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Branching Out OnLine
Branching Out OnLine sells itself as being for those new to genealogy or new to the Internet. 'Discover how to truly exploit the resources available online. Learn more about how to research effectively, maximize the time you spend at the library, archives or courthouses and save time on phone calls across the country.' And, US-centric though it is - 'courthouses' being a dead giveaway - it gives you a masterclass in using search engines effectively to get what you want.
Everton's Genealogical Helper
Salt Lake City-based resource that's incredibly useful wherever you're living. Really idiot-proof beginners guide to getting started, plus a whole raft of links to other sites and resources that will ease you on your way. All this is backed up with fascinating articles such as Searching Your Family Tree, hints and tips from other seekers, and advice on supplies and software you may find assist your quest.
Journal of Online Genealogy
Finding out about your antecedents can quickly become a full-time job. Visiting churchyards and perusing parish registers around the country, periodical visits to the Records Office. But the Internet really is at its best for hobbies like this. And the Journal of Online Genealogy scores in that it focuses on how best to use your PC in tandem with the Internet for digging up the past. Expert information too on how to progress when the trail runs dry.
Office for National Statistics
First port of call if your family history is confined to the British Isles is the Family Records Centre, which holds birth, adoption, marriage and death records as far back as 1837. You'll have to go to the Centre in person (with your chequebook!) to get hold of actual documents. But the procedure is clearly laid out here. You can also order certificates by email from the General Register Office in Southport, provided you know which one you want. The limitations are obvious: if you want to go back further than 1837, you'll have to visit local county record offices. Nonetheless, it's more than likely that you'll need to start here.
Present Meets The Past
What we particularly like about this site is that it gets children and teenagers involved in research into their past. The first step is, of course, to talk to the grandparents, and the emphasis is on having fun while you're learning for both sides. In fact, the site is so much fun and so easy to use with its links and kits you can buy, that we'd recommend it to adults too.
Genealogy Home Page Tutorial
This is one for people who have already got a family tree of sorts together and want to share it with the Web and the world. There are big advantages to getting your family tree online, not least of which is that it is likely to help fill in the gaps, as forgotten 17th cousins residing in Arkansas find your site and contact you rather than the other way round.
Twenty Ways to Avoid Genealogical Grief
We make no apologies for the fact that this is not one of the most visually stunning sites in this list. In fact, it's one of the most boring looking websites you'll ever see. But no matter, it's also one of the most useful. The title says it all. Beginners to the business of tracking down relatives waste enormous amounts of time heading up blind alleys, so let these guys provide you with a map.
Society of Genealogists
Largely a means of publicising the work of the Society of Genealogists (which costs £7.50 to join, plus a £30 subscription fee - the application form is online here), the website is sparsely designed, but packed out with useful information. The lists of UK lectures and genealogy events is particularly handy and the specific online extras provided include discussion groups for members, a news service for everyone else and of course, the requisite list of links.
GCSE Bitesize Revision
What the BBC claims to be the "first ever revision guide via TV, books and the internet". Bitesize is a nicely produced site, with slick graphics of a smiling shark (bitesize, geddit?) to guide you around. As the name suggests, the site doesn't attempt to talk you through endless reams of text - there's very little point in that approach online anyway - but instead provides digestible, bite-size gobbets of information to assist your GCSE revision, and if you get stuck you can email a teacher with a question.
Homework Elephant
On the basis that elephants never forget, presumably. This jumbo site has recently debuted on the web. Its aim is to bring students the best of the web in order to help out with homework assignments. and will push you in the right direction for specific help on, say, Maths or Geography. There's content too, of course, with monthly masterclasses, currently featuring explorations into optics and sound.
Freeserve Revision
Proving that Dixons' Internet service provider has a few more tricks up its sleeve apart from single-handedly revolutionising the ISP market in Britain and selling bucketloads of shares - the company has some A1 content too. There are sections for each age band of the national curriculum and for the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. Key subject areas are highlighted and you simply click for revision tasks or tests.
LineOne Learning
Don't panic! LineOne produces a truly excellent site to assist those in the throes of revision for their English or Maths GCSEs. It's a good, solid workout that you can't hope to exhaust - the Maths site alone has more than 1000 multiple choice questions, while the English sections will test you on reading, comprehension, punctuation, grammar and spelling until you beg for mercy. If you're still worried, click onto the Agony Aunt section, where Janice will give you cool, calm advice on how to best get through this tough time.
