on their shelves, save costs, and provide greater levels of access to more content than ever before. You can sign up for a free account and access up to three articles every two weeks, which works out to 78 free articles every year. With over 5 million articles from over 2,000 journals their holdings are amazing.
Mapy.cz http://mapy.cz/ If you have to find any location in the Czech Republic, you simply cannot beat Mapy.cz. It is full featured and very accurate. You just can’t beat it for your geographic needs in the Czech Republic.
National Archives of the United Kingdom http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/ This is THE archives for the United Kingdom and their holdings are truly awe inspiring. If the document you need is already in digital form you can buy it online and get it immediately. If it has not been digitally copied yet, you can request a free estimate to have it done. This is the archives and library of the future and you can use it today!
Proquest Dissertation Express http://dissexpress.umi.com/dxweb/search.html This site rocks! This page is the search page for all of the PhD dissertations that Proquest holds, which is in the millions. You can search on a variety of words and methods and find some amazing gems! There is genealogy gold in those dissertations out there and this is the site to find them.
Those are our ten! We hope you use them all and let us know what you think.
Onward To Our Past®