Linkpendium: The Best Genealogy Link Site That You’re Not Using

Even in these days of Google, Bing, and search engine optimization, there’s still a place for a really good curated link site. Not only can they pull together the best-of-the-best, but they can also highlight the gems that otherwise would have remained hidden. For genealogy, my “go to” link site is Linkpendium.

Linkpendium has more than 10 million links to locality and surname site. It is the brainchild of Karen Isaacson and Brian (Wolf) Leverich, the founders of RootsWeb. (So, they’ve been doing this online genealogy thing for quite awhile!)

Linkpendium home page

Linkpendium home page

Locality Section

The site is arranged very logically. I recently started a project that took my research to Washington County, Pennsylvania. I clicked “Pennsylvania genealogy,” and then scrolled down and clicked “Washington County.” (I’ll also want to explore the page with the 882 “Statewide resources” for  Pennsylvania.) Here is a very small portion of what I found:

linkpendium-washington-co-pa

A very small section of the Washington County, Pennsylvania page on Linkpendium.

 

It has the usual suspects, such as databases on Ancestry and FamilySearch. But it also has those wonderful hidden resources that we’re always hoping to find. Things like “Telephone Directory of Bellaire, Bridgeport, Martins Ferry, St. Clairsville, Ohio, 1934” and “Livingston’s Law Register, 1851.” Sure, I might have found those in a Google search…  had I known they existed or thought to look for such a thing.

Surname Section

Be sure to go through the surname pages on Linkpendium. Not only do they have links to websites and blogs about specific surnames, but also links to sources you should be checking out anyway, like the RootsWeb mailing lists and WorldCat. It makes for a very convenient way to cover all of those bases.

Here’s part of the DeBolt page:

Part of the DeBolt page on Linkpendium.

Part of the DeBolt page on Linkpendium.

linkpendium-searchThe Genealogy Search Engine

As if having more than 10 million links wasn’t enough, Linkpendium also has a genealogy search engine that covers 2.6 million web pages. (Those aren’t just any ol’ web pages. Those are web pages that have genealogical information.) On the Linkpendium home page, click the link on the left side of the page that says “Try our new state-by-state search engines.” On other Linkpendium pages, look on the right side of the page.

You can search the entire United States or narrow it to just one state. Search by full names or just the surname.

  • Smith will find pages with Smith
  • John Smith will find pages with John OR Smith
  • “John Smith” (with the quotes) will find pages with John NEAR Smith (handy for pages that have something in between, like a middle name)
  • John -Smith finds pages with John, but NOT Smith

I have noticed that if you’re looking for two surnames on the same page, it’s best to do two searches: once with the quotes and once without.

Results for Debolt in Illinois

Results for Debolt in Illinois

Links sometimes die. The link above for the Labette County, Kansas history is no longer working. But I can see a saved version of the page by clicking on “cached.” Though the links on that page no longer work, I can see that there are several Debolts in History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901. I can go look for that book on Google Books and WorldCat.

Conclusion

A curated list of more than 10 million genealogy links should get our attention! Linkpendium provides genealogists with a convenient way to find sources applicable to their research. Even if you don’t use the link section of Linkpendium, run some searches in the search engine. You never know what you might turn up!

9 thoughts on “Linkpendium: The Best Genealogy Link Site That You’re Not Using

  1. putnamsisters

    Amy,
    Since ancestry took over Rootsweb it has been more and more difficult for me to access my own web page on rootsweb along with the surname and placename lists. Back in the day the contacts made through rootsweb were great. I previouly did random acts of genealogical kindness through rootsweb, something that I enjoyed and would love to get back to. I am glad to see information on this site so that I can reconnect on some of the lists. I believe the correlation of the acquisition of rootsweb by ancestry is directly related to the lack of use on these sites and lists, when I looked at the archives for my interest lists there have been fewer and fewer, starting about 2003. And as you noted some links have died over time.

    Reply
  2. The Intrepid Sleuth

    Hi Amy, Learn something new from you all the time. I had this site bookmarked but had forgotten how resource rich it really is. Thanks!

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  4. caroll mccllure

    thanks Amy for this site info, I am looking forward to using it. I also receive your email, which has been a great help to me. i belong to Ancestry, but their new format has completely messed up some of my families. i have 30 generations on one side and they just wiped it out, I have it all, but it is really confusing and I have told them so. I am writing a history for my children and at 81, I just don’t like being messed with.

    Reply