January's topic was the Top Ten Genealogical Websites, presented by our very own Donna Potter Phillips, a name recognized by many, I'm sure, as the author of numerous articles from various genealogical magazines. Although our area was hit with a nasty winter storm that day, we still had an average of eight students per session show up, regardless of the bad weather (that's how much we enjoy our classes!). I was expecting a review of the top ten websites that I'm familiar with (Ancestry, RootsWeb, Find A Grave, etc.), but was pleasantly surprised (with Donna, I often am!) that she had expanded the title to the following: The Top "Ten" New-Interesting-Fantastic-Exciting-Wonderful "New" Websites to Expand YOUR Online Research!
The "ten" websites (there are actually eleven) are listed below. Of course, to have attended the class and received the benefit of Donna's great tips, pointers, and enthusiasm, as well as a detailed syllabus, one must be a member of EWGS. I don't think Donna would mind for a moment, however, that I shared the URLs of the following sites with you.
- Genealogy Today
- Canadian Genealogy Centre
- Castle Garden
- Ellis Island
- Washington State Digital Archives
- Relative Genetics
- American Memory from the Library of Congress
- Google - Donna says you must learn to do Google searches! See the May 2006 issue of Internet Genealogy for a wonderful article on this subject. To order this issue (if it's still available) and to subscribe to IG, call toll-free 1-888-326-2476 (tell them Donna sent you!).
Our society has found that these educational classes not only benefit us in our research, but have increased our membership. Flyers posted in the library have caught the eyes of many potential members, and they are only too eager to join in order to learn more about Internet genealogy! We've booked classes through the end of 2008, with a growing list for our 2009 program. If your society is dwindling in membership, perhaps you ought to try offering something similar. For a list of past, present and future classes, check out our Special Classes page.