If you have a recommended addition, please contact me. – Greg

Some Free Research Services

Family Search
This free site is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). This is the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world. Gain access to an amazing array of source material available free of charge – that other sites ( charge for. is a free Internet service owned and operated by It contains millions of records and access to thousands of family trees including mine. It also has a very useful gedcom download feature that could save you time and effort – not to mention transcription typos.

FindaGrave.com5 stars
Excellent resource for locating grave markers, for sharing data, and for contacting someone who may have actually viewed a grave marker you’re interested in. You’ll also find a wealth of photos of markers – submitted by those who took the photos and can vouch for their accuracy. By joining, you can also participate yourself – submitting information and correcting those you find in error (it’s rare, but it happens). This is one of my favorite “hangouts”.

Family Trees on 5 stars
Start your family tree for free. Connect with your family story and discover the what, where, and who of how it all leads to you. This is where I got started years ago. Great resource for discovery and documentation.

Census Online
Over the past eight years, Census Online has grown from 25 links to nearly 40,000 and serves as the internet’s primary starting point for locating online census transcriptions.

Some Fee-based Research Services
Billions of names and thousands of searchable databases, including the web’s largest collection of historical records, make my #1 online source for family history information. They also offer a free trial period so you can check to see if it suits your needs. I especially appreciate their DNA section.

  • Start your family tree for free – connect with your family story and discover the what, where, and who of how it all leads to you. This is where I started years ago.
Few other family history sites are as trusted or as visited as, which offers a wide range of family and local histories, vital records, military records and much more.
Huge international records database, email alerts with Smart Matches and Record Matches, family tree connections, records and newspaper articles. Collaborate with members and join the thousands who reunite with long-lost relatives.

Some Free Specific Resources
Stephenie Flora’s excellent collection of names, dates, and much more pertaining to the early days of Oregon and the Oregon Territory. Extensive.

Helm Family Research
Search for the Parents of the North Carolina Helms Brothers (1690-1750) by Ira L. Helms, Jr.

Joseph Bennette Ancestry on Rootsweb
I do my best to keep this database up to date.

Tennessee Genealogy and History
Part of the USGENWEB project. Great resource if your family lines go through Tennessee as mine do.

Illinois State Archives
A searchable repository of all vital records from 1763 to the present.



Oregon Historical Records Index A searchable and growing database compiled by examining actual records held by the Oregon State Archives. Although I’m grateful for the work they’ve done, I’ve found many errors in the data, some of which seems to be derived from other (out of State) sources.


Washington State Digital Archives
Over 50 million records in a free growing searchable database. A great resource for finding records in Washington State.

Software I’ve Used

Roots Magic
Score (out of 10): 9
What I like: Intuitive user interface (UI), good support (tech support and useful forum), easy to use, user scripting, access to 11 search providers including and New FamilySearch from within the program, extensive features set, free version available, inexpensive. This is MY software of choice.
What I don’t like: Does not integrate directly with
Price: $30.
Comments: I’ve used this software for many years and am used to the interface and features. I find it easy to do just about anything I want to do – and the free forums and tutorials are extremely useful.

Roots Magic Essentials
Score: 6
What I like: Good for beginners and those on a VERY tight budget.
What I don’t like: limited reports and some other features.
Price: $0
Comments: Don’t bother with this except to test Roots Magic. I’m sure that after you’ve tried the free version, you’ll want the full functionality of the paid product. And the full product is only $30 – cheaper than the price of a video game.

FamilyTree Maker (ver. 2010)2 stars
Score: 4
What I like: Tight integration with, pretty user interface (UI), available from Costco who will take it back without hassle.
What I don’t like: SLOW to load, unintuitive user interface (UI), a bit difficult to navigate, very basic reports, problems importing gedcoms, creates non-standard gedcom exports, a bit pricey.
Price: $40
Comments: I tried hard to get used to this software (used it for over a month), but in the end, all I can say for it is that it LOOKS good. But it is VERY hard to use – I don’t recommend it for anyone, especially beginners – this program will suck the enthusiasm right out of you.

More Resources

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Comprehensive links to EVERYWHERE genealogical on the internet. You could spend hours on this site alone. Great resource.

Tips – My list of favorite tips for beginning researchers. This list will grow over time as I add more resources.