- Google for general searching, blogs, and Google Alerts.
- GENUKI - best starting point for UK/Ireland genealogy.
- FindMyPast for indexes, transcripts and images of original documents, with (usually) more accurate indexing than Ancestry.
- Discovery for records held by The National Archives (UK) plus 2,500 archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download.
- Trove for searchable digitised Australian newspapers and much more.
- Cyndi's List for the biggest list of genealogy links worldwide.
- FreeBMD for civil registration indexes (England & Wales); and see how to use FreeBMD Postems to find distant relatives.
- FamilySearch for its catalogue (especially good for finding out what records exist for a town or parish), genealogy guides, indexes, European records, etc.
Other sites that I use frequently:
- LostCousins (for Britain, Canada and the USA).
- CuriousFox (gazetteer, maps and message board system for the United Kingdom, Ireland and USA).
Although I've had great success with some of Ancestry's databases, especially the National Probate Calendar (an index of wills and administrations that shows the names and whereabouts of vast numbers of people in other countries), I cannot bring myself to rank Ancestry in the Top 8 because its indexing is often inaccurate and I don't like the way it presents search results.
Which Web sites do you find essential for your research?