Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’

Searching for your ancestors in online records has become the rage in the genealogical world over the past couple of years.  And of all of the data that you can search, census records must be by far the most common place to find information on your ancestors.

It’s not all that tough to find your ancestors in the census records, by doing a quick search at ancestry.com or familysearch.org.  And it’s quite a thrill to find the entire family of one of your ancestors, with each member of the family listed, along with their age at the time the census was taken.

What gets interesting is when you try to use census records to provide a bit more information on the birth date of one of your ancestors.  If you already know the birth dates for family members that you are finding, the age information in the census record can just help ensure that you’re looking at the right person.  But if you don’t yet have a birth date, or have conflicting information, it’s possible to use the person’s age at census time as just another piece of evidence to help you arrive at the correct birth date.

Be Careful!

Be careful here.  Birth date information deduced by looking at the age at time of census is not a primary source.  In fact, it’s probably one of the least reliable pieces of evidence for the purpose of calculating a birth date.  Think about the circumstances and the setting at the time the information is gathered.  A census taker goes from house to house, asking people verbally to tell them who lives at that house and how old each resident is (among other things).  The validity of the answers, especially when it comes to age, depends on so many things—how carefully the census taker records what he/she hears, whether the resident actually knows the age of the person in question, and whether they take the time to remember the age of each person in the house.  It’s also probably pretty common for people to have lied about their age.

The quality of the data was also likely dependent on who answered the door.  If Grandpa answered and he was eager to get rid of the census taker, he may have rattled off a bunch of names and ages quickly, without worrying whether or not he got them right.  On the other hand, if the mother of a family answered the door, odds are pretty good that she’d correctly remember the ages of her kids.

Calculating a “Birth Date Range”

It’s still useful to look at census data and to use it to calculate a range of possible birth dates, based on the ages of the people listed.

So how do we calculate a range of possible birth dates, based on what we find in the census record?  It’s as simple as subtracting the listed age from the date on which the census was taken.  The date that you get becomes the “latest birth”, or the most recent possible date of birth, given that age.

For example, let’s say that my grandpa was listed as being 18 yrs old in the 1920 census, and the census sheet in question lists the census date as being Jun 1, 1920.  In other words, on Jun 1, 1920, the census taker stopped at the house and was told that Ted Sexton was 18 yrs old.  This means that the latest that Ted can have been born was Jun 1, 1902.  This would be Ted’s birth date if he had just turned 18 on the day that the census taker stopped by.  The other way to look at it is that this is the youngest that Ted could be, if the stated age was correct.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ted’s earliest possible birth date is Jun 1, 1901—one year earlier than the latest date mentioned above.  If Ted was born late in the day on Jun 1, 1901 and the census taker visited early on Jun 1, 1920, Ted would still be 18 years old—turning 19 later that day.  So this is the earliest possible birth date for Ted and the oldest that he could be, if the stated age was correct.

So we end up with the following possible range of birth dates for Ted:

Census Date:  6/1/1920
Stated Age:  18
Birth Date Range:  Between 6/1/1901 and 6/1/1902

So Ted was born sometime between 6/1/1901 and 6/1/1902—but only if he was truly 18 years old on 6/1/1920.  Remember—although we end up with a precise range of dates, our original census data should still be considered fairly unreliable.  So this date range should just be treated as evidence—nothing more.

Factoring In a Second Census Record

Now that we have one possible range of birth dates for Ted, we can go find another census record and factor in the information that we find there.  Let’s say that we now move to the 1930 census and we find the following information:

Census Date:  10/15/1930
Stated Age: 28
Birth Date Range: Between 10/15/1901 and 10/15/1902

We use the same method as before to calculate a possible range of birth dates, given the stated age.

But now we can take this one step further.  If both ages were stated correctly (and that still might be a big “if”), we’ve further reduced the possible range of dates for Ted’s birth.  Here’s how it works:

Range #1:  Betw 6/1/1901 and 6/1/1902
Range #2:  Betw 10/15/1901 and 10/15/1902
Calculated Range:  Betw 10/15/1901 and 6/1/1902

We’ve gone from a 12-month range to an 8-month range, narrowing in on Ted’s actual birth date.  Note that all we did here was to look at where the two ranges overlapped and calculate the final range as that overlap, or the intersection of the ranges.  For example, range #2 said that Ted could not have been born before 10/15/1901.  This means that part of range #1 has just been ruled out—he could not have been born between 6/1/1901 and 10/14/1901.  In a similar way, the end of range #2 is also chopped off.  In the end, dates between 10/15/1901 and 6/1/1902 are the only dates that fall within both stated ranges.

A Tool to Help You Do These Calculations

I’ve put together a simple web-based tool to help you do birth date calculations like the ones that we just ran through.

You can find the tool by clicking on the link below (or entering it into your browser):

The Census Birth Date Calculator – www.famthings.com/census/default.aspx

Getting Started

Once you go to this site, you may see a little icon indicating that you need to first install Microsoft Silverlight:

installsilverlight

If you see this logo, go ahead and click on it to install Silverlight, which is a browser plugin that is required in order to run the Census Birth Date Calculator.  The install should go quickly.  When it completes, just refresh the web page and you should see the calculator.

The Census Birth Date Calculator

Here’s what the main body of the calculator looks like when you start:

calcemptyThis is pretty self explanatory.  To use the calculator, just enter each of your census data records, one at a time, and click the “Add to List” button.  Enter the date on which the census was taken in the “Census Date” field and enter the reported age of the person in question in the “Age at Census” field.

If we use the calculator to enter the census data for my grandpa, from above, we see the following after entering the first date:

calc2Notice that the calculator spits out the Earliest/Latest birth range for this piece of census data: 6/1/1901 to 6/1/1902.  It also shows a “calculated birth range” below the table that is the same range (for now).

