GenToday-L Archive

Welcome to GenToday-L

A free genealogy newsletter which contains informative how-to articles on researching ancestors, tips, new books on the market, coming events and queries.

What is the Internet?

The Internet is an international connection of millions of computers that are attached to each other by telephone. No one owns the Internet. Nothing is actually on the Internet. All the information resides on the eleven million computers connection to the Internet. The protocols and connections that allow all of these computers to communicate with each other is the "Internet". To access the "Internet", you need a personal computer, an Internet service provider (ISP) a modem with a phone line connection and software on your computer that allows you to browse the Internet.

For genealogy purposes, you can find queries, mailing lists and newsgroups, library catalogs, genealogy book vendors, GEDCOM files and some source information such as indexes, maps, and some scanned images of primary source documents.

Netiquette: Do not type in caps, it is considered RUDE AND LOOKS LIKE YELLING.

One exception is to type your surnames in caps. When posting a query, place your surnames on the subject line, especially for email. Most people scan their email and will delete everything that they may not be interested in, so it is essential to put your surnames on the subject line so if there is a connection, you will find each other. Tolerance is essential! There are new genealogists online every day and they may not know a lot, so do not flame (insult) them, help them and treat everyone like you want to be treated. There are no stupid questions. We are all here to learn and help each other, so again, tolerance is essential.

Genealogy Scam

Halbert's is at it again! They are offering a "World Book of (whatever your surname is). It is just a glorified telephone book. They have a slick marketing brochure, photos and such, but don't be taken in. People who have sent for this book, thinking it was a genealogy of their family, have not been satisfied because it is not a genealogy. If you read between the lines, it will tell you it is a list of people with your surname around the country. It is the same as opening your own telephone book and looking up your surname in it. Why pay $40-$50 for that?

Tip of the Month

Use Alta Vista search engine ( and put the word family or genealogy or history in front of the surname that you want to look up. Make sure your surname is in quotations. Example: family "farris"

Another Tip

An invaluable source because approximately 97% of the people either lived or worked on farms. In 1850 the chance your ancestor was a farmer is overwhelming. These records will not be filled with names, birth dates and places, etc, but will be a source to determine lineage and relationships.

Early America had inexpensive and readily available land. The greater majority of males who lived to maturity can be found in the land records and these records exist from the very beginning of the first settlements in America. Early land records include the sale of chattel goods, livestock, slaves, servants and indentures. They will include the date the transaction occurred and the date the deed was recorded; the name of grantor(s) and occupation, and at least the first name of the wife, if the seller was married; and place of residence of grantor(s) (especially good if they were new in the area it states where they came from); names of buyer (grantee[s]) and place of residence; sales price and area of land in volved and location of the land and the neighbors.

The Genealogy Lady established the "Genealogy Today" newsletter in April 1997. She answers questions online at, and sells books at her Genealogy Book Store.

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