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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Throwing Out the Baby With the Bathwater?

Chris' Question:
are there any resources for building web based genealogies that are NOT LDS related? I just want to build and research my ancestry without having to use tools built for a specific religio-political purpose

Olive Tree Answer: Hello Chris. My grandmother used to tell me "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater". I'm not sure why you care what the religion or political philosophies are of a provider of genealogy data, but be aware that the LDS are rapidly bringing primary records online for all to use freely. Their pilot Family Search project is amazing in the amount of data provided (Census, Vital Stats etc), and there are no restrictions on researchers, nor any political or religious overtones on the website.

However, your question was about non-LDS resources online. There are thousands! There are many websites devoted to publishing free genealogy data. A few that come quickly to mind are the GenWeb sites which are world wide. You have not told me what country you need data for - Canada? USA? Russia? Europe? England? Scotland? Germany? ....... and so I cannot direct you to a specific GenWeb site but you can search online for any of them.

Depending what information you wish - cemeteries, ships passenger lists, vital statistics - there are individually run websites that offer these records for free. There are local archives for various states within the USA (such as Michigan's Death Records online) or country wide archives such as the Library & Archives for Canada which offer hundres of primary records free. I can't direct you to all of them so you will have to go on a hunt.

Of course my own website (and family of websites!) offers free data for a variety of records, but especially ships passenger lists on Olive Tree Genealogy, naturalization & passport records on Naturalization Records website, Death records on Ancestors At Rest (and much more)

Then there are the fee-based websites such as
Footnote,comicon,,, Scotland's People, and many more!

So Chris, if you are determined to throw out the baby with the bathwater and not use the incredible genealogy records freely provided by the LDS church, you will still find many online, both free and fee-based, that can help you in your search for ancestors.

You might want to start your hunt at Cyndi's List or Linkpendium which are websites devoted to categorizing and providing links to online resources. Another very good site to use to help is Live Roots. These can all be accessed by using an online search engine and searching for those terms.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait until Chris discovers that Joseph Smith is his (or her) great-great-grandfather and Maria Ackley a great-grandmother, Ellen White a great-aunt and Moishe Rosen is his birth father.