Keeping up with Websites

Staying Organized

In my researching, I Google quite often. I come across many different websites in doing so. Some I may want to revisit. I was losing track of these websites, since I’d scribble down the address, or hope that it would print at the bottom of the page from the site. This was starting to become stressful as the amount of extra websites began to add up.

I needed a way to keep track of all the websites I visited or needed to reference again. So, I created a table in Google Docs to keep all of them on. It’s rather simple, and perhaps there is a better way to keep track. This way is easy for me to see location of what what the website covers, the web address with link, why I am linking it, and what surnames are associated with that area.

The location is essential. I start with the State, or country if applicable (but most of my research is in the States so far.) That is the first column. I have this one alphabetized for ease of search. The next column is a link to the site – in full. If it’s a search page, I’ll often link that one. Some state archives, you have to dig to find the links you need get to the databases. A direct link helps me find what I need quickly.

The third column is the largest. It holds the information on why I am linking this site. I include the site name or owner such as Illinois State Archives. Then I might add what holdings online I am most interested in. For the Illinois State Archives, I am most interested in the marriage and death index. These have listings for Adams County where my ancestors lived. Other indexes do not cover Adams County, so I don’t need to know about them.

In this column I will also include what time frame the database covers, how much information is included, or if there are other collections of interest. The heading I gave this column is “What’s on it”. This is a quick way for me to know why I need this link.

The last column I have for my Website List is for the surnames that are associated with this link. They might have lived in the area. It might be a link to military rosters or about the regiment they were in. It might be a link to another family website. Having this column lets me know who I might be able to find information about. Going by states, it’s interesting to see our different sides of the family living so close to each other.

Under the table, I list other important Genealogy websites that have a broader reach. These include subscription sites (there are many of them!), book sites, and places that have webinars and other learning materials.

Having this table has helped me keep my websites organized and at a quick reference on my web browser.

What ways do you use to keep up with the web links you compile?

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