St. Dominic actually began with the cloistered nuns after receiving the “Signadou” (Sign of God) – a fire ball which appeared over Prouille in France. The monastery was re-established after the French Revolution and is still in use today:
The domlife.org site has links to all other branches of the Dominicans.
A history of the friars of the Order of Preachers:
A history of the Dominican laity:
Dominican Sisters of the Presenation (quasi-Vincentian):
Community of the Lamb: