April 29, 2022
Back when I started doing genealogy, the internet was in its infancy. I bought a book called something like “Genealogy on the Internet for Dummies” and learned about message boards, mailing lists and websites such as Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. I also learned about Cyndislist, a new way to find online resources.
Message boards and Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness are now things of the past. Cyndislist, however, is still thriving and still useful. Cyndi Ingle, who began the website way back in 1996, visualized her website as a place where genealogists could find links to useful genealogical websites, all easily found in neatly organized categories. It was, and still is, a labor of love for her fellow genealogists and one of the best free websites available.
Whenever I begin research in a new area, topic or type of resource, one of my first steps is to see what Cyndislist has to say about it. Her categories cover the gamut from “Acadian, Cajun and Creole” to “Writing Your Family’s History.” Not to mention everything in between. There are extensive listings for nearly every country you can think of as well as listings for all fifty U.S. states. So far, I’ve always been able to find links for everything I needed. For example, years ago, I learned that one of my ancestral families had immigrated from England to New Zealand. Family lore suggested that the mother of the family died enroute and was buried at sea. I knew nothing about how to find out if the story was true or not. I checked Cyndislist to see what was out there. Under New Zealand, I found a lot of sub-categories, one of which was “Immigration, Emigration and Migration.” Under that heading, there was a link to Family Search’s “New Zealand, Archive. New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839 to 1973”
I quickly found the passenger list for my ancestor. On it was a note stating that the wife had died in childbirth and was buried at sea. A sad story turned out to be true.
I’ve been a staunch supporter of Cyndislist since then. Whenever I need to find a specific piece of information, Cyndislist is the first place I check when I’m not sure how to find it.
Genealogists frequently run into the unexpected when researching. When it happens to you, Cyndislist is the place to start unraveling the mystery. A quick click to (https://www.cyndislist.com/categories/) is all it takes. Even after nearly thirty years, Cyndi Ingle’s labor of love is still helping genealogists.
Cyndi Ingle herself still does all the work to maintain and update her free website. That doesn’t mean that everything she does is at no cost to her. Her out-of-pocket expenses add up. So, if you use her website, donate. Maybe then, Cyndislist will be around for at least another thirty years, helping genealogists break down brick walls.