Genealogist’s Tool Kit

detective-cat-and-dogWhen hot on the trail of an ancestor, we all need good solid tool box where we can go to help us find the documents and answers we need. This page is designed as just that for me.  I have tried several places to keep track of my “go to list” for helpful genealogy websites, pinterest has been helpful. As of today, I have 150 links to genealogy aids as well as technology information. I have been lucky enough to have some great mentors and well as being able to take some excellent classes that has helped to build my list.  However, I would like to be able to organize them by state and subject so it just makes since to have one spot where I can accomplish this. If you have any favorites that you are willing to share please feel free to list them in the comments as well as why you like them. I expect this page to evolve with time as I continue to add to it with my research.


Social Security Master Death List – a great resource for finding death information.


The Legal Genealogist – This site is so much more that information about legal documents in genealogy, she has tips for DNA research, personal research stories. The site is written by Judy G. Russell, JD. It is a must read for me.

Moultrie Creek Gazette – “Tech Support for the Family Historian” by Denis Olson. I love this blog, I read it, I save it.  I has helped me to understand various apps for my Macbook and iMac computers, as well as my iPad and iPhone. I can’t recommend it enough.



National Institute of Health – Genetic Home Reference

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

Kitty Cooper’s Blog


23andMe has a great ethnicity chromosome browser and ethnicity estimates. They also include a nice summary of how some of the markers tested can affect your health giving results personal to you! They also do SNP testing of mtDNA and yDNA to give you your maternal and paternal haplogroups along with your atDNA/xDNA matches of others who have tested with this site.

AncestryDNA has some great tools that will show you where they think your DNA matches fit into your tree, locations of your matches, and lists matches shared by you and the match you are looking at. They also allow you to make private and hidden trees based on a specific match (mirror trees) to help you determine where you are related to others which is essential when helping adoptees.

FamilyTreeDNA will test your atDNA/xDNA, yDNA or mtDNA. They provide a chromosome browser, large collection of surname groups, and some nice resources including migration maps, certificates, easy access to results pages and allows you to transfer raw data to their site from other testing companies so you can get more matches for a lower price than if you took the tests separately.

French-Canadian Resources:

American-French Genealogical Society – Surnames Anglicization

Rootsweb – Family Names and Nicknames in Colonial Québec “dit” names

FamilySearch Apps:

Hope Chest – Works with Familysearch to help you find ancestors who need more information or ordinance work.


The National Archives – “Reading Old Handwriting”

Historical Documents 

Charters of Freedom – High resolution images


Massachusetts Historical Society – founded in 1791 the society is a great source for early America


Michigan Genealogical Council – listings of genealogical, family history society or family associations. Lists the societies by county. Also contains of list of research tools for Michigan.


Naming Practice Guide –  This guide is produced by the United Kingdom, to help with naming practices around the world.


Chronicling America – “American Newspapers 1836-1922, US Newspaper Directory of Newspapers published between 1690- present.

Google Newspapers is link to newspapers, the newspapers are listed in alphabetical order by name, so you’ll need to know what paper you are looking for first.

Photo books:

Shutterfly – they print quality books, but they are pricey. They are delivered in a nice decorative storage box.  The pages a nice weight.

Mixbook – Although I haven’t ordered from them yet, they are on my list to try.

Pint Size Productions – I am really excited to try this printer out for Christmas this year.  My 3 grand daughters are 3 and under.  I am hoping by creating each of them a special book about their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents it will help to draw the family together.

Research Logs:

FamilySearch Research Logs, A Tool for Organizing Your Research by G. David Ditts, AG

Revolutionary War:

Sons of Liberty – Massachusetts Historical Society page listing the Sons of Liberty.

Writing Your Family History:

Online Storybooking Tips : 20 questions to ask when writing your grandparents history. Some unusual questions to think about when interviewing your grandparents.

Write Your Family History – Fifty questions to think about when writing your family history.

2 responses to “Genealogist’s Tool Kit”

  1. I cannot find the December DNA Support Group, so I can re-listen to it. I missed it. Sick with viral bronchitis and asthma.

    Will you please give seminars on how to upload to myheritage, ancestry, genmatch, etc., in future webinars. You are the only reason I joined UGA.

    I missed the one other seminar, too, because I live in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah, USA. It is too far for me to come.

    How does one find the info from your wonderful seminar Saturday, 30 March 2016, at the South Davis County Family History Fair. Is is a recording like the UGA ones. I asked all this because I am visually impaired.

    Thank you.

    • The DNA Special Interest Group December Presentation should now be posted under the “DNA Interest Group” Page on

      My presentations at South Davis Family History Fair Last year were not recorded. If you have some specific questions about the materials I posted, you can email me at

      I hope this helps!

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