Now let’s add our second piece of census data for Ted.  Here’s what we end up with, after adding the new information to the list:

calc3Notice that the calculator now lists out all three ranges of interest—the individual range for each of the two census records, and then the calculated (combined) range.  As we showed earlier, the calculated range represents the overlap of the other two ranges.  Based on the data that we started with, this is our current best guess as to Ted’s birth date.

When Things Go Wrong

As we said, ages reported as part of census data are notoriously unreliable.  Sooner or later, we’re going to end up with a collection of dates that lead to inconsistent results.  In other words—they can’t possibly all be true, because there is no single birth date that would fit into each of the birth ranges.

Here’s an example.  Suppose we find one more piece of census data for Ted.  This time, we find him in the 1905 Minnesota state census.  The date of the census is 6/12/1905 and Ted’s stated age is 4.

Now we’ve run into problems.  Here is what the calculator tells us:

calc41Notice that the Calculated Birth Range at the bottom of the list now tells us that it’s not possible to calculate a range from these three census samples.  They cannot all be true at the same time.  Notice that the conflict arises between the age-28 and the age-4 entries.  They have ranges which don’t overlap, which means—they can’t both be true.

At this point, the calculator provides a little help for you.  If you like, you can play around with the data by including/excluding one or more of the pieces of data and seeing how that affects the calculated range.  For example, if we had reason to believe that the age-28 entry was incorrect, we could uncheck the Include column for that entry and we’d get:

calc5We have a valid range once again, which just means that the age-18 and age-4 entries do not conflict.

What Does It All Mean?

In the end, this calculator isn’t likely to give you a final answer as to the birth date of an ancestor.  It might help you narrow down the range of possible birth dates, but only if you believe in the validity of all of the census data that you find.

The other use for the birth date calculator is that it can help you zero in on which census records are suspicious, i.e. possibly inaccurate.  If you have five records that are all consistent, and then a sixth that would generate a range of dates that don’t overlap at all, then that sixth date is probably suspect.

So feel free to use this calculator to help you calculate some possible birth date ranges, based on census data.  Let me know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for how I might improve upon it.

Read Full Post »

Here is a complete list of the family history web sites whose traffic I surveyed in the previous post.  As I mentioned in the earlier post, I’ve broken the sites down into several major categories, based on the primary purpose of the site.

This list includes every site in each category, along with a short description of the site.  The sites are listed alphabetically.

Blogs / Podcasts / News

dearmyrtle.com – Dear Myrtle
eogn.com – Eastman’s online genealogy newsletter
genealogue.com – Genealogy news
genealogyguys.com – The Genealogy Guys
olivetreegenealogy.com – Search records, resource guides

Community

cousinconnect.com – Queries about particular familys/individuals
daddezio.com – Italian genealogy
family-reunion.com – Family reunion planning
familytree.com – Brief intro to genealogy
gendir.com – Genealogy directory & message boards
genealogy-search-advice.com – Ask questions, get answers
genealogy.com – Family Tree Maker, message boards, online trees, search records  [Generations Network]
geneanet.org – Records search, online trees, online photos, famous trees, postcards, community  [GeneaNet]
genhomepage.com – Site directories, help/guides, community  [Stephen A Wood]
genuki.org – UK & Ireland genealogy
jewishgen.org – Home of Jewish genealogy
lineages.com – Professional researchers
makemyfamilytree.com – Community site, info on “making” family tree
raogk.org – Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
rootsweb.com – Free records search, online trees, publish web site, message boards  [Generations Network]
usgennet.org – Non-profit genealogical web hosting service
us-census.org – USGenWeb census project
werelate.org – Community site, wiki
yourfamily.com – Bulletin/message boards

Directories

accessgenealogy.com – Links to various resources
census-online.com – Links to census data
cyndislist.com – Directory of sites
familyhistory101.com – Organized collection of links & info
gendir.com – Genealogy directory & message boards
genealogylinks.net – Over 50,000 links, by region
genealogysearch.org – Surname search, directory
geneasearch.com – Resources for searching
genhomepage.com – Site directories, help/guides, community  [Stephen A Wood]
gensource.com – Genealogy directory
kindredtrails.com – Genealogy links
linkpendium.com – Definitive genealogical directory
usgenweb.org – Links to state/county records

DNA

23andme.com – Genetics
dnaancestryproject.com – Genebase  (see also genebase.com)
dnaheritage.com – DNA testing
familytreedna.com – DNA database
genebase.com – Genebase (see also dnaancestryproject.com)
smgf.org – Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

Magazines

ancestrymagazine.com – Ancestry magazine
everton.com – Everton Publishers, Everton’s Genealogical Helper
familychronicle.com – Family Chronicle
familytreemagazine.com – Family Tree

Online Family Trees

amiglia.com – Post family tree, photos
ancestry.ca – Ancestry.com site for Canada
ancestry.co.uk – Ancestry.com site for United Kingdom
ancestry.com – Paid records search, publish books, online trees  [Generations Network]
ancestry.com.au – Ancestry.com site for Australia
famillion.com – Build your family tree; connect/merge with other trees
familylink.com – Create family tree online  (now familyhistorylink.com)
familytreeguide.com – Post family tree online
findmypast.com – Post family tree, search records
gencircles.com – Post family tree, search trees
genealogy.com – Family Tree Maker, message boards, online trees, search records  [Generations Network]
geneanet.org – Records search, online trees, online photos, famous trees, postcards, community  [GeneaNet]
genesreunited.com – Build family tree online & find your family
genetree.com – Create online tree, share w/family
geni.com – Post family tree, photos, videos
genserv.com – Collection of searchable GEDCOM files
kincafe.com – Family tree, shared photos, calendar
kindo.com – Build family tree, share with family
kindredkonnections.com – Search records, post family tree (mytrees.com)
myheritage.com – Post family tree, photos, Family Tree Builder software  [Israeli company]
noktree.com – Post families/individuals, messaging, etc.
onefamilytree.com – Post family tree
onegreatfamily.com – Post family tree, search other trees
pedigreesoft.com – Online shared family tree  [Findmypast.com]
rootsweb.com – Free records search, online trees, publish web site, message boards  [Generations Network]
sharedtree.com – Online shared family tree
tribalpages.com – Post family tree, photos
webtree.com – Publish/shared family tree, display charts
wikitree.org – Post/search global family tree
worldroots.com – Lineage of famous people & royalty
zooof.com – Build family tree, discover connections

