Illinois Ancestors: Genealogy sites ranked worldwide

Illinois Ancestors: Genealogy sites ranked worldwide

GenealogyInTime Magazine has released its third annual ranking of the 100 most popular genealogy websites. Based on actual traffic statistics, the study has measured the global Internet traffic of about 35 million websites worldwide and the results can be viewed by going to genealogyintime.com

The listing is in a chart format with these categories: rank, website name, category (e.g., records, cemetery, blog, society), country, free or pay, 2013 rank and URL address. Ancestry.com "continues to dominate the top position (with) more than three times the traffic of any other genealogy website." Find A Grave, purchased by Ancestry.com in 2013 but still free, has moved from No. 3 to No. 2. FamilySearch has moved from No. 4 to No. 3.

The list makes a distinction between genealogy websites (this list) and websites that may contain ancestral records; they are not the same. Be sure to read "A Quick Word on Methodology" for an understanding of the services that provide Internet ranking.

The magazine also offers a genealogy toolbar, which "incorporates the entire top 100 list so that you don't have to bother bookmarking lots of websites."

April conference

Brighten your "winter blues" by making plans to attend the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society's conference, "Say Cheese! Family History Through Photographs: Daguerreotypes to Digital," April 24 to 26 in Lancaster, Pa. The keynote address will be given by Maureen Taylor, "the nation's foremost historical photo detective," according to the Wall Street Journal.

The conference will also include sessions by Taylor and others, guided tours through historic Pennsylvania, a round-table discussion on DNA testing, an individual 15-minute photo consultation with Taylor, and time to research and meet other researchers, ask questions and find resources.

Visit lmhs.org/home/events/history_conference for complete conference information or write to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602-1499; phone 717-393-9745; fax 717-393-8751; email lmhs@lmhs.org.

Conference in St. Charles

The DuPage County Genealogical Society will have its 39th annual conference, "Find it — Prove it — Share it," on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4070 E. Main St., St. Charles. There will be 15 lectures offered by four noted speakers. For a complete conference schedule and/or to register online, visit bit.ly/KrUDpN.

Society newsletter online

The most recent newsletter of the Illinois State Genealogical Society is now available free on the Internet. Visit ilgensoc.org, click on "ISGS Newsletter" and then click the link to the desired issue. The newest issue, January/February 2014, includes an article (with a link) on Jesse White's instructional video on paper conservation.

White, who is secretary of state and state archivist, has been an ardent supporter of genealogical activities, and this new video is sure to be useful for individual researchers as well as students and archivists in small historical repositories.

To access this video directly, go to White's website at tinyurl.com/79sfh95 and click on the quick link called "Basics of Paper Conservation." The 33-minute video provides easy details on humidification (for the flattening process), cleaning, removing rivets and/or staples, storing and labeling.

This newsletter also includes a list of ISGS positions that are open. Chairpersons are sought for the following committees: finance and budget, advertising, publications, education, and honors and awards; and committee members are sought for the long-range planning committee and publicity committee (social media such as Facebook and Twitter.) Why not volunteer to assist this prodigious society achieve its "mission to preserve and disseminate Illinois historical and genealogical materials, and to educate and aid those researching their ancestry."

Teaching packages

From White's website mentioned above, click on "Teaching Packages" to access information on the teaching packages that are available free to Illinois educational institutions. (Other requests require a small fee, from $10 to $14.) Each package includes facsimiles of documents from the Illinois State Archives (35 to 50, in hard-copy format), transcriptions and a teacher's manual. The available packages are: "Abraham Lincoln in Illinois"; "Early Chicago, 1833-1871"; "From the Ashes, 1872-1900"; "Hard Times in Illinois, 1930-1940"; "Illinois at War, 1941-1945"; and "The Illinois and Michigan Canal, 1827-1911."

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at jbgriffis@aol.com or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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