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Happy anniversary, Cyndi’s List!

It began on March 4, 1996, as 1,025 links on a single web page.

It is, today, one of the most remarkable, durable, and valuable genealogical resources anywhere on the internet, one The Legal Genealogist uses — and treasures — all the time.

It is Cyndi’s List — the brainchild and work product of a single person — Cyndi Ingle. And from Day One, this has been a labor of love and a free gift to genealogists everywhere.

Cyndi's List

It was just the personal website of a housewife from Puyallup, Washington, when it began. Now, it’s a powerhouse of information guiding genealogists to just the right bit of data. It can save us time by pointing us to just the right resource. It can also tell us about resources we might never have considered — or even dreamed existed.

And — did I mention? — it’s free. It’s always been free.

Despite the fact that that “housewife from Puyallup” (who is, by the way, the devoted mother of a now-college-age-son, a servant to three Boston terriers, a lover of all things purple, a talented and gifted genealogical speaker, and, dare I claim it, a good friend) puts in long work hours every day, six to seven days a week. Nobody has ever paid a dime to access the site and — perhaps even more importantly — no site has ever been able to buy its way into the links or into a preferred position on the site.

This amazing guide to genealogical resources everywhere around the world hit its one millionth visitor after just 18 months, its 10 millionth visitor after just three and a half years and its 20 millionth visitor just one day after its fifth anniversary.

By that fifth anniversary, those 1,025 links had grown to more than 100,000 links. By its 10th anniversary, Cyndi’s List had more than a quarter of a million links. And there are many more today. Links to information about countries, states, counties and localities. Links to religions and church records. Links to categories of information about copyright and ethics.

So very many links, and so many new ones all the time.

Links we can check out, with the Browse New Links button. Links we can add to, if we wish, because there’s a Submit a New Link button. Links we can report if they’re no longer working, with a Report a Broken Link button. Links we can improve with an Update a Link button.

And links we can — and should! — support with a Donate button on the Support Us page.

Because — did I mention this already? — Cyndi’s List is free.

Free to us, that is. There are no subscriptions, no payments, no out of pockets for genealogists.

But it’s sure not free for its owner and operator, who is still struggling after the enormous expense of a major site upgrade a few years ago. Who has to keep the lights on and the servers humming.

And I can’t think of a better way to say thank you for the gift that Cyndi’s List has been to the genealogical community than hitting that Support Us-Donate button today, as the site marks its 24th anniversary and enters its 25th year.

Here’s to you, Cyndi Ingle, and to Cyndi’s List, and to the future of great links to genealogical resources around the world.

Thank you.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Entering its 25th year,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 4 Mar 2020).

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