There are hundreds of sites devoted to genealogy in one form or another. Needless to say it can become overwhelming.
Every state has it’s own Genweb and within is each county. As an example, I do a lot of research in Arkansas and in several different counties and townships. To find the Genweb, just do a search for ”Arkansas Genweb” or another state might be ”Pennsylvania Genweb”. You can also search for the specific county genweb by searching for “Yell County Arkansas Genweb”. These sites are usually the first ones in the listing.
Once you get the state that you want, then click on the county link or on the map. The maps are really a big help as many county borders changed over the years and when searching a county for infomation, it is usually helpful to look at the adjoining counties too.
Within the counties you will find listings for Biographies; Churches; Cemeteries; Family Pages; History; Newspaper Articles; Birth, Marriage and Death reocrds; Queries and Look-ups, just to name a few. This listing varies by each county. Some states and counties have considerably more records than others.
When I do research, I always start with the census records and go from there. I can obtain so much information from the census records that can be very beneficial in researching and locating a family. I pull all the census records from 1930 to 1790, in addition to pulling as many other documents as I can, such as death certificates, obituary notices and so on.
The census records can provide a wealth of information, such as, age, race, relationship to head, birth location, children, marital status, occupation, some veteran information and of course, immigration just to name a few and you might find an elderly parent living with a child too. Sometimes, you can find a family in 1920 but not in 1910, search for the children’s names. People used different names, Mary one time, Polly the next or even initials. Check different surname spellings. Smith could be spelled Smyth, Smythe etc. People spelled phonetically and when you add the various accents around the country and possible transcription errors, it all just addes to the mix.
Hope this helps–