What is Live Roots all About?

Live Roots is an information resource that assists you with locating genealogical resources, including both those that are accessible online and others which may require assistance from another researcher. Genealogists use Live Roots to find vital records and original publications, share opinions about online repositories and learn more about tools available to simplify their research projects.

In their quest for discovering building their family tree, genealogists appreciate that the saying "leave no stone unturned" frequently applies as certain ancestors elude their repeated research attempts. The concept behind Live Roots was to build a single resource that bridges the gaps between independent web sites, large commercial repositories and printed materials yet to be digitized and published on the World Wide Web. [ List of major collections included ]

While there are vast amounts of genealogical data arriving online on a daily basis, the combined collection of online information is still just a fraction of the records and derivative works created by mankind. Live Roots will not, nor will it ever promise to, capture every available "stone," but it will attempt to keep abreast of new data as it arrives on the Internet.

Live Roots extends beyond the typical bounds of a traditional search engine or link directory by facilitating access to offline records and publications through partnerships with amateur and professional researchers who either own copies or are geographically closer to the libraries and archives that do. When you locate certain documents that have yet to be transcribed and published online, you will have the option to "Ask a LIVE person" for assistance. (Find out more about the live features)

DISCLAIMER: Please do not expect this site to have all the answers -- it's just not possible to achieve 100% coverage of an industry that continues to grow at a remarkable pace. While many genealogy sites boast about the large numbers of links they've captured, the Live Roots team will devote an equal amount of (or perhaps even more) time towards reviewing the quality of the resources catalogued. We will also encourage our visitors to share their opinions of the items that they are most familiar with.

So, what do I see as the most practical benefits of Live Roots?

  1. Finding out if there are any published family histories for a given surname. Both Ancestry and WorldVitalRecords have thousands in their catalogs, and there are several companies that offer reprints of family histories as well.
  2. Finding out what resources exist for a given location. My Italian ancestors landing in the U.S. and rooted themselves in Passaic County, New Jersey. Before Live Roots, my best bet was to track down the Passaic Co. NJ GenWeb site and hope they'd identified where the resources are for that area.
  3. For professional researchers and librarians who likely have subscriptions to all of the major sites already, Live Roots offers a quick way for them to find out who has a given publication online.
  4. I think the "live" aspect will prove to be very interesting over time. Think about needing a New Jersey death certificate (which exist on microfilm in the NJ Archives). Today, you can hunt down the (somewhat confusing) archives web site and see if they offer document retrieval, or you can Google to see if there are any professionals that offer retrieval services for NJ. With Live Roots you'll be able (not initially, but very soon) to browse the actual collections (by microfilm title) and order a search from the specific title that you need.

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