Genealogy Do-Over: My Research Toolbox


This series of posts are based on the Genealogy Do-Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee. I highly recommend it. 🙂 I just want to say there are parts of this workbook that I am not posting about, so if you would like the full set of tasks, then visit Thomas’ page or purchase the workbook.

This week, I have been taking a little bit of a break from my genealogy. It was partially to do with the holiday and partially because I just needed a little break from it. Throughout the past month or so, I have been working on one of the month five tasks of the Genealogy Do-Over. That is to build a Genealogy Toolbox. I know this toolbox will continue to evolve, so I know I am not looking to “finish” it anytime soon. It’s nice to have everything I might need in one place though. I will just go over the categories I am using right now.

Calculators: All genealogists need calculators. There always seems to be some kind of math needing to be done and I don’t like to hunt around looking for how to do some of those calculations. So I have a calculator folder. Right now, there are only a few links in it, but I don’t really know which calculators I will need until I am researching again.

DNA Websites: I’ve got all the DNA websites at the click of a mouse.

Education: I had a more extensive list of Genealogy Education links at one point but have lost them. Lucky for me I know that DearMYRTLE and her Cousin Russ did a hangout on this very topic, so I plan to re-watch that and rebuild this list!

Locality Resources: These are for the smaller, local websites that I like to use. Sometimes it is just a county or cemetery website. These links don’t fit into my other categories.

Reference Materials: My biggest section! In the main folder I have one link, the CDC page on Where to Write for Vital Records. Then I have subcategories for Analysis, Guides, Historic Terms and Link Websites. There are links to Cyndi’s List, the FamilySearch Wiki, WorldCat, Evidence Explained and many more in this section.

Search Websites: This the second biggest category. It’s for the actual search websites. This one might seem like the biggest at first because it has more subcategories. It’s not though, it probably has less links than my Reference Materials category. I don’t know though because I haven’t counted. I do know that I use the reference section a lot more than the search section right now. As you can see in my screen shot, there are categories for the big sites (Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, etc), cemetery sites (Find a Grave, BillionGraves), Germany, less used sites, Maryland (, New Jersey (State Archives), Ohio. You get the picture, this is for the more “official” locality websites and then the big search websites.

Societies: This is where I am keeping a list of the societies in my local area, the areas where my ancestors lived, and other miscellaneous societies I thought I would need.

Conferences: I haven’t been to a genealogy conference yet, but I am actively researching them. Right now the only link here is Rootstech because I’d love to go to that one day.

Shopping: Right now there is only one link here and I moved my Archival Supplies category into this folder. I have been watching the webinar series given by Melissa Barker over at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. She gives lots of great information on how to archive your documents. She is an archivist so I’m definitely taking lots of notes. Including the websites she recommends to use for purchasing the right supplies.

You might be asking why I didn’t give a more detailed list, well that’s because I am putting the whole list up on this website! It can be found under the My Tools heading in the menu bar or by clicking this link. Feel free to bookmark it if you wish. Just remember that it will be constantly evolving. 🙂

Other Posts in this series:

Source List:

  1. Thomas MacEntee, The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook (Kindle Edition);GeneaBloggers ( : downloaded 31 December 2015), Month 5.

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