The Internet
& Webbing Your Family History

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Table of Contents

Page 1 - The Internet (This page)

Page 2 - Webbing Your Family History.

Page 3 - Credits (Sources for this article)

The Internet

History of the Internet.

The Internet started as a means of communication and research for the Department of Defense in 1969 with four computer sites. By 1971, fifteen computer sites were networked. All of these sites were at universities, institutes and labs within the United States. In 1973, this network became international, with England and Norway connecting. There have been many developments, making connecting to this network and transferring data more easier and more efficient. In 1984, the number of computers connected to the Internet broke 1,000. In 1987 the public obtained access to the Internet. By 1989, more than 100,000 computers were connected, and more than 1,000,000 by 1992. * 1 During the 1990’s (but mostly in the last 2 or 3 years), everybody and their cousin has joined the Internet network. The following are a few examples:

After more than 25 years of development, the Internet has advanced into what it is today. It has become another way for individuals, businesses, institutions, communities, states, and nations to become “linked”.

What is the Internet?

The Internet is a worldwide network of networks which interconnects computers ranging from desktop Macs to the largest supercomputers. No one knows how large the Internet is. Some estimates range as high as two million computers used by close to 20 million people. No one is in charge of the Internet and because it is so large and complex, no one understands everything about it. One thing is clear, the Internet is rich in information resources of all kinds and expanding at a very rapid rate. You can use the Internet to view artwork, listen to music, access library catalogs and databases, obtain software or electronic books, get the latest satellite weather maps, communicate with friends on the other side of the world, and to do additional things that weren’t even dreamed about when this sentence was written. *2

The Internet is like a large library. It contains millions of books, magazines, and reference materials. And like a large library, it can be a confusing place. Various programs have been written in an attempt to organize the Internet. Some organizational tools and methods include * 3:

Getting Around on the Internet.

The World Wide Web has become very popular today, and is the easiest way to navigate through the Internet. On the WWW, every page has a URL (Uniform Resource Locator * 4), which is similar to an address. By typing the URL, your WWW software, otherwise known as a Browser, knows which computer, and where on that computer, to find the page you are looking for.

How do you find the URL for the pages you want to see? You could look around, URL’s are everywhere! I’ve heard them on the radio, and see them on the television, in magazines, newspapers, and billboards. Whenever you see:, that is a URL. Usually though, the addresses you see on television, etc., will not help in your genealogical research. To find something specific, the Internet has what are called search engines. Search engines were designed to help you find the pages that most likely contain the information you are seeking. Many browsers have a “Search” button to access the search engines. When clicking on this button, you will be taken to a page that lists several search engines. Two of the best and easiest to use are Alta-Vista and Lycos search engines, click on one of these. In the query box, type in any word, set of words, or phrases, then click on SEARCH. In this case, try genealogy or family and [ancestor name] [county] [state] for starters (without the brackets). The search engine will give you a list of pages, with their URL’s as links, that contain those words used in your search terms.

Most pages on the Web have “Links” to other pages. A link is a connection from one page to another, and are usually highlighted words (underlined and/or colored) or highlighted graphics (images with colored borders). When you click on a link, the browser will automatically take you to the page the link represents.

Two features Web browsers commonly have are “Bookmarks” and the “Back” button. These are very useful for going back to pages you have already visited. Once you find a page with useful information or links, you can mark that page with a bookmark. To do this, click on “add bookmark”. Anytime you want to visit that page again, you can click on “go to bookmark”, then click on the bookmark for that page and get there without remembering the URL. You can even bookmark the results of a search, and refer to that list at anytime in the future. If you followed several links from one page to another, and want to go to a page you previously viewed, you can use your “Back” button. Similar to turning back pages in a book, you will see the pages in reverse order.

Another useful feature most browsers have is “Find”. Once you are viewing a page, you can click on “Find” (usually under the Edit option on your menu bar), enter the surname or other detail word you are looking for and click on OK. The browser will find and highlight that word on that page. This can be especially beneficial as one Web page does not necessarily equal one printed page. A Web page can be a document that is several printed pages long. Using “Find”, you can quickly scan through a Web Page to view only the information that interest you.

[Page 2 - Webbing Your Fmaily History] [Page 3 - Credits]
[Harper County Genealogical Society]
This site created and maintained by Lucinda (White) Wales *
This site has been visited times since December 96
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 1996