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Kimberly Powell

USGenWeb - Where Are They Moving?

By March 17, 2008

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Upcoming changes for Web sites hosted at RootsWeb.com have prompted many sites associated with the USGenWeb project to move off of the RootsWeb servers to a variety of other servers and ISPs. Many say that the change has been a long time in coming, although perhaps hurried a bit by last week's announcement of URL changes, along with a previous announcement of new co-branded RootsWeb/Ancestry mastheads to appear on all RootsWeb sites. There are many other factors involved, however - enough for me to discuss them in another blog post. The end result, however is that many of the state and county coordinators at USGenWeb have elected to move their sites, which will likely mean a bit of a disarray at USGenWeb for a while until all of the links get sorted out.

USGenWeb sites that are moving or have already moved include:

Colorado has moved with a new URL of www.cogenweb.com.

DCGenWeb has moved to www.theusgenweb.org/dcgenweb/

Georgia has moved its state pages to www.thegaproject.org

Hawaii GenWeb has moved to a new server and can be found at www.higenweb.org

Illinois has moved most of its 103 ILGenWeb county sites, plus four special projects and the state pages off of RootsWeb. The new Illinois GenWeb sites can be found at http://www.ilgenweb.net.

Indiana has moved its pages to a new domain at www.ingenweb.org

Iowa already had its own server (www.iagenweb.org), but as many as 2/3 of the counties are now planning to join the state pages on that same server.

Kentucky State Pages are also moving. They already had their own domain, so the URL (www.kygenweb.net) won't change, but the pages will now be hosted on a new server.

Maryland already had its own doman name at www.mdgenweb.org, but has now moved off of the RootsWeb server as well.

Massachusetts has also moved to mysite.verizon.net/magenweb/

MIGenWeb has moved the Michigan state pages to www.migenweb.net.

Mississippi has moved its state pages to www.msgenweb.org, with MSGenWeb county and special projects pages to follow.

Montana is in the process of moving according to state coordinator, Kevin Haddenham, and can be found at www.mtgenweb.org.

Many North Carolina counties have left RootsWeb for another server and the state pages will likely soon follow.

OHGenWeb has moved the Ohio state pages with a new URL of www.ohgen.net/ohgenweb/

Oklahoma is voting on a move.

ORGenWeb is in the process of moving Oregon state pages to www.orgenweb.org.

The TXGenWeb has moved off of RootsWeb servers to www.txgenweb.org.

The State pages for VAGenWeb have moved to www.vagenweb.org

West Virginia has moved the state WVGenWeb pages to www.wvgenweb.org

WAGenWeb will moving to a new server with a domain name of wagenweb.org

The National USGenWeb pages may also move to a new server, but this is still under discussion. They already have their own domain, however, so changes if they occur will be pretty much "behind the scenes."

The Family Group Sheets Project is moving -- primarily for new features that will allow them to improve their submission form -- and can be found at www.fgs-project.com. The USGenWeb Census project (one of them) has also moved - to www.usgwcensus.org.

Arizona, Tennessee, Kansas and Florida GenWeb had previously moved to their own servers prior to this month. California GenWeb has never been hosted on the RootsWeb server. Many other state GenWeb sites were also already hosted on non-RootsWeb servers, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont.

It's not just USGenWeb, either. Many WorldGenWeb sites are moving off of the RootsWeb domain as well. On the other hand, there are also many country, state and county coordinators who are happy with the free hosting they get from RootsWeb and who are planning to stay put. Many, however, are concerned that the movement of so many sites to scattered servers will be detrimental to the wonderful USGenWeb Project.

The National USGenWeb site is doing a wonderful job at keeping up with the URL changes, as are many of the state pages - so start there first if you can't find a site you're looking for. A lot of updating is going on!

March 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm
(1) Randolph Clark says:

The Colorado link appears to not work.

March 17, 2008 at 5:08 pm
(2) Sandy says:

Hey, we’re not any more difficult to find!
Our sites have always been all over the place, but we’re really easy to find!

Just go to http://www.usgenweb.org
You’ll see the link to each state site.
Cllick on any state to see the links to the county sites.
How easy is that?!! Come see us!
We help all researchers – and all of our data and research assistance is absolutely FREE!
See you soon!

March 17, 2008 at 5:20 pm
(3) Gail Meyer Kilgore says:

Colorado’s links work just fine:

And, Arizona also moved about 2 months ago


March 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm
(4) Alice Warner says:

Well, how can Kentucky have been “already hosted off Rootsweb” as well as in the list of newly moving??

March 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm
(5) Joan Young says:

As of now the Pennsylvania State pages are on RootsWeb and have been for some time.

March 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(6) Joy Rich says:

Randolph, as Gail wrote, http://www.cogenweb.com is the URL for Colorado. In Kimberly’s article, the dot before “com” got lost.


March 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(7) Joy Rich says:

Kimberly, thank you for posting this information.


March 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm
(8) Kimberly says:

Hi All,

Thanks for the updates and corrections! I fixed the link for Colorado, changed the information for Pennsylvania and Kentucky and added Arizona.

As for my comment about links being a bit messed up for a while following these moves… It was in no way meant as a slam against the coordinators involved with USGenWeb. They (at least the sites I’ve visited) are doing an amazing job at keeping up with all of the URL changes and making the necessary changes to their site navigation. Instead, I was referring to all of the many other sites around the Web which link to USGenWeb pages. It’s just going to take everyone a little while to catch up.

