Ryan Taylor Genealogy on the Internet
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By Ryan Taylor

Genealogy on the internet -- it's all there, isn't it?

Not really. There is plenty of information waiting for us, even if my family (and yours) have not been posted yet. Sometimes the trick is finding it.

A new magazine, Internet Genealogy, will help. It comes from the publishers of Family Chronicle, the Toronto-based international journal. The first issue is dated May 2006.

The cover is eye-catching. It shouts: "How to Use Google to Research Your Genealogy!"

The article is by Dan Lynch, Connecticut-based professional genealogist. He offers an overview of search engines and an introduction to reading a Google results summary.

His advice on using more search terms to achieve fewer hits is valuable. Too often we put down the first words that come into our heads. Considering our options might result in hits that take us to the information we want quicker.

Those of us who use computer technology daily lose track of the fact that plenty of people do not-it is a foreign country to them, or at least a place they haven't traveled to very much. Lynch offers a good starting point for those newcomers.

Ten Best Polish Genealogy Websites offers the expected places -- JewishGen, RootsWeb and the Polish Genealogical Society of America , but describes their various advantages well. As a bonus, you can download a high-resolution, free 1831 map of Poland from their website. The article should probably have said Ten Best Polish Websites in English, as there is no information about websites in Polish. There must be some.

The international flavor continues with articles on the Access to Archives (A2A) database in England, the forthcoming 1911 Irish census and the Illinois State Archives.

There are methodology articles too.

Canadian genealogist Janice Nickerson demonstrates how to start doing internet genealogy with basic sites such as the LDS site, FamilySearch, GENUKI and the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

She says of the genealogy arm of Library and Archives Canada, "You'll find a good summary of the major Canadian record sources, with descriptions and links to relevent websites and databases." In fact, the Canadian Genealogy Centre is on the road to being the first stop for beginning Canadian genealogists.

The article concludes, "I will be recommending more websites in the next issue," which I hope means that Nickerson will be a regular columnist in Internet Genealogy. Working out of Toronto, she indexes and researches in Ontario records. She also understands the importance of historical context, always seeing her subjects in detail, not merely as dates of birth and death. Her opinion is worth having.

In his introduction to the first issue, publisher Halvor Moorshead acknowledges that there is an emphasis on beginning genealogy to start with. He says there are so many sites and databases to choose from, there will be something for everyone in future issues, "an amazing buffet prepared by the finest chefs (authors)."

The first issue fulfills that promise. No one -- not even those of us who work in the field full time -- can keep up with the changes and additions to websites day to day. Internet Genealogy will be useful to everyone who wants to keep informed.

The second issue will include information about U.S. civil war records, a review of MyTrees.com, Welsh websites, online newspapers and a case study of Robert Cronin, who died in World War I.

Internet Genealogy is published bimonthly. Cost is $32 per year in Canada and $28 in the USA.

There is a toll-free subscription line at 1-888-326-2476. More information can be found at www.internet-genealogy.com. Write to Internet Genealogy, 505 Consumers Road, Suite 500, Toronto M2J 4V8 or via email.

Posted April 12, 2006
Column copyright © 2006 Ryan Taylor

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