Thursday, May 9, 2013

#NGS2013 - Online Tools for Genealogists

Barbara Ann RenickBarbara Ann Renick presented “Online Tools for Genealogists” at the 2013 annual conference of the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

Renick is secretary for the NGS board of directors and authored Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family’s History and Heritage.

In her session titled “Online Tools for Genealogists” she spoke on “seven types of online tools genealogists find helpful: language and handwriting, time and calendar, geographic and map, history and background information, help and educational, utilities, and locator tools.”

One of the tools she mentioned was the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), a national gazetteer.

“All of you pay your taxes and you deserve to get something back,” she said. GNIS is produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS)

GNIS includes not just current place names but historic names as well. I used this capability recently. I wanted to visit the Happy Valley Cemetery in Oswego County, New York. I couldn’t find it on any map (and I didn’t think to use Find-A-Grave.) I searched on GNIS and found it easily. With an additional click I had it plotted on a map.

Renick has published links to the online tools on her Z Links page,

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