Galaxy Kids
Specially designed for pre-school and Year 1 and 2 pupils, Galaxy Kids aims to give three to seven year olds a fun introduction to the kind of work they will be doing at school. It's a 52-week partwork, like the weekly magazines 'building into a complete set' that you see advertised on the TV, and includes interactive stories, reading and writing games, and an introduction to early maths language and skills.
GCSE Answers
The sort of title bound to make any despairing student in thrall to revision leap to attention. Unfortunately, though, it's not next summer's GCSE answers. Useful all the same, not least because this site is compiled by a group of teachers who know what questions have come up, what questions are likely to come up, and so have put together a series of, well, questions basically, to give you practice at fielding whatever the examiners can throw at you.
Schools Online
An admirably friendly and informal site, aiming to make science as approachable as possible. The site is split into the Library, where you are pointed in the direction of other interesting websites, where you might want to conduct research; the CafŽ, where you can chat to scientists and other students - "Ask them a question!" demands Schools Online; the Lab, where you go to investigate and experiment (and draw on experiments other schools have done before.
An excellent piece of homework by primary school teacher Sue Spolton. She's set out with the altruistic aim of developing a free website to help others use the internet effectively for learning - an alternative to subscription services. Topmarks is aimed at pupils, teachers and parents, and is biased towards the UK curriculum. Cleanly organised, easy to use and navigate, it outshines many professional sites. All the subjects are searchable by age group.
Answers Recruitment
Answers Recruitment is one of the leading recruitment agencies for computer game developers in the UK and also tracks down people for many of the leading leisure software producers in Europe. As well as the technical and creative end, Answers handles sales and marketing jobs and has an office in France which deals with many of the positions now coming up in the IT and new media industries on the other side of the Channel.
Electronic Telegraph
Another Fleet Street heavyweight with an enviable reputation for its recruitment pages. Excellent for professional, especially business jobs. The Telegraph is particularly good for overseas appointments, and you can search for jobs by location, be it the US, Asia, Australia or whatever. Good too is the county-by-county search for the UK. So tap in 'construction' and 'Leicestershire' and you'll get a list of local jobs. Like having every local paper at your fingertips.
A site dedicated to matching scientists, wherever they are in the world, to the ideal job, wherever that is in the world. The emphasis is firmly on worldwide recruitment in the spheres of information technology, communications, engineering, pharmaceuticals and environmental sciences. The site focuses heavily on contract as well as permanent positions, so why not go for that six-month stint as a mechanical engineer in Zambia? Your chance to work and see the world at the same time.
Jobs 4 Grads
Jobs 4 Grads puts an exclamation mark after its bannered boast: "The most complete graduate jobs links page on the Net." Come on, prove us wrong, they seem to be saying. But cockiness is fine if you've got the goods to back it. The site's big thing isn't its own content of job ads, but an extraordinarily detailed list of links to job vacancy databases, newspaper job pages, university and higher education sites plus a weighty A to Z of potential employers.
Gis a Job
Yosser Hughes is unlikely to have ever conducted his desperate search for gainful employment via the internet, but Gis a Job nicks the seminal catchphrase from Boys From The Blackstuff to set the irreverent tone of this job hunting site. It may be flip but it's a serious site, linking together 2396 employment agencies from around the UK, and offering, when we visited, 77,650 jobs in IT, the media, insurance and more. You enter your search criteria - area, salary and so on, and Gis a Job gives you a list of suggestions.
The Guardian
The only place to come if you're looking for a job in the media, education, or social services, the Guardian newspaper has transferred its recruitment pages online with some style. The volume of jobs in new media - the Internet and the Web - is multiplying by the week, and the paper has addressed this with a standalone new media recruitment section: you'll find it here.
The Graduate Recruitment Company
An eye-catching sentence on any recruitment site are the words 'We are not an agency'. So what do they mean? Graduate Recruitment places candidates with companies as diverse as the Financial Times, Capital Radio and PepsiCo. It works in the fields of sales, PR, marketing and recruitment and Information Technology - including positions in support, development, consultancy or programming. And that catch line? Well they'll refuse to take you until they've interviewed you and established you are totally committed to your career path.
Web Recruitment Directory
Anything that promises to be the ultimate Internet resource for recruiters, employers and jobseekers has a bit to live up to. The Directory is a searchable database of recruitment pages. The aim is to save needless searching, and lets you seekers quickly find the agencies and employers to assist with your own specific needs. You can search the directory by industry category, job type, location, and so on.