Genealogy is the incredible hobby that is more than a hobby. Genealogy teaches you history – your family history. It gives you a feeling of solidity and it instructs you in the survival tactics of past generations. It speaks of the successes and failures of your family members, and it speaks in dynamic terms of birth, growth, travel, military activity, employment, marriage, family growth, and everything that flows along with the stream of time. Rootsweb, a free online database of information, contains not only personal family information, but reference material concerning cemeteries, census, churches, military companies, even prisons. Rootsweb is probably the number one source of information available for free.
Rootsweb, its homepage located at http://www.rootsweb.com/ , also maintains email lists you can join to discuss various surnames, locations, census lists, city directory lists, and so forth. It directs you to many additional sites, such as the Social Security Death Index. It even provides free web-hosting. One seeking family tree information would be foolish if they didn’t give consideration to Rootsweb for genealogical information. There are a handful of other extremely valuable genealogical websites, but none covers the same ground that Rootsweb does.
Two Small Demonstrations of Rootsweb’s Usefulness
Let’s demonstrate some of the usefulness of Rootsweb. Say you lost a family member who paid into Social Security for many years. This person died in 1971. They first applied for Social Security in Camden County, New Jersey. What would you do? You would go to the Rootsweb homepage. Looking at that page, under Search Engines and Databases, you see Social Security Death Index. You click that. You see a form where you can enter some data for your family member. First though, I suggest you click on Advanced Search. This results in a more complete form you can enter just what data you can. We will let you figure the rest on this out for yourself.
Going back to the Rootsweb homepage, you now notice under Mailing Lists, the entry Surname List Finder. Clicking on that, you see a form with a single field. It calls for a surname for your family member so you can join an email list of people interested in that name. Your family member’s name was Upton. You enter that name and click and get a happy result. People have written emails about family members with that last name, and those emails have been archived and are both searchable and browseable! Or you can subscribe yourself and post what you know and what you seek. Truly a great resource Rootsweb makes available to you.
I have touched the tiniest pinhead of an ever-growing mountain of informative resources Rootsweb offers. Do you know your family tree? No? Why not explore it with Rootsweb? Oh, you already have researched your family tree? Why not learn more with Rootsweb!