Researching family history is becoming increasingly popular. For many years, gardening was the leading hobby for Americans. While both genealogy and gardening are about digging up roots, it may be that genealogy is taking the lead in popularity.

And perhaps this is because technology has allowed a multitude of records and family information to become available to anyone who has access to a computer. And these days, you don’t even have to own a computer; just mosey on down to your local library and use one there for free.

What follows is a short list of some of the best genealogical websites for 2020 as selected by genealogy experts. There are so many, no doubt it was a difficult choice. If you are just beginning your research or continuing, try these — you can’t go wrong.

The “Biggies”

· Ancestry.com – a subscription site but you can access for free at many libraries, including Lawton’s;

· Find My Past (https://www.findmypast.com).

Records

· Find A Grave (https://www.findagrave.com);

· Black Sheep Ancestors (https://www.blacksheepancestors.com);

States

· Digital Library of Georgia (https://dlg.usg.edu);

· Virginia Memory (https://www.virginiamemory.com);

· Illinois Digital Archives (http://www.idaillinois.org/digital/).

African Americans

· Freedmen’s Bureau Project (http://www.discoverfreedmen.org);

· International Africa American Museum Center for Family History (https://cfh.iaamuseum.org);

· Digital Library on American Slavery (https://library.uncg.edu/slavery/).

Military records

· National Park Service: Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm)

· Daughters of the American Revolution (https://www.dar.org)

· US Department of Veterans Affairs: Nationwide Gravesite Locator (https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov).

UK/Ireland/Scotland

· British National Archives (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk);

· The National Archives of Ireland (https://www.nationalarchives.ie);

Scandinavia

· Danish Records and Registries (https://www.sa.dk/en/services/records-registries/)

· Digital Archives (https://www.digitalarkivet.no/en/);

Europe

· Bremen Passenger Lists (http://www.passengerlists.de);

· Foundation for East European Family History Societies (https://feefhs.org);

Maps

· Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (https://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/);

· David Rumsey Map Collection (https://www.davidrumsey.com/view);

· Historic Map Works (http://www.historicmapworks.com).

Libraries

· Allen County (Indiana) Public Library (https://acpl-cms.wise.oclc.org/genealogy);

· The Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov);

· The New York Public Library Digital Collections (https://digitalcollections.nypl.org).

Historical newspapers

· Chronicling America (https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov);

· Genealogy Disasters (http://www.gendisasters.com);

· Historical Newspaper Archives (https://www.newspapers.com).