Search

accessible.com – Primary source material from 18th/19th cent periodicals
allvitalrecords.com – State records
ancestorguide.com – Surname search
ancestorhunt.com – Free genealogy search engines
ancestralfindings.com – Search records
ancestry.ca – Ancestry.com site for Canada
ancestry.co.uk – Ancestry.com site for United Kingdom
ancestry.com – Paid records search, publish books, online trees  [Generations Network]
ancestry.com.au – Ancestry.com site for Australia
ancestryconnections.com – Search surnames
archive.gov – The National Archives
censusfinder.com – Directory of free census records
deadfred.com – Search photos
deathindexes.com – Searchable death indexes & records
deathrecordsobituarysearch.com – Search death records
distantcousin.com – Archive of genealogical data & document images
ellisisland.org – Search immigration records
ellisislandrecords.org – Search immigration records
familybirthrecords.com – Search records  [Generations Network]
familycensusrecords.com – Search records  [Generations Network]
familydeathrecords.com – Search records  [Generations Network]
familyhistory.com – Search databases, message boards  [Generations Network]
familymarriagerecords.com – Search records  [Generations Network]
familymilitaryrecords.com – Search records  [Generations Network]
familysearch.org – Free records search, PAF software  [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints]
familytreesearcher.com – Find family trees at nine sites
findagrave.com – Search cemeteries
findmypast.com – Post family tree, search records
footnote.com – Search historical documents
genealogy.com – Family Tree Maker, message boards, online trees, search records  [Generations Network]
genealogy.org – Search records  [Generations Network]
genealogybank.com – Search records
genealogybuff.com – Search record, get state/city info
genealogysearch.org – Surname search, directory
genealogytoday.com – Records search, articles
geneanet.org – Records search, online trees, online photos, famous trees, postcards, community  [GeneaNet]
genwed.com – Marriage records online
gjenvick.com – Search passenger records
heritagequestonline.com – Search census, books, PERSI
idreamof.com – Search records
immigrantships.net – Search passenger lists
interment.net – Search cemetery records
kindredkonnections.com – Search records, post family tree (mytrees.com)
mortalityschedules.com – Search mortality schedules
newspaperabstracts.com – Search newspapers
newspaperarchive.com – Search old newspapers  [Heritage Microfilm]
noktree.com – Post families/individuals, messaging, etc.
obitcentral.com – Obituary central
obitsarchive.com – Search for obituaries
olivetreegenealogy.com – Search records, resource guides
onegreatfamily.com – Post family tree, search other trees
pastplaces.com – Repository of old photos, videos, stories
politicalgraveyard.com – Search for where dead politicans are buried
rootssearch.net – Search records
rootsweb.com – Free records search, online trees, publish web site, message boards  [Generations Network]
searchforancestors.com – Search various records
searchyourgenealogy.com – Search records
stevemorse.org – Search records
surnameweb.org – Search surnames
theshipslist.com – Search passenger lists
us-census.org – USGenWeb census project
vitalrec.com – Search vital records
worldvitalrecords.com – Search historical data
yourpastconnections.com – Database of items discovered at auctions, etc.

Social / Family Networking

amiglia.com – Post family tree, photos
ancestry.com – Paid records search, publish books, online trees  [Generations Network]
ancientfaces.com – Post photos
familybuilder.com – Build/share family tree
famiva.com – Social network for families
genetree.com – Create online tree, share w/family
geni.com – Post family tree, photos, videos
itsourtree.com – Create family tree, stay in contact with relatives
kincafe.com – Family tree, shared photos, calendar
kindo.com – Build family tree, share with family
lifeonrecord.com – Capture family stories from phone
livinggenealogy.com – Create pages for ancestors, share photos/stories/documents, blog
myfamily.com – Share family photos/videos/stories  [Generations Network]
myheritage.com – Post family tree, photos, Family Tree Builder software  [Israeli company]
ourstory.com – Save stories, photos on collaborative timeline
storyofmylife.com – Post personal stories, preserved in perpetuity  [Story of My Life Foundation]
tribalpages.com – Post family tree, photos

Software / Tools

ancestralauthor.com – Create PDF files from GEDCOM files
ancquest.com – Ancestral Quest, PAFWiz  [Incline Software]
bkwin.com – Brother’s Keeper
clooz.com – Online filing cabinet for documents/records
dorotree.com – Family tree software for Jewish historians
family-historian.co.uk – Family Historian 3
familysearch.org – Free records search, PAF software  [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints]
familysearchlabs.org – Various tools that are still under development
familytreelegends.com – Family Tree Legends 5.0
familytreemaker.com – Family Tree Maker software  [Generations Network]
famtreesoftware.com – Famtree software
famware.com – Family oriented software
gedhtree.com – Generate charts/trees from GED file
geditcom.com – Edit/view GEDCOM files on the Mac
ged4web.com – Convert GED file to web pages
genbox.com – Genbox Family History (see also thoughtfulcreations.com)
gendesigner.com – GenDesigner 3.0
genealogy.com – Family Tree Maker, message boards, online trees, search records  [Generations Network]
genealogy-software-review.com – Reviews/comparisons of major software tools
legacyfamilytree.com – Legacy 7
leisterpro.com – Reunion 9
macgenealogy.org – Mac Genealogy software information
mudcreeksoftware.com – GENMatcher, GENViewer
myheredis.com – Heredis Mac X.2
myheritage.com – Post family tree, photos, Family Tree Builder software  [Israeli company]
phpgedview.net – PhpGedView–view/edit Ged files on web
progenygenealogy.com – Map My Family Tree, Charting Companion, Genelines
raynorshyn.com – GEDClean tool
rootsmagic.com – RootsMagic, Personal Historian, Family Atlas
starkeffect.com – GED2HTML, GEDCOM Viewer
thoughtfulcreations.com – Genbox Family History, for organizing research (see also genbox.com)
uftree.com – Family Tree Maker 2005
whollygenes.com – The Master Genealogist
winfamily.com – WinFamily 7

Read Full Post »

This post includes a survey of web site traffic for some of the most popular family history and genealogy related web sites.  The data included shows # page visits for each web site for the month of August, 2008.  This data was taken from the compete.com web site.