March 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm
(9) Deason says:

Texas is awfully slow in loading. When I tried to get to the R page index to click Rusk County, Firefox timed out at 114 seconds and gave me a try again message. The next time,it timed out at 64 seconds. In comparison,it took me 3 seconds to connect to your about.com page and to Rootsweb.com itself. It took 4 seconds to get the Worldconnect page up. I am curious why Genweb was interested in changing something that worked so well. Was it the commercialism angle? I’m wondering how many people would be using Rootsweb if it were a subscription site rather than being hosted free by Ancestry. I have read many posts and comments by people outraged at Ancestry’s commercialism when they might better use their time researching than protesting.

March 18, 2008 at 8:36 am
(10) Jeff Scism says:

The real issue for USGenWeb Project isn’t that the Ancestry empire is for selling data. The issue is one of philosophy and purpose.

Simply the BUSINESS of selling data is incompatible with our goals of providing free access to data.

We aligned with Rootsweb, before the many buy-outs, because at that time the goals were the same. BOTH promoted getting data on line for free access by the browsing public.

With the full commercialization of Rootsweb, the relationship has been steadily changing, and now of course TGN, the parent company of Rootsweb, has decided to merge Rootsweb into its Ancestry brand. The issue would have remained status quo if the USGenWeb project would have remained ‘above’ the branding process, but TGN announced that despite the past hosting agreement, that all hosted sites would also carry the branding banners. They thought it would improve their business profile.

The User agreement in all of TGN’s “brands” includes language that basically declares ownership of any server content, and specifically allows TGN to redistribute any content on any of its branded outlets, and gives TGN unlimited and unrestricted USE rights to any content. Content and Data have specific meanings, Data isn’t copyrighted, Content usually is creative, thus copyrighted. There would be no need to declare ‘content’ reassigned if they followed the Copyright laws.

If they declared they were just going to extract data, that would be legitimate.

The USGenWeb’s policies of providing free access is being slowly degraded by being hosted on TGN servers. The promises made by USGenWeb to its contributors over the past 12 years have been that the data would remain free and no-one would have to pay to see it. To have the data (knowingly) vulnerable to redistribution on TGN’s pay side is a violation of those promises, and violates the basic purpose of USGenWeb’s existence. USGenWeb Project and all the other hosted sites are being turned into a “access point” for the paid databases.

Rootsweb as an identity is being converted to Ancestry.com. The USGenWeb Project has a need to re-establish its own independent identity, and keep our integrity, our promises, and our dignity. Negotiations with TGN over the Banners and concept of branding have resulted in proposals that the members abhor. In the words of TGN, “If you disagree, then stop using the services.”

The road is plain, we disagree (in basic philosophy) so our option is to stop using the services.

March 18, 2008 at 11:45 pm
(11) Matt Friend says:

Nebraska GenWeb Project have moved to a new server too. Along with many of their county website.

March 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm
(12) Deason says:

What a difference a day (or 2) makes. After my comment (#9), I tried to access the Texas Genweb at the addresses and found that the page loading was much faster and successful: Where I reported a 114 second and time out try earlier, my times today were 6.5 seconds for the main Texas Genweb page, less than a second each for the next two level index pages, and 2.797 second to open the Rusk County main page. I don’t know the reason for differences, but possibly our local system which slows down when bandwidth is being gobbled up by all users on the system might have been at fault.

March 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm
(13) Evelyn Crocker says:

To state that USGenWeb Project states and counties sites will be in disarray is an incorrect statement.

They may always be found at http://usgenweb.org just look for the states link.

It has always been a policy that the USGenWeb Volunteers webmasters could chose their own server. They were not required to house their sites on Rootsweb.com.

Many states have always had their own domain so the time has come that many others perfer to have their own domain instead of flying a Rootsweb.Ancestry.com masthead on top of their site.

March 19, 2008 at 8:37 pm
(14) Kimberly says:


As I mentioned in a previous comment, I do feel USGenWeb will be in a bit of disarray for a time. Not forever, certainly. But with so many sites moving so quickly it’s going to take time for everyone to catch up with the new URLs. The National and State sites are doing a bang-up job of getting their links changed, but I doubt all of the county/parish sites have made changes yet (although I’m sure quite a lot of them have). Also, the majority of vistors to USGenWeb don’t navigate to the county sites through the national and state pages. They either visit through bookmarks, through search engines, or through links from other sites (like mine which I’m now working on updating). All of those links to the old pages of sites that have moved are going to take some time to sort out – at least for those sites that didn’t already have virtual domains (like the national site). To me – with no slight intended against USGenWeb, of course -that means temporary disarray.

March 20, 2008 at 3:44 am
(15) Joy Rich says:

Jeff, (#10), I appreciate your post. You clarified USGenWeb’s position perfectly, and I’m in total agreement with it.

March 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm
(16) Kim Hendrix says:

United States Cemeteries Project is currently off line and will be online on a new site on USGenNet soon.

March 31, 2008 at 7:26 am
(17) Sandra Quinn, OHGenWeb says:

Jeff, you wonderfully portrayed our sentiments exactly!

Sandra Quinn, OHGenWeb State Coordinator

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