Internet expands genealogy research possibilities

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    Katie Parker

    Drastic changes have been evolving in genealogy work as it moves to the Internet.

    Genealogy via the Internet was started in the early 1980’s by Dick Eastman through the Compuserve Genealogical Forum.

    The forum was set aside for the subject of genealogy and provided chat rooms and family history intruction through e-mail.

    No type of search was done at this early stage.

    Now there are over 40,000 genealogy content related sites available for search on the Internet, said David Rincher, an official from the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Most of the sights are linked to private family pedigrees which actually give aid to the millions who do genealogy.

    “The greatest benefit of genealogy online is the collaboration involved,” said Paul Nauta, public relations representative of the Family History Department.

    People sharing their family generations with other patrons through their private Web sites has helped further the cause of Internet genealogy, he said.

    Although these individual family sites are helpful, the process is still very time-consuming if each site must be visited to find the information needed, said Michael Andrews, founder of Kindred Konnections, an Internet Genealogy Research Center.

    Kindred Konnections is a growing Web site that has indexed genealogical content related sites on the Internet, Andrews said.

    “Web site users only have to enter a name and our robots will search all the 40,000 sites available and take you to the one you with the information you need,” said Dr. Frank Carman, co-founder of Kindred Konnections.

    Other search engines such as Family Treemaker, Ancestry.com, Cyndi’s list, Roots Web, and Geocities provide similar services for users.

    However, Kindred Konnections is the only site that will search the substantial content-based genealogy related sites for the user based on a specific name, Andrews said.

    Family Treemaker and Ancestry.com offer access to lists of names through CDs. If the customer finds a name they can buy time to use that CD, said Cindy Carman, a genealogical internet technologist.

    Cyndi’s list offers access to huge amounts of information relating the slightest bit to genealogy. It offers links to country sites, state sites and others, she said.

    Roots Web provides information for patrons through responses to e-mails.

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