UCB Libraries


Evaluating Genealogical Web Sites

The Internet can help find that long lost cousin by using the available online telephone directories, genealogical Web sites, and public records. It is a great information tool. A genealogist can consult with newsgroups and surf the many Web sites for clues. What it cannot do is provide the perfectly researched and verified family history in one convenient Web page. Be critical and cautious when selecting information and/or products from cyberspace.

Compiled by Deborah Hollis, Associate Prof./Head of Special Collections

Phone: 303.492.28834


CU Boulder Resources

Front Range Resources

Human Resources

Web Resources

Evaluating Web Sites

Family Photograph Albums


Evaluating Web sites




Note the author, publisher, or producer of the web page.

  • Is there any information about the author/company?
  • Are the persons or organizations credentials provided?
  • If it is someones family history page, do they document or provide proof of their claims? [e.g. scanned images of land records, etc.]

Contact information

Is an email address or phone and address available for direct contact?


Maintenance, stability, currency

Is the web page updated frequently? Are there any broken links?

  • Is a date of last revision posted?


Has the site been rated or reviewed? Is this information available at the web site?

  • Has anyone, e.g. a genealogical group reviewed the web site?

Note the domain name





  • Is a commercial site interested in selling a product?
  • Is it an organization that has a reputation of conducting sound genealogical research or providing e.g. good book titles?
  • Note that not all .edu extensions are affiliated with accredited colleges/universities. It could also be someones personal web page at a university.

Issues to consider



Do the math!

Could the son possibly be married 11 years after the father was born?

Remember to verify, verify, verify. You cannot assume that others have verified names, dates, and records, just because it is on the Web. Be critical of the information you find in cyberspace.