This Information Guide covers web resources that are used for finding genealogy or family history information. Everyone's family tree is unique, so everyone will be using different Internet sites to build their own family tree. Explore the sites which interest you and expand your knowlege of where to find family history information on the Internet.
Genealogy, or finding ones roots, really became popular in the US after Alex Haley's mini-series Roots in the late 1970's. This television adaptation of his 1976 book of his fictionalized account of his family led to a national obsession of searching for where we have come from. But it wasn't until the 1990's with the advent of the Internet that genealogy grew tremendously. Some surveys now list genealogical searches as the number one type of search on the Internet!
Internet resources can give you clues for researching your family tree. Remember to verify everything you find on the the Internet and evaluate your souces just like you would for any other web site. But you can find many clues to your family's ancestors and even original documents. Search for stories, maps, photos, and other interesting facts to make your research interesting.
It's also important to recognize that much family history is also not available online but located within the collections of a variety of historical repositories, like small historical societies and public libraries. Oftentimes your research will require you to contact one of these places and request information. Knowing that, start your research early if you have a deadline!
Have fun and good luck!
"If you don't know your history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." ~~ Michael Crichton
"...in all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage--to know who we are and where we have come from." ~~ Alex Haley