Some Genealogical Sources on the Internet

by John A. Drobnicki
The following article was originally published in The Polish-American Journal, June 1996. (Several URLs have been updated since the article's original publication, two sites have been deleted, and one has been added.) Copyright © 1996.

There is a great deal of genealogical information available on the Internet. Although the vast majority is of the "how to" variety, as more and more genealogists and researchers become involved with the Internet, there will be more and more specific and searchable databases available.

GENERAL GENEALOGICAL SITES. The United States National Archives makes available many of its catalogs of microfilm holdings at both its gopher site ( and its Web site ( Several Web pages offer jumping-off points to other genealogical sites. Among the best are: The Genealogy Home Page (; The Genealogy Toolbox (; Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet ( ); The National Genealogical Society (; The RAND Genealogy Club ( ); and the University of Toledo Gopher (

Users can also utilize the various Web search engines, such as Yahoo, Lycos, or Excite, which attempt to organize and index the Internet.

Instructions on how to obtain a copy of a large, ongoing publication by Chris Gaunt and John Fuller (such as through WWW, e-mail or FTP), known as "Genealogy Sources on the Internet," are available at

POLISH AND EASTERN EUROPEAN SITES. The Polish Home Page ( offers a great deal of information on Poland's government, economy, and culture, as well as tourist info. A newer site called Polish Homepages is located at, and readers will also want to visit the Internet Community of Poland (, which is entirely in Polish.

FEEFHS, the Federation of East European Family History Societies, has a home page at http:// where one can read their weekly online newsletter ("FEEFHS FrontPage") and find links to many sites and databases, some of which are commercial. Polish genealogist Rafal T. Prinke's home page ( contains some of his many published articles, as well as both genealogical and heraldic information.

LISTSERVS. Listservs are electronic discussion groups which operate through e-mail: a message sent to the list, which is often moderated by the list's owner, is then forwarded to all members of that list. A famous genealogical discussion group is ROOTS-L. To subscribe, send an e-mail to, leave the subject line blank, and include the line: subscribe ROOTS-L firstname lastname as the body of the message. Be advised that ROOTS-L generates well over 100 messages per day.

A listserv devoted to Polish genealogy is GENPOL. To subscribe, send a message to with sub genpol firstname lastname in the body. A listserv devoted to Polish culture is POLAND-L. Send a message to, saying Subscribe POLAND-L firstname lastname.

USENET GROUPS. Usenet groups are electronic bulletin boards where one can post a message, which anyone with a news browser can then read. For genealogists, there are several relevant Usenet groups, such as soc.genealogy.slavic, soc.genealogy.methods, and soc.genealogy.computing.

As anyone who searches the Internet knows, sometimes site addresses change. The above addresses were all valid at press time.

Thanks to William Skeith for the email-hider.

Last modified: Apr. 15, 2014

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