Genealogy and the Internet

Search the Internet for Your Family Names

Much of your genealogy search be
be done right on the internet.

The Internet has made the genealogy process easier, increasing resources and decreasing time spent looking for information.  You may even find that someone in your extended family has already done much of the work for you.  Many individuals create websites with names and surnames that contain marriage and birth information.  Try “googling” your full name and see if you can find it.  From there, you can begin looking at the other surnames on your extended family tree and where they come from.  Googling your family name or doing a search can also put you in touch with other extended family members that may be able to help you with your ancestral search.

Search Genealogy Websites for Your Family Names

Some of these sites have millions of records of names, birthdates, locations, and military records. Check each of these out to see if they have any info on your family names. For most you can get a free trial membership for a couple weeks and stay on if you really like the site. 

Website Description 14-day free trial membership; largest online family tree community; searches names in Social Security death records, US Census, and Customs records; Has 3.5 billion names. 14-day free trial membership; searches name in various public records like; Also locates personal websites; offers family tree software. Good source for military information. Has information on burials & tombstones.


Many of these sites also have software programs for creating family trees. More on these later in the guide, but again try them out and see which one you like best.

When searching the internet , you should find a ton of data and leads. To pursue those leads and gain further info, turn to courthouse records. But before you drive to any courthouse, check out the Internet for those records too.

Courthouses Have Their Records Online

Before going on to the next section on using the courthouse, we must mention that many courthouse records have recently been placed online. Some states have all their public records online.  If information is not online, the different states will tell you exactly who to call and how much obtaining the information will cost.  To search online for free public records, go to and search by category and/or state.  Different states have different laws about what information is public and online.  If your state does not have the information you want online, it should have a number to call where you can get the information in person. 

If You Pay, You Can Get Most Records Online

If you don't want to leave the comfort of your home office to conduct research, you might want to consider one of the many paying websites to search through public records.  One of the best sites is  One time membership fees can vary from $35 to $75 depending upon which services you want and what specials they are running at the time.  Just about any information you are looking for from vital records to court records can be found at this site. 

Regardless of whether you’ll do everything online or not, check out the next page courthouse records to find out which government records you should locate for your research

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