One of the major genealogy websites that is available for genealogists and history researchers is Cyndi’s List. Used by thousands of people everyday, it is the world’s biggest portal website, directing people to other sites they probably otherwise wouldn’t have found. I’m sure that most of you have used her site and have bookmarked it as well.
Created by Cyndi Ingle back in 1996, Cyndi says the “list began as a one page set of bookmarks that I shared with my fellow genealogical society members at the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society. After that I expanded it to be a 6-page article for the society quarterly. On March 4, 1996 I published my personal web site and, as sort of an after-thought, I added my “list” of bookmarks. The original list was contained on one categorized web page with more than 1,025 links.” Now 18 years later, her list of links has grown to be over 331,000, and that number increases every day.
Cyndi’s website has became her full-time job, and believe it or not, Cyndi’s List is a one-woman show. Working 7 seven days a week, Cyndi adds new links, updates old ones, and creates new categories as needed etc. all of which takes work and time. All so us as users can simply log on, and see what archives offices there are in Poland, or what guides she links to for reading old handwriting, or some information on what’s what with DNA and genealogy.
As all users of Cyndi’s List would know, her website is free, and always will be. But unfortunately maintaining such a website does cost money, and while Cyndi doesn’t like asking for help, she realises that the costs of running her website (even with the revenue the ads generate) are beyond her means, so she relies on donations.
And this is where every one of us who are users of her website can make a difference.
A few years ago the Cyndi’s List site underwent a huge upgrade, and this is a cost that Cyndi is still paying off. While she’s immensely thankful for everyone’s donations, as at April 2014, she has only covered 66% of the upgrade cost.
In Cyndi’s own words “I appreciate all the support and encouragement users of Cyndi’s List continue to give me each day. Thank you!”