The # page visits metric, as defined by compete.com, means–the total number of visits to a site during the month, which may include multiple visits by a particular user.  If the user visits multiple pages on the site, it is still counted as a single visit, unless that user has been inactive for at least 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, any further page loads are counted as a new visit.

All web traffic is shown for a particular domain, e.g. ancestry.com.  Data is not broken down by multiple pages/areas within that domain, e.g. search.ancestry.com vs. ancestrypress.ancestry.com.

I’ve grouped the web sites into several top-level categories, based on the primary purpose or use of the site.  Some sites appear in multiple categories, if they have significant functionality in multiple categories.

I haven’t included sites that deal with specific surnames, specific geographical regions, or specific products (e.g. ordering coats of arms).

In each category, I’ll present a graph showing the # visits for each site, followed by the actual data for the sites in that category.  Both the graph and the data will be sorted, with the sites having the most number of visits listed first.

When actual site data is listed, I include both “# visits” and “# unique visits” data.  The number of unique visits shows the number of individual computers/users that visited the site during the month, as opposed to the total number of visits.

All Sites

To start with, here are metrics for the top sites, across all categories.  To keep the graph manageable, only the top sites are graphed–i.e. those having at least 100,000 visits per month.

All Sites (>100,000 visits/mo)

All Sites (>100,000 visits/mo)

Here is the full list of sites, with the most frequently visited listed first.

