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Ancestry and Genealogy

The Internet is a great source of valuable information. People who are putting together a family tree, or searching for more details about their ancestry or family history can access a variety of online resources that will help. Many are set up with a particular country or continent in mind, but some are more generalized.

If you are just beginning your research about your family, you may want to start at the RootsWeb website. Enter your surname into the first line of the search engine. You can choose a location for it to search, and also have it look for names that sound similar to what you typed in. From here, you get a list of matching data, and you can email the person who first entered the data if you would like to.

Another good place to start is with the Ellis Island records. Ellis Island is where immigrants to America first came to after getting off the boats that brought them across the ocean. Many people were registered here. To start, type the first and last name of your ancestor into the search engine. Keep in mind that, very often, the spelling of a person’s surname was changed, for a variety of reasons. You can narrow the search by including gender, and the approximate year the person was born. Do you know the name of the ship your relative traveled to America in? There is a new feature on the Ellis Island website that allows you to search the passenger list of each ship. Simply click on the first letter of the name of the ship to begin.

Here are some other online genealogical search engines you can use:

Genlias is where to begin to find ancestors from the Netherlands. This site is mostly written in Dutch.

Lutheran Online offers an online search of a surname. Start by clicking on the letter it starts with. This is for families of the Lutheran faith.

Irish Origins has a free online search engine. List your ancestors first or last name to get started. You may need to sign up to this site to get more information.

Daughters of the American Revolution has information about some American ancestors.

These are just a few of the many online resources that you can use to help you find genealogical information about your family.