3. Family Village
Launched two years ago, this Facebook game, modeled after Zynga’s Farmville, features a hiker scaling her family tree — it grows as she gathers more research. The point of the game is to teach players the basics of genealogical methodology. Over the course of the hike, players turn up vital records and track their findings on ancestry charts and family group sheets. They also dig through federal cenus records between 1790 and 1940 to fill in the missing gaps of their lineage. It’s fun and highly addictive for those just starting out on their genealogical adventures.
4. Various Grave Sites
A host of sites exists for the sole purpose of storing death certificates. Koch-Bostic recommends Billiongraves.com, Findagrave.com and Legacy.com, that latter of which excels at collecting obituaries. Obits are particularly helpful for finding relatives in certain areas and information about where they lived, where they worked and attended school.
5. Digitized Newspapers
“The most wonderful information comes out of newspapers,” says Koch-Bostic, so long as you have access to a computer at home. Start searching by state, then try the Library of Congress — its Chroncling America website offers a treasure trove of historical newspapers published from 1690 to the present. When plugging in search terms, be sure to search narrowly and widely, advises Koch-Bostic.