Online Databases << Genealogy and Technology <<
Genealogy databases for use on computers are exploding in number and in coverage of genealogy sources. Private firms and public organizations are inputting and indexing records to make them accessible to users of personal computers. Such databases are being made available on the Internet, by subscription, and/or on disks that you can purchase. A typical example is the SSDI which was originally available for sale on CDs, then for free over the Internet, and now on several Internet sites as well as bundled on CDs with some software programs.
The LDS Family History Library (FHL)is one of the main producers of such computerized data, which can now be searched from the comfort of home at http://familysearch.org. It's also possible to search FHL databases at local family history centers using CDs. Several private firms also make databases available for searching online or through CDs. A common pattern with these sites is to charge a subscription fee to view certain databases, while offering others for free. Still other databases are being developed by groups of volunteers and uploaded to the Internet for free viewing by all.
To learn about some of the more popular sites that permit you to simultaneously search multiple databases, go to the Online Database guide. For a more comprehensive list, visit Cyndi's List.
The information contained on this page comes from a variety of sources, but relies heavily on The Everything Family Tree Book by William G. Hartley (Adams Media, 1998) and Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Family History & Genealogy by Jim & Terry Willard with Jane Wilson (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997).