All sites – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
ancestry.com – 15.3 million | 4.9 million | 3.1
myfamily.com – 6.66 million | 987,000 | 6.7
familysearch.org – 3.02 million | 990,000 | 3.1
myheritage.com – 2.47 million | 923,000 | 2.7
genealogy.com – 2.19 million | 1.16 million | 1.9
findagrave.com – 1.72 million | 643,000 | 2.7
rootsweb.com – 1.43 million | 687,000 | 2.1
geni.com – 1.34 million | 397,000 | 3.4
footnote.com – 1.03 million | 790,000 | 1.3
newspaperarchive.com – 976,000 | 805,000 | 1.2
archives.gov – 822,000 | 677,000 | 1.2
worldvitalrecords.com – 625,000 | 412,000 | 1.5
familylink.com – 546,000 | 308,000 | 1.8  (now familyhistorylink.com)
ancestorhunt.com – 529,000 | 437,000 | 1.2
heritagequestonline.com – 438,000 | 111,000 | 3.9
onegreatfamily.com – 421,000 | 325,000 | 1.3
interment.net – 406,000 | 288,000 | 1.4
genealogytoday.com – 333,000 | 295,000 | 1.1
usgenweb.org – 325,000 | 133,000 | 2.4
usgennet.org – 313,000 | 213,000 | 1.5
accessgenealogy.com – 295,000 | 222,000 | 1.3
cyndislist.com – 269,000 | 183,000 | 1.5
familytreedna.com – 241,000 | 106,000 | 2.3
vitalrec.com – 237,000 | 203,000 | 1.2
ellisisland.org – 229,000 | 149,000 | 1.5
familytreemaker.com – 206,000 | 126,000 | 1.6
deathindexes.com – 190,000 | 136,000 | 1.4
tribalpages.com – 188,000 | 83,900 | 2.2
distantcousin.com – 176,000 | 136,000 | 1.3
searchforancestors.com – 166,000 | 147,000 | 1.1
linkpendium.com – 163,000 | 134,000 | 1.2
cousinconnect.com – 155,000 | 131,000 | 1.2
ancestry.co.uk – 152,000 | 104,000 | 1.5
census-online.com – 149,000 | 94,000 | 1.6
politicalgraveyard.com – 138,000 | 121,000 | 1.1
daddezio.com – 134,000 | 107,000 | 1.3
familybuilder.com – 134,000 | 55,600 | 2.4
genealogybank.com – 134,000 | 134,000 | 1
genwed.com – 134,000 | 104,000 | 1.3
us-census.org – 129,000 | 91,500 | 1.4
familyhistory101.com – 126,000 | 104,000 | 1.2
kindredkonnections.com – 126,000 | 102,000 | 1.2
obitcentral.com – 120,000 | 106,000 | 1.1
gencircles.com – 117,000 | 79,600 | 1.5
ourstory.com – 113,000 | 23,100 | 4.9
censusfinder.com – 107,000 | 87,500 | 1.2
surnameweb.org – 105,000 | 96,100 | 1.1
jewishgen.org – 103,000 | 71,400 | 1.4
genebase.com – 98,300 | 85,800 | 1.1
eogn.com – 97,200 | 46,400 | 2.1
deadfred.com – 97,000 | 76,000 | 1.3
kindredtrails.com – 96,100 | 71,400 | 1.3
familyhistory.com – 87,200 | 72,100 | 1.2
geneanet.org – 80,200 | 41,400 | 1.9
idreamof.com – 78,200 | 60,500 | 1.3
genealogybuff.com – 77,400 | 61,800 | 1.3
stevemorse.org – 73,500 | 53,200 | 1.4
genhomepage.com – 69,800 | 20,500 | 3.4
ancientfaces.com – 68,300 | 55,900 | 1.2
genealogylinks.net – 67,300 | 52,700 | 1.3
searchyourgenealogy.com – 65,500 | 61,000 | 1.1
familytreemagazine.com – 63,400 | 42,900 | 1.5
genealogy.org – 63,400 | 49,400 | 1.4
ancestry.ca – 53,900 | 26,900 | 2
familytreelegends.com – 50,500 | 37,400 | 1.4
immigrantships.net – 46,400 | 38,300 | 1.2
familytree.com – 44,900 | 41,500 | 1.1
ancestralfindings.com – 44,800 | 28,700 | 1.6
olivetreegenealogy.com – 43,900 | 36,700 | 1.2
ellisislandrecords.org – 42,800 | 39,500 | 1.1
storyofmylife.com – 42,800 | 5,770 | 7.4
dnaancestryproject.com – 41,100 | 38,900 | 1,1
obitsarchive.com – 37,500 | 23,200 | 1.6
ancestry.com.au – 35,200 | 29,500 | 1.2
familydeathrecords.com – 34,800 | 33,000 | 1.1
familybirthrecords.com – 34,500 | 31,200 | 1.1
legacyfamilytree.com – 32,700 | 20,900 | 1.6
newspaperabstracts.com – 30,300 | 26,100 | 1.2
theshipslist.com – 29,500 | 18,300 | 1.6
familymarriagerecords.com – 28,600 | 25,000 | 1.1
family-reunion.com – 28,400 | 25,800 | 1.1
geneasearch.com – 26,900 | 22,300 | 1.2
genetree.com – 25,000 | 7,070 | 3.5
rootsmagic.com – 24,600 | 14,400 | 1.7
genealogysearch.org – 24,200 | 20,000 | 1.2
familytreeguide.com – 24,100 | 23,600 | 1
findmypast.com – 23,900 | 17,100 | 1.4
raogk.org – 22,100 | 13,000 | 1.7
gendir.com – 20,600 | 19,300 | 1.1
smgf.org – 20,000 | 12,900 | 1.6
worldroots.com – 18,900 | 17,800 | 1.1
webtree.com – 17,400 | 11,900 | 1.5
noktree.com – 13,900 | 11,500 | 1.2
ancestorguide.com – 13,800 | 10,400 | 1.3
kincafe.com – 13,500 | 10,500 | 1.3
uftree.com – 13,100 | 12,700 | 1
familysearchlabs.org – 12,800 | 5,700 | 2.2
ancquest.com – 12,000 | 3,650 | 3.3
familytreesearcher.com – 11,500 | 11,300 | 1
itsourtree.com – 11,500 | 7,140 | 1.6
23andme.com – 10,400 | 8,590 | 1.2
everton.com – 10,100 | 7,650 | 1.3
allvitalrecords.com – 8,940 | 7,020 | 1.3
lineages.com – 8,870 | 8,410 | 1.1
dearmyrtle.com – 8,780 | 7,160 | 1.2
dnaheritage.com – 8,430 | 4,660 | 1.8
makemyfamilytree.com – 8,080 | 8,080 | 1
werelate.org – 7,210 | 6,330 | 1.1
progenygenealogy.com – 6,210 | 6,210 | 1
famiva.com – 6,060 | 3,360 | 1.8
genesreunited.com – 6,060 | 4,080 | 1.5
phpgedview.net – 5,870 | 5,600 | 1
kindo.com – 5,530 | 4,940 | 1.1
rootssearch.net – 5,010 | 3,300 | 1.5
yourfamily.com – 5,010 | 4,590 | 1.1
whollygenes.com – 4,780 | 4,530 | 1.1
gjenvick.com – 4,690 | 4,450 | 1.1
familychronicle.com – 4,540 | 4,540 | 1
familymilitaryrecords.com – 3,810 | 3,420 | 1.1
raynorshyn.com – 3,630 | 3,630 | 1
accessible.com – 3,470 | 1,940 | 1.8
genealogy-search-advice.com – 3,380 | 3,050 | 1.1
gensource.com – 3,320 | 3,040 | 1.1
familycensusrecords.com – 3,290 | 3,290 | 1
genealogue.com – 3,160 | 3,160 | 1
deathrecordsobituarysearch.com – 3,090 | 2,800 | 1.1
wikitree.org – 3,010 | 3,010 | 1
amiglia.com – 3,000 | 2,480 | 1.2
genserv.com – 3,000 | 1,630 | 1.8
ged4web.com – 2,520 | 2,010 | 1.3
onefamilytree.com – 2,270 | 1,360 | 1.7
clooz.com – 2,140 | 1,660 | 1.3
mortalityschedules.com – 2,080 | 1,720 | 1.2
sharedtree.com – 2,040 | 2,040 | 1
lifeonrecord.com – 2,000 | 2,000 | 1
ancestryconnections.com – 1,690 | 1,600 | 1.1
ancestrymagazine.com – 1,640 | 1,640 | 1
leisterpro.com – 1,600 | 1,600 | 1
genbox.com – 1,180 | 932 | 1.3
starkeffect.com – 897 | 897 | 1
yourpastconnections.com – 890 | 453 | 2
mudcreeksoftware.com – 701 | 701 | 1
ancestralauthor.com – 663 | 663 | 1
famtreesoftware.com – 545 | 545 | 1
gedhtree.com – 447 | 447 | 1
macgenealogy.org – 354 | 354 | 1
genealogyguys.com – 315 | 315 | 1
geditcom.com – 217 | 217 | 1
dorotree.com – 182 | 182 | 1
family-historian.co.uk – 182 | 182 | 1
pedigreesoft.com – 182 | 182 | 1
thoughtfulcreations.com – 120 | 120 | 1
famillion.com – 106 | 106 | 1
bkwin.com – 0 | 0 | 0
famware.com – 0 | 0 | 0
gendesigner.com – 0 | 0 | 0
myheredis.com – 0 | 0 | 0
pastplaces.com – 0 | 0 | 0
winfamily.com – 0 | 0 | 0
zooof.com – 0 | 0 | 0
genealogy-software-review.com – no data
genuki.org – no data
livinggenealogy.com – no data

Blogs / Podcasts / News

This category includes top-level domains that contain family history related blogs, podcasts, or primarily contain news.  My lists of blogs is not very complete and does not contain blogs that do not have their own domain name.  (Because traffic data for blogs hosted on other sites is not available).

