Raising Kids Parent Soup
This high-traffic, eclectic site is loaded with goodies. Features include
daily live chat, an online guide, an Answers Now section and Parents' Picks.
And folks with their own pages can link to Parent Soup's "Web Ring" --
a great networking chance.
Parents at Home
Stay-at-home moms and dads will want to check out this site during
those precious nap-time minutes. It's filled with articles addressing the
frustrations and joys of staying home with kids. Plus: forums, recommended
reading, classified ads and links to a global pen-pal network and kid sites.
Parents and Children Together Online
This site is designed to draw parents and kids together in front of
the putty-colored box. Filled with stories and news items designed to be
read aloud by parents, the site also offers Global Campfire, where kids
can add a few paragraphs to a growing, original Net-based story. Plus:
articles on improving kids' reading and writing skills. Excellent links
to other great sites for kids, parents and teachers.
-- Hope Katz Gibbs
Vital Records Information for the United States
Yes, lots of genealogy information is available online, but all family
historians eventually need ink-and-paper documents -- and finding out how
to obtain them can be a huge time sink. At this useful site, click on any
state name and categories will appear for birth, death, marriage and divorce
records. Listed is the agency keeping them, how far back its records reach,
the agency's postal address, telephone number and fees for copies (which
you receive through the U.S. mail). There's also a database of the counties
for almost all U.S. cities, an extremely valuable tool.
Social Security Death Index
One of the fastest ways to find info about a deceased family member,
this is a repository of some 50 million names of people whose deaths were
reported to the Social Security Administra-tion. Listed are birth and death
dates, the city of last residence, Social Security number and more. Armed
with an SSN, you can order a copy of the deceased's Social Security application
(from SSA), a potential info gold mine.
Twenty Ways to Avoid Genealogical Grief
The title says it all: This succinct list of genealogy tips and pitfalls
is useful for any amateur family tree-maker: Interview older relatives
before "they're all gone and you're the older generation"; create a coherent
system for filing all that paper; watch out for important historical changes
in language (for example, in the 17th century a step-son was often called
Meta-site: Cyndi's List
Despite its 60 categories and nearly 19,000 links, the site is well-organized
and cross-referenced, providing easy access to most key genealogy sites
on the Internet for both beginners and experts.
-- Sarah Mark
FINDING LIVE PEOPLE
The Internet is full of sites that claim to list tens of millions of
people, homes, e-mail addresses and so on in the U.S./world/universe; of
those sites, Four11 may have the most comprehensive database, and it lets
you search for a wide variety of information types. (The "celebrity" category
is mostly a sham.) The standard search form is simple and quick, and clicking
on a disgorged name yields the full address.
Simple to use: Choose "Find People" or "Find Businesses." This site
avoids the fancy stuff like reverse directories and sortable street maps,
but one cool feature allows you to search for people in organizations (but
the list of groups is too incomplete to be very useful yet).
The most difficult people-finder site to use, as it seems intent largely
on supporting the company's eponymous phone number CD-ROMs. Cute touch:
testimonials from people who have found their long-lost-whatevers through
This one site provides access to all three major people-finder databases
through a single interface. A handy quick-fill feature allows you to enter
the same query into all the services in one pass.
-- Charles Bermant
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