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Finding Living Relatives, Using Traditional AND Computer Based Genealogical Research
By John W. Konvalinka
 Special Chat!
Genealogical Lecturer, John W. Konvalinka, will be a special guest in our chat room on Wednesday, March 6 from 9pm-11pm Eastern Standard Time to discuss finding people, both on- and offline.
Learn More About the Chat!
 
  Related Resources
• Finding People Online
• Surname Search Tips
• Genealogy Search Engines
• Genealogy Mailing Lists
• Census Records
• Cemetery Records
• Free Genealogy Lookups
• Genealogy Libraries
• Family Reunions
 Elsewhere on the Web
• National Genealogical Society
• More "Live, Leveraged Links" at Konvalinka.com
 
 

There are many reasons why families lose touch: issues of divorce, remarriage, adoption; disagreements, or just “drifting apart” as family members move/relocate away from each other. There are also many reasons why family members may want to be back in touch with their near relatives.

We have found many successful ways of identifying, finding and making contact with living relatives, using traditional genealogical resources and methods leveraged by some new tools and techniques made possible through on-line computer systems and the Internet. (In our experience, the Internet alone usually cannot do the whole job; but it can be very helpful in making traditional methods more productive, including helping to locate source documents, “missing” relatives and other researchers.)

In this virtual lecture we will look at some of the new tools available on the Internet and, through case studies, demonstrate how they have been used successfully in conjunction with traditional research methods to help in identifying and locating “lost” family members.

Three Possible Situations:

  1. We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
    We are unaware of the existence of people who are our close relatives.
     
  2. We Know Who; We Don’t Know If
    We know of people who are out there (with our surname, perhaps.) We might even know how to contact them. What we DON’T know is if they are related to us.
     
  3. We Know That; We Don’t Know How
    We know that we have close relatives out there. We do not know how to locate or make contact with them.


Internet 'Locating' Tools: A Selection of 'Live Leveraged Links'

  1. Some Worthwhile Sites for Genealogists
    Genealogy Links - A collection of useful genealogy links
    Honoring Our Ancestors - Megan Smolenyak's genealogical site
    Passenger Lists Online - passenger lists from around the world
    Public Records - links to 650 sites with public records
    Search Systems - "Over 5,598 free searchable Public Record Databases"
     
  2. Sites for Finding Specific Information
    Phone and Address Listings - A large compilation of many (but not ALL) phone directories on The Internet. Some are reverse-searchable. Limited to LISTED phone numbers. (An estimated 35% of US phone numbers are unlisted/unpublished.)

    If that doesn't work - consider paid or partially paid services:
    KnowX.com - a large collection of property and other public records on the Internet.
    Ameridex Information Systems - a "database over 260 million names, 225 million with date of birth compiled from public ...sources" Also SSDI and database of 5 million military personnel. Requires $50 deposit and statement of intended use.
     
  3. Other Links for Locating Living People
    Locating Living People - Barbara Renick's list of sites for locating living people
    Finding Living People
    Military Networks
    Classmates/Alumni
    DistantCousin.com
    Searching for People
    Skip Trace Portal
     
  4. Search Engines and "Meta" Search Engines

    Some Favorite Search Engines
    GenPageFinder - “one-search access to millions of genealogical records across the Internet.”
    GenDoor - A new genealogy search engine; seems fast and complete.

    Other Interesting Search Engines
    Internet Karnak - The "library of infinite knowledge"
    Obituary Archive Search Engines
    Obituary Daily Times

    Meta Search Engines (Provide links, will do searches across many search engines simultaneously)
    Search Engine Guide - Lists almost 4,000 search engines in a searchable subject index.
    FindSpot - Do advanced searches on many popular search engines
     
  5. Surname Searches
    RootsWeb Surname List - 40 searchable databases; over 650,000 names.
    Surname "Mailing Lists" - 19,000 surname specific mailing lists.
    Surname Springboard - A “springboard” to surname genealogy sites which have "Indexed" family trees.
     
  6. Locality Searches
    USGenWeb Project - To search for county, state and country information.
    Bureau of Land Management - (currently offline temporarily)
     
  7. Mailing Lists
    John Fuller's and Chris Gaunt’s site - A large listing of genealogy mailing lists and USENET sites.
    RootsWeb Mailing List Index
    Free, Easy E-mail Groups - Links to thousands of groups. Start your own mailing list (for free!)
     
  8. The "Other" Web Sites
    AOL Genealogy Forum - Most AOL Gen forums are accessible to non-AOL members.
    Compuserve - Genealogy Forums open to everyone.
     
  9. OnLine Census Data (The “Big 3” are gearing up:)
    Heritage Quest
    Ancestry.com
    GenealogyLibrary.com
     
  10. Cemetery Records
    Cemetery Records Online - Over 2,844,217 cemetery records across 5,414 cemeteries.
     
  11. Other Internet Resources -- Usenet (Newsgroups)
    Pre-programmed Usenet search facility for the deja.com newsgroup archives - "fast and easy (re)search in the 62 most important genealogy newsgroups – over 300,000 postings.”
     
  12. Libraries and Related Sources
    Books we Own - “a list of resources owned/accessed by individuals who are willing to look up genealogical information and mail it to others who request it.”
    Family Tree Maker Lookups - Volunteers who will do lookups on Family Tree Maker’s collection of CD’s
    The Genealogical Library Master Catalog - “will help you locate over 300,000 family histories, local histories and genealogical sources at libraries and archives across the country.” [on 3 CD’s which must be purchased.]
     
  13. Reunion Aids
    Tips on how to Organize a Reunion - under "Reunions"
    Family Reunion Handbook - by Tom Ninkovich - A complete guide to Reunion Planning

* * * * * * * * * *

Any problems with these links – or suggestions for new ones? Please email me at john@konvalinka.com.

 



URL: http://genealogy.about.com/library/authors/uckonvalinka1a.htm
© 2002
John W. Konvalinka.  Used with Permission.

 

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