The Desert Shamrock
Arizonaís Original Irish Newspaper
Volume 10, Number 1, January/February 1999, page 21

Family History Research and the Internet

by Robert M. Wilbanks IV, B.A.
Professional Genealogist & Historian

 †††††††† Networking is an important part of genealogical research, whether searching for someone with more family data, learning basic or specific genealogical techniques, or identifying types of records and information, and their location. This basic concept of learning and sharing information with others has made the Internet an additional significant tool of genealogy. Genealogy now represents 20% of the information on the Internet, making it the number one topic.

††††††† Records, indexes, reference material, addresses, repository descriptions, and other extensive material and information useful to the genealogist are available on the ever-growing Internet. Web sites exist for general and special topic genealogical societies, regional or ethnic genealogical societies, genealogical companies and professional services. Libraries, archives and other repositories also have their own web sites. Then there are sites dedicated to locating sites.

††††††† The following web sites are excellent starting points for American-Irish research, for keeping current about local and national events, and for new information continuously added to the Internet.

††††††† Family History Society of Arizona,, has details on their eight chapters with monthly meetings and beginnerís classes; great for learning genealogy basics and general networking in Metro-Phoenix. The society provides special programs, seminars, and informative newsletters. See their site for details regarding their 16th Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, February 6th, featuring guest speaker Wade Hone of Salt Lake City, author of Land and Property Research in the United States. He specializes in land and property, taxation, general American, Scandinavian, Hungarian and Slovakian research.

††††††† Arizona Genealogical Computer Interest Group (AGCIG),, is dedicated to computer genealogy education. Learn about genealogy software, Internet research, the "latest and greatest" in CD's, computer hardware and software, and other gadgets and "toys". See their site for details on a Regional Conference in Phoenix, March 12th-13th, featuring three nationally known speakers in eight different sessions.

††††††† Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board,, is great for statewide genealogy and historical news and events. It includes listings of statewide genealogical, historical, and lineage societies, libraries, museums, and the Arizona Archives, with links to their sites. The "Calendar of Events" allows you to keep up with different events occurring throughout Arizona, such as the Genealogical Workshop of Mesa Seminar, February 13th, featuring James L. Hansen, Reference Librarian and Genealogical Specialist, Library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Another is the Arizona Department of Library, Archives and Public Recordsí "Arizona Convocation" which will be held in Sierra Vista, February 26th-27th, discussing maps, genealogy, historical records, archives, museum collections, as well as documents, photographs, artifacts and books.

††††††† National Genealogical Society,, is dedicated to helping people learn and practice quality genealogy. This site features information on the societyís activities, library, conferences, links and other data. For example, they provide a home study course, a library from which you can borrow books by mail, and a bimonthly newsletter with articles on research techniques, queries, news, events, and computer tips. Their quarterly is internationally regarded for its articles on research tips, techniques and case studies, and they sponsor the largest national annual genealogy conference.

††††††† USGenWeb,, is a volunteer effort to create and link sites for every state and county in America, providing information on state, county and town histories, societies, repositories, records, queries, and more.

††††††† WorldGenWeb,, is a similar effort on an international scale. The Ireland page,, includes queries by county, professional research ads, surname links and resource lists for each Irish county on the GENUKI site. Volunteers will look up information from published works, records, and Irelandís phonebook.

††††††† Irish Genealogical Society International,, has extensive information on Irish genealogy, queries, links, details regarding their society and library. This library has one of the largest collections of Irish records and genealogy information in America. There are links to specific Irish surnames, townlands, counties, resources and more. There are also articles from IGSIís journal, and an index to genealogical articles in Irish periodicals.

††††††† Irish Ancestral Research Association,, includes links to Irish Library Catalogs, Book Stores, Publishers, On-line Newspapers, Periodicals, Journals, Emigration and Passenger Lists, Family Associations, Databases, Search Engines, Professional Researchers and Commercial Services.

††††††† Fianna: Irish Ancestry and Historical Research,, has Irish genealogy and history links, Irish County sites, Irish Immigration and Ship sites, Irish Land, Geography, and Map sites, Searchable Irish Genealogy sites, and extensive links to databases and other genealogy sites.

††††††† UK+Ireland Genealogy (GENUKI),, has pages on England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, with subject sections relating to all the British Isles, as well as archives and libraries.

††††††† British Isles Family History Society USA,, details the societyís research collection housed at the Los Angeles Family History Center. Irish record sources and research guides are discussed, microfilm numbers are given for many sources, and the site explains using a Family History Center for Irish research. There are links to other British Isles resources too.

††††††† Cyndiís List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet,, contains the most links, of any site, to genealogy. One can search by surname, locality, or topic, to link to a wealth of genealogy sites. The "Ireland and Northern Ireland" page is an extensive catalog of Irish genealogy sites. Categories include: General Resource, History and Culture, How To, Heritage Centres, Libraries and Archives, Mailing Lists and Newsgroups, Maps and Gazetteers, Newspapers, People and Families, Research Services, Publications, Queries and Surname Lists, Records, Societies and Groups. Be sure to visit the AGCIG site (see above) for details on their Seminar featuring Cyndi Howell, author of Cyndiís List, on February 20th in Mesa.

††††††† For previous articles on the basics of searching for your family history, visit my web site at First, click on Professional Services, then Genealogical Writings.

DISCLAIMER: This is an important reminder that the above article is provided here exactly as originally written and published several years ago. Therefore, while most of the primary context of the article may still be relevant, please be aware that possibly certain of the information and references may now be outdated, such as individuals and organizations, links, contacts, facilities, etc. Please follow-up accordingly for more updated information.

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©2013, Robert M. Wilbanks IV, Scottsdale, Arizona
created Nov 15, 2013; last updated Nov 15, 2013