By Sheila Benedict

Contributing Writer

As promised in my March 2021 column, this month will be devoted to some of the URLs that are important for genealogical and historical researchers to know. 

Most repositories are closed and some of them have limited staffing. Doing online research is becoming an every-hour, everyday occurrence and it is hard to say when that will end. Going to a library, a genealogical or historical society, walking a cemetery that is miles from home, and other usual endeavors, seems a distant memory at this point. 

Under old circumstances, the weather would be an indicator it is time to travel to where your research takes you. That is still not the case. Working online and spending a lot of time in front of the computer is still the way to do research. 

The following might give some ideas and spur you on to work on your family history. Note that this is just a brief list as there are hundreds more based on the city, county, state, or other country where the research should focus. 

The list looks very California centric but many of these sites also include information about places other than just local. It is suggested that regardless where you are researching, you check some of them out on the off chance the locale of interest may be found. Good luck.

Subscription sites: Documents may be included in subscription:;;;

Free sites: Document charges apply; some of these may be offered as part of a subscription:; Fold3:;                                                                             National Genealogical Society: https://www/;
National Archives and Records Administration:;                                Natl. Archives Regionals: SF: OR/Riverside;                   

Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office:;                        Department of Interior, Indian Affairs:

Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley:

California State Library:; CA State Archive:

California Historical Society:;

Online Archive of California:; U of CA Digital Lib:; 

Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society:

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum:

Elverhoj Museum – Solvang:

City/County Record Offices: You need to check by county and some cities; Court records are usually located by county, state and dependent upon the type of record, by federal office. An example is naturalizations as often a local court where the event took place has the information you need rather than at the federal level. Remember to check the URL whenever you are going to a site as they can change often. Be safe and follow guidelines. Until next column …

Sheila Benedict is a professional forensic and family genealogist. She is the author of Research in California, which she wrote in 2015 for the National Genealogical Societies Research in the States Series and writes articles in a variety of genealogical society newsletters and magazines. All words are her own and may not be reproduced without permission.