My Genealogy Toolbox


Some Personal Favorites - Websites & Social Media 

Listed below are my go to sites for genealogy research.  You may have noticed at The Keough Corner a bent for Newfoundland and Irish records ~ well with surnames like Keough and Murphy what did you expect?

[Disclaimer: As you can see this is a work in progress. My sections for General, Education & Webinars, and Newfoundland websites are ready to go; my Ireland section will be added soon so please check back! Also if these areas are ones you are familiar with and you have suggestions, please let me know].

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee for the suggestion of a Research Toolbox and for the webinar which provided to "how-to"  to make it a reality.  My Favorite Websites (or Research Toolbox) has not only the link but also some information and editorial comment. 

General
  • Ancestry
    • This website is both a no-cost and a subscription website.  If you are new to genealogy you may want to check out the library version (which may be accessed online at many public libraries and genealogical libraries).  Ancestry provides, in my opinion, a cost-effective breadth and depth of USA and international records for active genealogy researchers (and I appreciate having the option to research at all hours of the day or night!). 
    • I do wish Ancestry would get rid of the "you don't have to know what you're looking for, you just have to start looking" campaign because I think it dumbs down a serious (but really fun) intellectual pursuit.  You do need to have some idea what you are looking for and you have to be engaged and thinking critically while on the hunt!  All genealogists are the sum of many parts ~ part historian, part researcher, part detective, part adventurer, part geographer, part cultural memorykeeper, part interviewer, part writer, part photographer and part armchair, local and/or world traveler.  I would not have it any other way!
  • Family Search
    • This should be every researcher's first stop for genealogical knowledge!  The learning modules (seminars and wikis) are amazing.  The online catalogue and digitized records will help you find sources and records.  Microfilms from the FHLibrary are available for checkout to FHCenters and the volunteers at the FHLibrary make a research trip to this genealogy Nirvana a must! 
    • Kudos to the Irish, Norwegian and Swedish research associates at the FHL- you have and continue to be a tremendous part of my research finds.
    • Newfoundland and Labrador FamilySearch Wiki - excellent starting point to learn about Newfoundland's history and learn how to research your family history using various records. 
    • Newfoundland Vital Records Wiki - The Wiki explains the records relating to birth, marriage and death indexes as well as the recently digitized records.  Want to see the actual documents?  Approximately 59,000 images are available online at FamilySearch.
  • Google
    • Of course I use Google for searches (definitely check out advanced search ~ make your life easier) but don't forget to use Google for books, images, maps, news archives, and translations.  And check out Google Docs, Blogger, and Google Sites. 
  • Library of Congress
    • The Nation's Library ~ be sure to check it out and keep going back for more! Collection highlights include The American Memory Project, Prints & Photographs, Historic Newspapers, and Maps (the largest collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps is housed at the LOC).
  • WorldCat
    • Want to find a book, article, DVD or CD at a library near you?  Want to get a cite or check your cite for a book, article, DVD or CD?  It's all here, or at least 1.5 billion items are here ~ a great resource and if you create an account you can keep a record of your libraries, books and citations ~ wow.
Education & Webinars
  • Legacy Virtual Users' Group Community on Google+
    • Two years ago and with a little help from some other Legacy users, we set up a virtual users' group. We post questions, provide answers, discuss tips and tricks for getting the most from our genealogy database program of choice. The LVUG Community hosts a monthly hangout-on-air on Google+ and provides a Tuesday's Tip each week. If you use Legacy (or even if you don't) why not join the over 500 genealogists over on Google+.
  • Legacy Family Tree Webinars
    • I use Legacy Family Tree for my genealogy database program and really enjoy the webinars that they provide, not only about their program but also about a wide variety of topics of interest to all genealogists.
  • Guild of One-Name Studies
    • When I started looking for methodology or best practices to conduct my genealogy research, especially when I was in the process of gathering data and scanning documents in Newfoundland, I stumbled upon the Guild of One-Name Studies. Their website provides so much information about conducting a one-name study, and it can be applied to any specialized genealogy research project. I got so much out of the website that I joined the Guild in 2010 and registered my Keough surname for my one-name study. If you are a Keough (or a Keogh, Kough or Kehoe) have I got a study for you (and all your family tree information!). Perhaps you want to see if anyone has registered your surname or you want to learn more about specialized genealogy research methodology - go check out the website and think about joining in on the fun. The Guild hosts a monthly hangout on Google+ and records and archives many of it seminars. It also has an award-winning journal which is also archived online. The Guild's website and YouTube channel are some of my go-to online places for genealogy research.
  • Society for One-Place Studies
    • Is there a special place in your family's history that you either want to study or want to share what you already know with others? Perhaps it is where your family started out or where they migrated to. Perhaps it is a small community, a part of a town, or a street in a major city. Perhaps you currently live there or maybe it is somewhere from your childhood. Why not consider a one-place study (otherwise known as a location study). When you conduct a one-place study, you have an opportunity to learn about and share the story of a place with the rest of us. That special place for me is Plate Cove East, Newfoundland where my grandfather was born and raised and where I had the great fortune to visit in the summer of 2009. The recently formed Society for One-Place Studies exists to provide information, best practices and camaraderie to others who engage in one-place studies. The Society hosts a monthly hangout on Google+. The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter and has an active forum and blog. The Society's website provides a wealth of information and some great examples of one-place studies from around the world. 
  • Family History: Genealogy Made Easy
    • Whether you are just starting out in genealogy or an accomplished researcher, you will learn something more from Lisa Louise Cooke's podcasts found at this website.  In 30 minute increments, Lisa starts at the very beginning, and provides tips and encouragement to the new and not-so-new genealogist.  Also check out her website and podcasts at Genealogy Gems [Lisa maintains both a free and premium edition of these podcasts].  Always check her show notes as she provides the links to websites she discusses AND listen whenever you get the chance to anything she does related to Google as Lisa is a Google guru. 
Ireland (Coming in May, 2014)



