Wayback Machine

Have you ever used years ago to research an Internet web site either done on a family by some descendants or a database from a county, and now you try again and it won’t come up? Many times that could be that the site was had its address link changed, on a different carrier or even closed down.

However, here is a great site from Internet Archive named ‘Wayback Machine‘. The Wayback Machine, allows users to explore more than 371 billion web pages saved over time. It is all possible because Internet Archive has saved and preserved billions of web-pages from billions of web sites.

The Wayback Machine can include full copies of websites that no longer exist anywhere else. Many websites that have been taken down because the creator no longer maintains them. Also, older versions of websites that were perhaps more complete or easier to understand or navigate, along with prior versions of websites with different content.

To start, you do need the old, nonworking web address – its http: address. Place it in the top box to search. If it has been captured (saved) by Internet Archive, the whole web site as it originally appeared will come up – along with its new link address.

Here is an example. I have a weekly series of ‘historical vignettes’ done since 2012. They are published in the local newspaper, who ‘archived’ them with a new link address a couple years ago. Anyone trying to use the old, original link address can’t view the vignette. But by placing that old web address such on the Tynall family: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2014/jan/16/historical-vignettes-triumph-tragedy-of-the-tyndal/ in the Wayback Machine search, then click on one of the blue highlighted updated dates, and the new address comes up along with the full vignette.

New link: http://archive.tcpalm.com/news/2014/jan/16/historical-vignettes-triumph-tragedy-of-the-tyndal/default.aspx

This is fairly easy to use. Plus it has a Q&A section with further directions.

So good to know the web site has been preserved.

Photos: Wayback Machine Logo and search page.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Create a Family Web Site

Websites to Create Family Timelines

Free Genealogical Websites

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