My book, Getting Started in Genealogy, suggests heavy use of World Connect (www.wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com) as an inexpensive way of starting the hunt for grandfathers and earlier ancestors, and especially to find like-souls who are researching the same surnames.
When an ancestor has been born in Europe, www.geneanet.com is often the locator of useful data. As with ancestry.com, geneanet.com has a free and a for-fee access. I will describe the free version and its value.
1) Go to www.geneanet.com and sign up for the service.
2) Now go to My Geneanet
3) Up comes an activity selection, choose as seen in “Searches and Alerts”:
4) Now fill in your names and the area from which they came as you see I have with my surnames of interest at this point in time, Artz, Geldreich, Lang and Weiss – all from Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. These can be changed as you wish.
5) What you will receive each week is an email like that below. You would then click on each one in turn and analyze the data presented.
6) This is what you receive on your browser. Click on the “Tree” for those individuals in which you are interested. If you have previously seen this person’s data, it will be “grayed out” so that you do not do redundant efforts. (In this case they are all grayed out as I reviewed this data previously).
And if you click on, say, Lang, this is what you get. Clicking on those individuals in whom you are interested provide a great deal of information in many, but not all cases. Also, notice a possible cousin’s picture, here Patrick Gassmann.