Blogs / Podcasts / News

Blogs / Podcasts / News

Here is the data for the Blogs / Podcasts / News category:

Blogs / Podcasts / News – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
eogn.com – 97,200 | 46,400 | 2.1
olivetreegenealogy.com – 43,900 | 36,700 | 1.2
dearmyrtle.com – 8,780 | 7,160 | 1.2
genealogue.com – 3,160 | 3,160 | 1
genealogyguys.com – 315 | 315 | 1

Community

Sites in this category primarily offer a community for family historians or genealogists, rather than being a search-based or social networking site.

Community

Community

Here is the data for the Community category:

Community – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
genealogy.com – 2.19 million | 1.16 million | 1.9
rootsweb.com – 1.43 million | 687,000 | 2.1
usgennet.org – 313,000 | 213,000 | 1.5
cousinconnect.com – 155,000 | 131,000 | 1.2
daddezio.com – 134,000 | 107,000 | 1.3
us-census.org – 129,000 | 91,500 | 1.4
jewishgen.org – 103,000 | 71,400 | 1.4
geneanet.com – 80,200 | 41,400 | 1.9
genhomepage.com – 69,800 | 20,500 | 3.4
familytree.com – 44,900 | 41,500 | 1.1
family-reunion.com – 28,400 | 25,800 | 1.1
raogk.org – 22,100 | 13,000 | 1.7
gendir.com – 20,600 | 19,300 | 1.1
lineages.com – 8,870 | 8,410 | 1.1
makemyfamilytree.com – 8,080 | 8,080 | 1
werelate.org – 7,210 | 6,330 | 1.1
yourfamily.com – 5,010 | 4,590 | 1.1
genealogy-search-advice.com – 3,380 | 3,050 | 1.1
genuki.org – no data

Directories

Sites in this category are primarily lists of links to other sites.

Directories

Directories

Here is the raw data for the Directories category:

Directories – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
usgenweb.org – 325,000 | 133,000 | 2.4
accessgenealogy.com – 295,000 | 222,000 | 1.3
cyndislist.com – 269,000 | 183,000 | 1.5
linkpendium.com – 163,000 | 134,000 | 1.2
census-online.com – 149,000 | 94,000 | 1.6
familyhistory101.com – 126,000 | 104,000 | 1.2
kindredtrails.com – 96,100 | 71,400 | 1.3
genhomepage.com – 69,800 | 20,500 | 3.4
genealogylinks.net – 67,300 | 52,700 | 1.3
geneasearch.com – 26,900 | 22,300 | 1.2
genealogysearch.org – 24,200 | 20,000 | 1.2
gendir.com – 20,600 | 19,300 | 1.1
gensource.com – 3,320 | 3,040 | 1.1

DNA

This category includes sites that focus primarily on DNA-based research.

DNA

DNA

Here is the raw data for the DNA category:

DNA – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
familytreedna.com – 241,000 | 106,000 | 2.3
genebase.com – 98,300 | 85,800 | 1.1
dnaancestryproject.com – 41,100 | 38,900 | 1,1
smgf.org – 20,000 | 12,900 | 1.6
23andme.com – 10,400 | 8,590 | 1.2
dnaheritage.com – 8,430 | 4,660 | 1.8

Magazines

These are sites that are associated with a printed magazine focused on family history.

Magazines

Magazines

Here is the actua traffic data for the Magazines category:

Magazines – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
familytreemagazine.com – 63,400 | 42,900 | 1.5
everton.com – 10,100 | 7,650 | 1.3
familychronicle.com – 4,540 | 4,540 | 1
ancestrymagazine.com – 1,640 | 1,640 | 1

Online Family Trees

In this category, I include sites whose primary focus is in allowing users to either create or upload their family tree to the site and then share with others.  There is a fair bit of overlap between this category and the Social/Family Networking category, but sites in this category put more emphasis on publishing a tree than on sharing other types of information.

Online Family Trees

Online Family Trees

Here is the actual data for the Online Family Trees category:

Online Family Trees – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
ancestry.com – 15.3 million | 4.9 million | 3.1
myheritage.com – 2.47 million | 923,000 | 2.7
genealogy.com – 2.19 million | 1.16 million | 1.9
rootsweb.com – 1.43 million | 687,000 | 2.1
geni.com – 1.34 million | 397,000 | 3.4
familylink.com – 546,000 | 308,000 | 1.8  (now familyhistorylink.com)
ancestry.co.uk – 152,000 | 104,000 | 1.5
onegreatfamily.com – 421,000 | 325,000 | 1.3
tribalpages.com – 188,000 | 83,900 | 2.2
kindredkonnections.com – 126,000 | 102,000 | 1.2
gencircles.com – 117,000 | 79,600 | 1.5
geneanet.org – 80,200 | 41,400 | 1.9
ancestry.ca – 53,900 | 26,900 | 2
ancestry.com.au – 35,200 | 29,500 | 1.2
genetree.com – 25,000 | 7,070 | 3.5
familytreeguide.com – 24,100 | 23,600 | 1
findmypast.com – 23,900 | 17,100 | 1.4
worldroots.com – 18,900 | 17,800 | 1.1
webtree.com – 17,400 | 11,900 | 1.5
noktree.com – 13,900 | 11,500 | 1.2
kincafe.com – 13,500 | 10,500 | 1.3
genesreunited.com – 6,060 | 4,080 | 1.5
kindo.com – 5,530 | 4,940 | 1.1
wikitree.org – 3,010 | 3,010 | 1
amiglia.com – 3,000 | 2,480 | 1.2
onefamilytree.com – 2,270 | 1,360 | 1.7
pedigreesoft.com – 182 | 182 | 1
famillion.com – 106 | 106 | 1
zooof.com – 0 | 0 | 0

Search Records

This category includes sites focused mainly on searching of historical documents or records.

