What is the purpose and value of Cyndi's List to an entry or intermediate level genealogist? It simply seems like an endless listing of data without any segmentation. Don't mean to knock the site - this clearly is an issue of the user - me - not understanding how to use the tool....so talk to me like I'm a kindergartener and help me understand...


Perhaps your question can be rephrased as "What value is a card catalogue to a beginning reader?" Like many other sites on the web Cyndi's List (Take care with the spelling) tells you where to find an enormous array of resources related to family history.

To get value from the list you need to be looking for something and to know how to carry out an hierarchical search. (Many search engines operated in the same way in the 1990s but Google has changed the way most of us think about searching).

So imagine taking that kindergartener (you compare yourself to) into a library. Ask what types of books he is interested in, and then see what they have to match that.

From the front page choose Categories and select one (such as Occupations) from the huge list then click to see a shorter list related to that area. To me, Fishermen & Mariners sounds interesting, so see what is behind that. Who knew there was a CANAL-PEOPLE Mailing List, I wonder if there is anything there about the canals in Worcester where one of my ancestor's worked?

Of course, you probably have no interest in Black Country leggers. So follow your own path and who knows what you will find.

  • Thanks to you both. Your feedback make sense and gives me something to go forward with. Kudos...
    – Hausa Mann
    Oct 29 '12 at 3:42

Another way I've found Cyndi's List helpful is when I'm researching a family in a particular state. Under Categories - United States, there is an alphabetical list of States with resources I may not have known about for that state. The same is true for researching an ancestor in a particular country.


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