General Genealogy References

­I learn best by reading (and taking copious notes). Here are our favorite books, browser bookmarks, and other resources you may find useful!

American History

  • See also American Battlefield Trust Maps in Maps Section below.
  • Thirteen Colonies, on wikipedia—population from 1625 to 1775 is particularly useful for context when researching early arrivals.

American Revolutionary War

Archiving Photographs & Documents

  • Canon CanoScan 9000F—”Enjoy high-speed scanning for everything from photos to documents, to even 35mm film while also enjoying superb quality.” We use this scanner for large and small jobs because the time to start scanning after pressing the scan button is practically zero, the image quality is as superb as they say, and it works very well with macOS.
  • Conservation Resources International LLC—”For over 32 years Conservation Resources International has proudly delivered the highest quality conservation and archival storage materials to major institutions dedicated to preserving cultural and historical artifacts worldwide.”


Genealogy – American

  • See also Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 in Maps Section below.
  • See also North Dakota Department of Health Public Death Index in Records Section below.

Genealogy – Canadian

  • Emigration practically considered …, by A. C. Buchanan, 1828—written by the Chief Agent for Emigration in Quebec; provides details of the process including cost, boats, food, supplies, obtaining work and land.
  • Ontario Land Property Records Portal—the Abstract/Parcel Register Book contains registry abstracts, land title parcel registers, registry and land titles, condominium registers, and miscellaneous abstracts containing other title information.
  • See also Tremaine’s Map of the County of Durham, Upper Canada, 1861 in Maps Section below.

Genealogy – Irish

  • See also Irish Townlands in Maps Section below.
  • See also RootsIreland in Records Section below.
  • The Tithe Applotment Books—compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland.

Genealogy Databases

  • American Ancestors—”American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Established in 1845, We are the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. “
  •—”Access the world’s largest online history resource. Get started for free now. Billions of records. Start a free trial! Start discovering today! Services: Family History, Family Trees, DNA Testing, Genealogy Research, Records Search.”
  •—”Discover your family history. Explore the world’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources”

Genealogy Resources

  • Cyndi’s List—”Cyndi’s List has been a trusted genealogy research site for more than 20 years. Cyndi’s List is free for everyone to use and it is meant to be your starting point when researching online.”

Genealogy Standards

  • Genealogy Standards, Second Edition, by Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2019—”Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family’s history would be fiction. This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results.”

Georgia History

  • Ray City History Blog—”an incomplete sketch of the people, places, and historic events of Ray City, Georgia. A local history project of the Ray City Community Library.” Essential to learning about our Knight branch.


  • Historical Atlases and Maps of U.S. and States—shows “all of the county boundary changes” year by year. This is vital to understanding which counties existed in a particular year, which counties formed from other counties, and therefore where records might exist. The interactive map of U.S. State formation provides very useful perspective.
  • Irish Townlands—search for a townland, civil parish, barony, electoral division or county in Ireland based on data in OpenStreetMap.
  • Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920, by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, 1987—”The Map Guide shows county outline maps at ten-year intervals, the old county boundaries being superimposed over the modern lines. These maps are designed for historians, genealogists, and demographers who use the name lists and statistics of the censuses, but will help anyone seeking some sense of county boundary changes.” This is also an interesting history book in its own right, illustrating in maps the expansion of the U.S. from sea to shining sea.
  • Old Maps Online—”the easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world.” Unless we know where, it is hard to interpret the who, what, when, and why.
  • Tremaine’s Map of the County of Durham, Upper Canada, 1861, drawn by John Shier Esq. P.L.S. C.E., assisted by Mr. John F. Ward, published by Geo. C. Tremaine, Toronto—map of the townships of Cartwright, Cavan, Clarke, Darlington, Hope, and Manvers. Note: The high resolution, digital version of this map was kindly provided to us by the University of Toronto Libraries, Map and Data Library.


On-Line Libraries

  • Chronicling America—”Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.”


  • RootsIreland—”offers a unique database of more than 20 million Irish records. It contains data from 34 county genealogy centers on the island of Ireland. The main sources on the site are Irish Catholic and other (denomination) church records of baptisms, marriages and deaths which are the most important source for tracing Irish ancestry.”


Software (we actually use)

  • NextGEN Gallery [WordPress website supporting plugins]—”The most popular gallery plugin ever built for WordPress. Manage, display, proof, and sell photos like a pro.” The Family Photos portion of this website is built with NextGEN Gallery. We also use their Lightroom Plugin to publish photos to the website.
  • Paste [macOS]—”Paste automatically keeps everything you copied regardless of its format so that you can quickly access things that you’ve copied in the past.” Indispensable copy-and-paste tool!
  • SnippetsLab [macOS]—”a full-featured, professional code snippets manager. It helps you create your personal code library, keeps everything impeccably organized, and always at the ready for use”. Though designed for software developers, equally useful for genealogy—create and copy-and-paste templates of text for use in family trees, DNA records, reports, and other documents.
  • Zotero [macOS, Windows, and Linux]—”Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.” Mendeley [macOS, Windows, and Linux] is an alternative. Tired of forgetting where you saved the vital records for an ancestor, or forgetting how a browser bookmark is associated with an ancestor? As you progress beyond copying ancestors from others’ trees, to doing your own original research, you will need something like this.

Virginia History

  • A Guidebook to Virginia’s Historical Markers, compiled by Scott David Arnold—”Including nearly nine hundred new and replacement markers that have been installed along the commonwealth’s roadways since the last edition was published in 1994, this third edition of A Guidebook to Virginia’s Historical Markers brings together and updates the texts of more than 1,850 official state historical markers placed along Virginia’s highways since 1927.”
  • Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary, by Martha W. McCartney—”This book brings together a variety of primary sources that inform the reader about Virginia’s earliest European inhabitants and the sparsely populated and fragile communities in which they lived, resulting in the most comprehensive collection of annotated biographical sketches yet published.”