Search

Search

And here is the actual data for the Search category:

Search – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
ancestry.com – 15.3 million | 4.9 million | 3.1
familysearch.org – 3.02 million | 990,000 | 3.1
genealogy.com – 2.19 million | 1.16 million | 1.9
findagrave.com – 1.72 million | 643,000 | 2.7
rootsweb.com – 1.43 million | 687,000 | 2.1
footnote.com – 1.03 million | 790,000 | 1.3
newspaperarchive.com – 976,000 | 805,000 | 1.2
archives.gov – 822,000 | 677,000 | 1.2
worldvitalrecords.com – 625,000 | 412,000 | 1.5
ancestorhunt.com – 529,000 | 437,000 | 1.2
heritagequestonline.com – 438,000 | 111,000 | 3.9
onegreatfamily.com – 421,000 | 325,000 | 1.3
interment.net – 406,000 | 288,000 | 1.4
genealogytoday.com – 333,000 | 295,000 | 1.1
vitalrec.com – 237,000 | 203,000 | 1.2
ellisisland.org – 229,000 | 149,000 | 1.5
deathindexes.com – 190,000 | 136,000 | 1.4
distantcousin.com – 176,000 | 136,000 | 1.3
searchforancestors.com – 166,000 | 147,000 | 1.1
ancestry.co.uk – 152,000 | 104,000 | 1.5
politicalgraveyard.com – 138,000 | 121,000 | 1.1
genealogybank.com – 134,000 | 134,000 | 1
genwed.com – 134,000 | 104,000 | 1.3
us-census.org – 129,000 | 91,500 | 1.4
kindredkonnections.com – 126,000 | 102,000 | 1.2
obitcentral.com – 120,000 | 106,000 | 1.1
censusfinder.com – 107,000 | 87,500 | 1.2
surnameweb.org – 105,000 | 96,100 | 1.1
deadfred.com – 97,000 | 76,000 | 1.3
familyhistory.com – 87,200 | 72,100 | 1.2
geneanet.org – 80,200 | 41,400 | 1.9
idreamof.com – 78,200 | 60,500 | 1.3
genealogybuff.com – 77,400 | 61,800 | 1.3
stevemorse.org – 73,500 | 53,200 | 1.4
searchyourgenealogy.com – 65,500 | 61,000 | 1.1
genealogy.org – 63,400 | 49,400 | 1.4
ancestry.ca – 53,900 | 26,900 | 2
immigrantships.net – 46,400 | 38,300 | 1.2
ancestralfindings.com – 44,800 | 28,700 | 1.6
olivetreegenealogy.com – 43,900 | 36,700 | 1.2
ellisislandrecords.org – 42,800 | 39,500 | 1.1
obitsarchive.com – 37,500 | 23,200 | 1.6
ancestry.com.au – 35,200 | 29,500 | 1.2
familydeathrecords.com – 34,800 | 33,000 | 1.1
familybirthrecords.com – 34,500 | 31,200 | 1.1
newspaperabstracts.com – 30,300 | 26,100 | 1.2
theshipslist.com – 29,500 | 18,300 | 1.6
familymarriagerecords.com – 28,600 | 25,000 | 1.1
genealogysearch.org – 24,200 | 20,000 | 1.2
findmypast.com – 23,900 | 17,100 | 1.4
ancestorguide.com – 13,800 | 10,400 | 1.3
familytreesearcher.com – 11,500 | 11,300 | 1
allvitalrecords.com – 8,940 | 7,020 | 1.3
rootssearch.net – 5,010 | 3,300 | 1.5
gjenvick.com – 4,690 | 4,450 | 1.1
familymilitaryrecords.com – 3,810 | 3,420 | 1.1
accessible.com – 3,470 | 1,940 | 1.8
familycensusrecords.com – 3,290 | 3,290 | 1
deathrecordsobituarysearch.com – 3,090 | 2,800 | 1.1
genserv.com – 3,000 | 1,630 | 1.8
mortalityschedules.com – 2,080 | 1,720 | 1.2
ancestryconnections.com – 1,690 | 1,600 | 1.1
yourpastconnections.com – 890 | 453 | 2
pastplaces.com – 0 | 0 | 0

Social / Family Networking

This category includes sites that could be called “social networking” sites and whose primary purpose is to post/share information with other family members.  These sites are also typically newer sites with more dynamic user interfaces, referred to as “Web 2.0″ sites.

Social / Family Networking

Social / Family Networking

Here is the actual data for this category:

Social/Family Networking – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
ancestry.com – 15.3 million | 4.9 million | 3.1
myfamily.com – 6.66 million | 987,000 | 6.7
myheritage.com – 2.47 million | 923,000 | 2.7
geni.com – 1.34 million | 397,000 | 3.4
tribalpages.com – 188,000 | 83,900 | 2.2
familybuilder.com – 134,000 | 55,600 | 2.4
ourstory.com – 113,000 | 23,100 | 4.9
ancientfaces.com – 68,300 | 55,900 | 1.2
storyofmylife.com – 42,800 | 5,770 | 7.4
genetree.com – 25,000 | 7,070 | 3.5
kincafe.com – 13,500 | 10,500 | 1.3
itsourtree.com – 11,500 | 7,140 | 1.6
famiva.com – 6,060 | 3,360 | 1.8
kindo.com – 5,530 | 4,940 | 1.1
amiglia.com – 3,000 | 2,480 | 1.2
lifeonrecord.com – 2,000 | 2,000 | 1
livinggenealogy.com – no data

Software / Tools

The final category includes sites focused primarily on genealogy software or tools.  Note that comparing web traffic for these sites doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about the market share or prevalence of the associated software products.

