Genealogy research has become increasingly popular in recent years, with numerous online platforms and resources catering to the needs of family historians.
While popular websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are widely known and utilized, several underrated websites – some that are not even typically associated with genealogy – that can actually greatly enhance your genealogical journey. Most of these are valuable but underrated gems that may help you dig deeper into your family’s history.
Here are a few that we’ve found very helpful.
1. The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a vast digital library that provides free access to books, videos, websites, audio recordings, and other digital content. It hosts a multitude of resources that can be immensely valuable to genealogical research.
You can explore their extensive collection of digitized books, including local histories, rare publications, and family genealogies. Additionally, the Wayback Machine, a part of the Internet Archive, allows you to browse archived versions of websites, enabling you to access valuable information that may have disappeared from the web.
2. The USGenWeb Project
The USGenWeb Project is a volunteer-driven initiative that aims to provide free access to genealogical resources for every county and state in the United States. This grassroots effort has resulted in an extensive collection of online resources, including transcriptions of vital records, local histories, cemetery records, and more.
The USGenWeb Project is particularly valuable for those researching ancestors in specific geographic locations, as it often contains materials that may not be available elsewhere.
3. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
The Digital Public Library of America is an online repository that brings together digitized materials from libraries, museums, and archives from across the United States.
While its primary focus is not genealogy, it houses a vast collection of historical photographs, newspapers, manuscripts, and other resources that can provide valuable context and insights into your family history.
The DPLA’s search functionality and curated exhibits make it an excellent resource for exploring the social and historical contexts of your ancestors’ lives.
WorldCat is a global library catalog that allows you to search the collections of libraries worldwide.
This powerful resource enables you to discover books, maps, journals, and other materials related to your genealogical research. By inputting keywords, such as surnames, historical events, timelines, or locations, you can uncover relevant publications available for loan or reference at a library near you.
5. Local Genealogical and Historical Societies
Local historical and genealogical societies are often overlooked sources of valuable information.
These organizations are typically dedicated to preserving and promoting local history and heritage. They may maintain archives, host lectures, publish newsletters or journals, and offer research assistance.
Connecting with these societies can provide access to unique resources, local knowledge, and opportunities for collaboration with fellow researchers who share your interests.
If you’d like help exploring these underrated genealogy websites and resources, reach out to our team at DavisDNA And Family Research. We offer traditional genealogy services and can help you with everything from family trees to professional genealogy research services.