So many Internet genealogy sites and not enough time to sort through them all? That's true for genealogists seeking electronic images of documents containing vital information about their ancestors. And it's true for those seeking an archive with a collection of documents that deals with life in an ancestral community.

Family historians often wonder if they have tapped all of the sources available for meeting their research needs. There is that nagging feeling that something else is out there, but their search did not uncover it. Or maybe there's the feeling that needed information is in a repository too short-staffed to have listed it online.

Maybe Live Roots ( can help.

It's an Internet search engine designed to help genealogists uncover information from databases, podcasts, blogs, transcriptions, microfilm repositories, book publishers, you name it. The tool is from IIlya D'Addezio, who developed

The free search engine tells family historians where to go for information they need. It also gives genealogists information for deciding which resource has more of the kind of information they are seeking. In addition, it states when exploration of a source it finds will require a fee.

To get the biggest benefit from Live Roots, family historians need to be researching a specific family name or looking for specific kinds of information about ancestors. The site is not set up to aid genealogists who want to peruse a broader list of topics.

Genealogists who use Live Roots get results from commercial online publishers as well as noncommercial ones. So far, the search engine has 21 Web site catalogs in its collection, including Accessible Archives, AfriGeneas,,, (Labs),,, Genealogy Bank,, National Archives and WorldVitalRecords. It also consults a names index it created from sources not published online and identifies the repositories that have them.

About half of the online catalogs that Live Roots uses allow only those with a subscription to do more advanced levels of research. The site is supported by contributions from fee-based organizations that could get clients from among the search engine's users.

Live Roots should prove a very useful tool for family historians.

It quickly leads genealogists to information that could take a long time to find, or that might not be found at all.

It is also available on Facebook and in Second Life, a virtual world.