Newfoundland
  • Association of Newfoundland & Labrador Archives
    • This website is a work in progress but is made up of the various member institutions (all of whom are listed in a directory; some of whom have links to their own sites).  This website provides a checklist of sorts of the available Archives, Societies, Associations, Museums, Churches and Historic Sites.  A useful site to make sure you haven't left any stone unturned in your research.
  • The Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's 
    • This website provides an overview of the Archives, which has an extensive collection of records pertaining to the Catholic community of the Archdiocese.  The website is a work in progress.  However, the original records are catalogued, maintained and available for research (by appointment only) and the Archivist is extremely generous with his time and knowledgeable about the Church's history in St. John's.  Even if you do not have any research to perform (located within walking distance of The Rooms), the Basilica is a must see stop in St. John's due to the architecture and beauty of the Church.  The Basilica sits at the highest point in the city and serves as a beacon to those arriving or leaving the St. John's harbour.
  • Library and Archives Canada
  • Centre for Newfoundland Studies (at Memorial University)
    • CNS is located at the Memorial University and contains a wealth of information including research tools (subject files, historical directory of newspapers, map bibliography, an more), web resources (Newfoundland websites by place name, subject, and topic), digitized resources, and services.
  • Family History Society of Newfoundland & Labrador
    • FHSNL is a not-for-profit organisation that helps researchers locate genealogical information.  FHSNL publishes a quarterly journal (all 26 years worth of back issues are available online for members), maintains a research centre, and its holdings include a collection of cemetery transcriptions, genealogies and family histories submitted by members and the general public.  FHSNL also has information regarding ongoing Newfoundland DNA projects.  FHSNL's website has an interactive forum for genealogical queries.
  • The Folklore Collection (at Memorial University)
    • Little used by the general public (a missed opportunity), the Folklore Collection contains monographs, journals, and student research papers together with supporting tapes, notes and photographs. Additionally the Folklore Collection maintains the Halpert Collection which has been catalogued and can be searched online.  The journals and papers give a reader a sense of the history, geography, culture and customs of the people of Newfoundland on a very personal level.  
  • Memorial University Digital Archives Initiative 
    • This website has been redesigned and is a must see for researchers.  A new index makes searching the site a breeze and the various holdings of all of the divisions of Memorial University are listed. An ever-changing "showcased collection" allows you to browse out of copyright materials. Books, maps, journals, periodicals, as well as video and audio materials make up this amazing collection.
  • Newfoundland GenWeb
    • This website hosted by rootsweb contains links to genealogical information for regions in Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is a good starting point to learn about the regions, history, and records of Newfoundland ~ make a point to search by region.  The site includes mailing lists and boards for genealogical queries.  [Note manyof the abstracts and transcripts provided on this site have been updated at the Grand Bank's website.]
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries
    • 96 public libraries comprise the NLPL and their website provides information regarding locations, programs, the Newfoundland Collection, and various databases.  Local newspapers are maintained on microfilm and the larger libraries have materials relating to Newfoundland's past as well as family history.  Check out the 87-page Genealogy Guide (8th Edition 2011) available as a downloadable PDF document, an extremely useful guide to all things "genealogy research related" in Newfoundland.  The NLPL has also put together some excellent Finding Aids.
  • Newfoundland''s Grand Banks
    • What started as a group of researchers transcribing and digitizing the 1921 Newfoundland Census has blossomed into an AMAZING collection of materials including directory publications, church records, vital records, the 1935 and 1945 Newfoundland census transcriptions, cemetery transcriptions, community records and information about the districts/regions of Newfoundland, mailing lists and message boards.  In my opinion, the best place on the Internet for "all things Newfoundland."  The directors, district coordinators, and contributors are all incredibly helpful.
  • Maritime History Archive (at Memorial University)
    • The MHA has a wonderful collection relating to the history of Newfoundland told through its shipping, fishing, and maritime past.  Included in the list of holdings and collections are business records, the Keith Matthews Collection, manuscripts, maps, student research papers, and the all important finding aids.  Some of the holdings have been digitized (including crew lists and historical photographs).  Research services are available and listed on the site, but this is an Archive to visit and immerse yourself in the records - the staff is friendly, helpful and shares a real gem with researchers who search it out! 
  • The Rooms - Family History Collections - at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland & Labrador (PANL)
    • One of the most beautiful purpose built Archives I have had the pleasure to visit.  You can combine a day of research with amazing views as The Rooms showcases the beauty of St. John's.  Original records as well as copies of records not available to the public are here for the asking.  Distance Research is available for genealogical inquiries.  The various Family History Collections are listed on this website both by category and by region (and include vital records, parish records, the Gertrude Crosbie Collection, Census Records, Voter's Lists, Registry of Crown Land Grants, Probated Wills, Plantation Books, various Court Records and reference items).  Continuing museum exhibits are available year round and offer a glimpse of Newfoundland's colorful history.
  • Stonepics - Cemeteries of Newfoundland
    • A project that located over 1700 cemeteries, documented their locations and took  221,000 photographs of headstones - all in an effort to preserve burial markers and provide an exhaustive database which can be searched by cemetery and/or individual name.  The website provides excellent information about the project, the cemeteries, the headstones, and Newfoundland burial traditions.  Once you know the communities your families are from, you may want to purchase the appropriate CD to further your research.  The database is available online at Stonepics as well as at Newfoundland's Grand Banks.