Last Updated: 11 December 2018

There are many places on the web to get all sorts of information on genealogy, and there have been many books and guides written on the subject. Here I will list a few that I highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn more. Please note, by clicking on a link, you will open the page in a new browser window.

Downs Genealogy

The Downs Surname Message Board is a place to post your questions concerning Downs genealogy. It is hosted at, and I have been the Administrator of this board since 2006. Hope to see you there at:

Hector’s Home Page is a website by another family researcher. He lives in Switzerland, but he is a descendant of our Watts family in Bonmahon Ireland and my third cousin. He has done extensive research which he has published online. Visit his site at:

Cape Cod

Snow Library is located in Orleans, Massachusetts and is a great place to find books to learn more about our family and Cape Cod history. While they only have the basic library information on their website, it can be found at:

Eastham Public Library is located in Eastham, Massachusetts. Again, there is no online family or historical information here, but another great library. Visit them in person, or on the web at:

17th, 18th & 19th Century Cape Cod Gravestones is a great site. Most of the cemeteries on the Cape are listed here, along with a relatively complete list of everyone buried there up until about 1870. Many of the gravestones are photographed. This is a must-see for any Cape family historian. Visit them at:

Pilgrims and Plymouth

The Mayflower Society is, of course, the first source of information on our Mayflower ancestors. There is some information online, and it is a wonderful source for their publications. Visit them at: is an excellent website by another Hopkins descendant and genealogist, Caleb Johnson. There is quite a bit of information available online concerning both history and genealogy. His site can be found at:


The New England Historical & Genealogical Society is an online storehouse of information on all of New England and especially Massachusetts. You do need to subscribe to view most of the online databases, but if you are doing research, it is invaluable. Visit them at:


Legacy Family Tree is the genealogical software that I have used since the late 1990s.  After a few false starts digitizing all the information I had gathered, Ben Marshall, at the Eastham Public Library, suggested I try Legacy.  He said I’d never need another program and twenty years later he is still right.  Every time I check, and I did a few weeks ago, it has been ranked as one of the top three.  The Standard Edition is completely free and fully functional.  The Deluxe Edition can be unlocked after you make the purchase and is well worth it and invaluable to the serious researcher.  Visit their site here:

Clooz is an excellent tool for sorting documents, including photos, for genealogical research.  Take all those birth certificates, Census schedules, World War I draft cards, etc. and organize them in one place.  The software helps you analyze them and streamlines your efforts.  You can find their site here:

General Information Websites

Cyndi’s List is the final site I want to talk about. There are so many great websites out there that it would take more room then I have here to do justice to it. Cyndi Howells has done just this. Visit her site here:

Probably not a person around, in modern society, that doesn’t know about  The site is excellent in that it gives me access to so many records in one place.  However, it can be a bit of a double-edged sword.  You need to know how to analyze the records and many researchers that are not good at that, publish their erroneous research there.  Be very careful using the research of others uploaded to that site.  Only use research that is sourced and then carefully confirm it yourself.  If you really need the link, here it is: