Yahoo! announced that its Geocities web-hosting service would close on 26 October 2009.
This resulted in the loss of a lot of websites with valuable genealogical and historical information.
We set up this page to help warn people about what was going to happen, and help people to find if any of the material would find as new home on the web.
To help people who would like to visit these pages before they close, I am compiling a list of genealogy sites on Geocities, which I’ve posted below. The list will be updated from time to time, until Geocities closes. You are invited to add to the list; if you would like to do that, please scroll down below the list for more information on how to do it.
I will leave ths list up after Geocities closes, as a kind of epitaph for the dead web sites.
Update April 2012
Many of the old Geocities sites have been caputred and archived on reocities or oocities or webring so some of the information that might otherwise have been lost has been preserved.
Our own family history page, for example, has been preserved on these three different sites now — Reocities, Oocities and Webring. Webring, like Geocities, was one of those sites taken over by Yahoo! and subsequently abandoned, and revived by those who found it useful and didn’t want to see it die.
Of course those pages can no longer be updated — they are stuck as they were when Geocities closed. But in some ways they are better off — they are preserved in three different places on the web, instead of just one.
Attraction for spammers
One thing that is interesting about this page (the one you are reading now) is the attraction that it seems to have for spammers. Most of the people who visit this page seem to do so solely for the purpose of posting spam comments, and more than 80% of the attempts to post spam comments on this blog are directed at this page. Of course they are all deleted, but sometimes I wonder why the spammers bother, and why they find this page so attractive.
The site list
African Family History Network
General discussion of African family history
Genealogy of Walter Byron Moore and Janessa LeeAnn Lawyer
German South African Resource Page
Dedicated to various issues relating to German
South Africans, including genealogy, local history
and church matters. Where ever possible, identical
pages have been made available in English and
Hayes Family Tree
Genealogy of Steve and Val Hayes of Pretoria
Kapampangan Genealogy Resource
Genealogical resources and links for the Kapanpanga
province of the Philippines
Martin County Indiana Genealogy
Surnames, obituaries, census and other historical
records for Martin County, Indiana, USA
Nancy Cleere Rogers Genealogy Home Page
Christal, Cleere and other families of Texas,
Ohio Genealogy Network
Biographies, obituaries, cemeteries, burials,
marriages and more
The royal families of Perak State
Genealogy and family history of ruling families of
Perak State, Malaysia
Taylor Family Free Genealogy Site
William Hancock came to America in 1619. He was a
member of The Virginia Company of London. Also
Taylor, Peacock, Lindsey and other families.
The Taylors of Broadsea
Genealogy and history of the Taylor family of
Broadsea in north-east Scotland. Surnames include
Taylor, Buchan, Huntington, Van Horn.
Waldrop Surname Genealogy
Genealogical research on the WALDROP surname and
its variations. There are approximately 5000 heads
of households with the Waldrop surname or a variant
in the United States, which makes the name somewhat
rare. I am always happy to hear from anyone related
to the Waldrops of America.
Irish Genealogy sites on Geocities
Dennis Ahern has compiled a list of Irish genealogy sites on Geocities, which you can see on this page here.
How to add to the list
Use this template to submit genealogy sites on Geocities. Just use a plain text editor, like Windows Notepad, to copy and paste the template. Then add the information, and e-mail it to me.
Fill it in (up, out) like this:
TI (Site title)
DES (Site description – may be several lines)
OW (Site owner’s name)
OE (Site owner’s e-mail address)
URL (Site URL – don’t forget the http://)
Only the title and URL are essential.
If you submit more than one, separate the records with a $
You can e-mail them to me at:
shayes (at) dunelm (dot) org (dot) uk
This list will be updated and posted from time to time until Geocities
There are plans to back up the Geocities sites at
but I’m not sure whether they will be publicly available there — in any case the links to them will be broken.
Geocities, and how Yahoo! destroyed it
Geocities was one of the earliest social networking sites on the web, and combined it with free (advertising supported) web hosting.
It was divided into “cities”, each one with a theme. “Athens” was philosophy, metaphysics etc., “Hollywood” was films and filmstars, “Heartland” was personal pages about kids and pets and so on.
The idea was not just about web hosting and a place to park your web site, but it encouraged a series of virtual communities.
Geocities, however, was taken over by Yahoo!, which neglected it and allowed it to run down, and turned it into a simple ad-supported web-hosting site. It abolished the communities, and the voluntieers who encouraged community interaction.
For more about this see Notes from underground: Goodbye Geocities.
The genealogy pages on Geocities are of varying quality. There is some very good stuff there, which you may not be able to find elsewhere. There is some very poor stuff, which may nevertheless provide a clue to someone’s family history. Most of it falls somewhere in between.
Some of the owners may move their material to new sites. Others may have lost interest, or have been unable to maintain their sites, and what they have posted will probably disappear. Some may have died, and will be unable to move their site. It will be the same kind of vandalism that one finds in redevelopment of cemeteries, because someone wanted to build a supermarket on the site.
Another consequence of the closure of Geocities will be the millions, if not billions of broken links on the Web, including, of course, the links from this page.
I have a faint hope that if enough people click on these links it might persuade the people at Yahoo! to change their minds, and give Geocities a reprieve.