Monday, September 26, 2016

online genealogy databases - the big 3

As you continue to search, think about the strengths and weaknesses of the various databases. Family Search is best for vital records, Fold3 for Military records, Ancestry is a mixture of census, newspapers, and more. As you work with the databases, you learn how to narrow searches. What's most difficult is to reproduce a search.

I'm most frustrated when I cannot figure out how the answers are displayed. They are rarely displayed in alphabetical order. Sometimes they don't provide the geographical or demographic clues you seek. Nevertheless, the online databases save lots of time driving up and down the highway and cut down on road trips.

As to Family Search, you'll find that Ancestry and FS have different missions even if they are both focused on LDS missions. Family Search is the best place to look for vital records, church records, and more. That's where they got their start and where their best indexing efforts are focused. From there, they have immigration records and other records. Ancestry is commercial and focuses on census records, newspapers, and other types of records. You need both, so try both when you search.

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