The Rootsweb site is run as a co-operative involving thousands of volunteers world wide. It is continually growing and in the middle of 2000 had about 150 million pages of information and was sending out over 150 million emails every month. It is now working closely with the commercial organisation, Ancestory.com, to provide a sound financial base for its vast operations.
In such a mass of information, much of it with a North American bias, it can be difficult for a beginner to find his way around and the key page is the County of Hertford page. This contains a number of key links to web pages and some maps - including the above simple map showing where Hertfordshire is.
Rootsweb runs a large number of geneological message boards, and the Hertfordshire Board allows people with an interest in Hertfordshire families to exchange information.
There are also lists for most surnames which could be worth subscribing to.
One of the specialist projects it supports is FreeBMD which, the last time I looked contained over 150 million civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths. However by the time you read this the number is certain to have increased! However you must remember to check the years that have been fully indexed and is data base in not complete.
Page updated June 2008