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Web Voyager

By Ellen Highland Fernandez

Current Column

Tracing your Routes using the Internet

As our general population ages, people become more interested in learning more about where they come from and identifying their family trees. The Internet offers the researcher the opportunity to travel around the globe to get information and allows one to share notes with others who share an specific interest in the same family.

For the novice researcher, the National Genealogical Society offers Suggestions for Beginners

A helpful site created by Joseph C. Wolf is titled Tools and Technique of Genealogical Research . It tells you how to organize your notes and research so you don't get buried under a mass of paperwork and information.

If you are really intent on approaching the subject armed with expert advice, you can take an online course through Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, Illinois . The college offers three online courses: Genealogy on the Internet, Beginning Genealogy and Intermediate Genealogy.

Research Tools

Ready to take the plunge? Here are two starting sites for your search of your relatives.

The Surname Genealogy Web Project links to surnames from every country in the world!

Roots Surname List -- Interactive Search The Roots Surname List (RSL) is a list or registry of surnames. The list compiler states that "there are almost 200,000 surnames that have been submitted by over 20,000 net.genealogists, with additional names arriving at the rate of over 600 a day".

Each surname listed includes not only the date the name was submitted and the location of the person but contact information concerning the person who submitted the name. This allows you to contact your fellow net-genealogists and compare notes. I did a search on "Highland" and found one of my cousins who is apparently a net-genealogists himself!

One of the best research tools is other people. Others with similar interest can share information and offer moral support.

The Dead Persons Society (DPS) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia was started in 1992 by twelve people. Two years later, the group's monthly meetings grew to over 50 people in attendance. The DPS has its own web site which includes links to help everyone interested in genealogy.

Treasure Maps offers a free monthly e-mail newsletter which they say contains "helpful, usable and noteworthy tips and tools for on-line and off-line genealogy research". You might want to try it out. Send an e-mail to ragan@southeast.net with "Subscribe TM" in the subject area. I have not tried it myself.

If you do not belong to a local genealogy group or simply would like to share notes with others, you can join the Usenet soc.genealogy.methods which discusses genealogical methods and resources. It is a moderated group (monitored for off-topic content).

Other tips include: Using a search engine to search by surnames, checking newspaper obituary archives, and looking for local genealogical groups on the web.

Find the Children

This site was submitted to me by a reader. It is an example of how the web can serve society in a positive way. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children web site has recently been revamped to help get the information out in a more helpful and simpler way. The success stories are inspiring.

As you voyage down the cyber-path, you are encouraged to send me your ideas for topics you would like to see discussed and to share your favorite links. Send correspondence to me at: e-mail: Webmaster@cpubco.com, via post: Web Voyager, Ellen H. Fernandez, PO Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302, or through our web site. Phone: 626-1466.

EDITOR'S NOTE Ellen Highland Fernandez is the Webmaster for Clarksburg Publishing Company's site and her column appears on the first and third Sundays every month in the Sunday Exponent-Telegram

Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1997