Software / Tools

Software / Tools

Finally, here is the raw traffic data for the Software/Tools category:

Software/Tools – visits/mo | uniques/mo | avg-visits/mo
familysearch.org – PAF – 3.02 million | 990,000 | 3.1
myheritage.com – 2.47 million | 923,000 | 2.7
genealogy.com – Family Tree Maker – 2.19 million | 1.16 million | 1.9
familytreemaker.com – 206,000 | 126,000 | 1.6
familytreelegends.com – 50,500 | 37,400 | 1.4
legacyfamilytree.com – 32,700 | 20,900 | 1.6
rootsmagic.com – 24,600 | 14,400 | 1.7
uftree.com – 13,100 | 12,700 | 1
familysearchlabs.org – 12,800 | 5,700 | 2.2
ancquest.com – Ancestral Quest, PAFWiz – 12,000 | 3,650 | 3.3
progenygenealogy.com – 6,210 | 6,210 | 1
phpgedview.net – 5,870 | 5,600 | 1
whollygenes.com – 4,780 | 4,530 | 1.1
raynorshyn.com – 3,630 | 3,630 | 1
ged4web.com – 2,520 | 2,010 | 1.3
clooz.com – 2,140 | 1,660 | 1.3
leisterpro.com – 1,600 | 1,600 | 1
genbox.com – 1,180 | 932 | 1.3
starkeffect.com – 897 | 897 | 1
mudcreeksoftware.com – 701 | 701 | 1
ancestralauthor.com – 663 | 663 | 1
famtreesoftware.com – 545 | 545 | 1
gedhtree.com – 447 | 447 | 1
macgenealogy.org – 354 | 354 | 1
geditcom.com – 217 | 217 | 1
dorotree.com – 182 | 182 | 1
family-historian.co.uk – 182 | 182 | 1
thoughtfulcreations.com – 120 | 120 | 1
bkwin.com – 0 | 0 | 0
famware.com – 0 | 0 | 0
gendesigner.com – 0 | 0 | 0
myheredis.com – 0 | 0 | 0
winfamily.com – 0 | 0 | 0
genealogy-software-review.com – no data

Read Full Post »

Well, here we go.  I’m going to start this blog with a post talking about why I love family history so much and why I’ve decided to start a blog.

The first thing to share about myself is that I’m outrageously passionate about my own family history.  Oddly enough, family history and genealogy seem to be hobbies that people don’t get involved in half-heartedly.  It seems that everyone I hear about who is interested in family history could qualify as being obsessed.  I certainly fall into that category.

Why is this?  Why don’t most of us just list genealogy as yet another interest in a long list?  Why does it grab us the way it does and then try to steal every minute of free time that we have?

The easy answer might be that it’s because of our personality type.  The sort of person that is attracted to family history to start with tends to be the sort of detail-oriented person who gets excited about collecting and cataloging family data and information.

But I believe that the passion goes a little deeper than this.  Most of us who get interested in genealogy start out by being passionate about history in general.  Then, as we start collecting information about our own ancestors and we see where they fit into an historical narrative, history comes alive for us.  We start with the stories about our parents or grandparents that we’ve heard over the years and we then imagine these stories playing out in the times and places that we read about in history books.

And because of our connection to our ancestors—a very permanent and direct connection–we become suddenly connected with history itself.  And this connection draws us back into history in a way that no history book ever can.  It’s as if the two-dimensional characters in the history books have become three-dimensional, fleshed out with names and faces that we know personally.  Some would say that it’s even as if we go back in time ourselves, to live within our ancestors and see history as they themselves saw it.

So this passion is more than just a compulsion to collect, organize and publish our family data.  It has more to do with touching some sort of energy that spans time and makes us all the same, regardless of what century we live in.  It’s about feeling this energy inside of ourselves and realizing that we are just another actor in this ongoing story.  And as we celebrate our ancestors’ lives and everything that they learned and love, we learn to celebrate our own lives with the same spirit, knowing that we come from them and that they are somehow still a part of us.

If we have children of our own, all of these family stories and the arc of our ancestors’ lives inspire us to live out the stories of a new generation.  We have a sense of what it means for someone to live out a long life, rich in love, and so we do our best to live our own lives as richly as possible and pass that same love on to our children.

I confess that I’ve been completely consumed with this passion for family history, as many of us have.  I grew up hearing so many wonderful stories about my grandparents and their families—and their stories made the past that they lived in come alive for me.  I’m doing my best now to preserve what I’ve heard by gathering up these stories and photos, so that these ancestors won’t be entirely forgotten when my own generation has passed on.  And, sooner rather than later, I need to start collecting the stories of my own generation, to pass them on to my children.

I’ve decided to start blogging because of my great passion for all of this.  I want to share my passion with others out there who feel as I do about the joy that we get from engaging in this pastime.  I have so many ideas about ways that we can collect, enjoy, and share all of these memories.  I’m very eager to share them with others and to in turn gather new ideas that will help me do an even better job of preserving and sharing our precious family heritage.

These stories and this energy that we get from our ancestors is our heritage.  It is something that has been passed on to us not just through a packet of photos that we find in a closet, but by virtue of the lives that our ancestors lived and all that they taught us.  If we honor them, we will cherish these memories and do our best to preserve them.  We have become our parents generation, and we have in turn become the keepers of these memories and of all that they taught us.  For my part, I honor my family members who are no longer with us.  And I in turn feel honored to be able to pass what I know of them on to my own children and to the next generation.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.