Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Less than 5% of the research materials available to you is on the net. Further, stumbling blindly around the net and wasting time with folks who likely know less than you do, or playing with most pay-for-genealogy websites, is akin to shooting at the woods from the back door hoping to bag a squirrel for breakfast; slim chance, indeed. However by venturing into the woods where squirrels more likely will be found, your chances of coming home with something to eat are much greater than trying from the back door.

Similarly, going by phone, net or in person to the records of the city, county or State "where" an ancestor once lived and digging in the records at those places, the likelihood is greater that you will come home, having enjoyed a more satisfactory hunt. I suggest to all my students that during their first interviews with relatives they ask and note the places "where" and when - or approximately when - any ancestor lived, review any writings or mementos those relatives might have, and then run - do not walk - to the websites that deal specifically with the records of those "wheres",

Think of your own life experiences; the vast majority of records about you were created and recorded in your local courthouse, occasionally at the State offices and every now and then at the Federal level. Many of those records remain in that courthouse; many more than you will find on the net. So, go where where the squirrels are and don't nerely shoot at the woods,


Views: 27


You need to be a member of Genealogy Wise to add comments!

Join Genealogy Wise

Comment by Paul Drake on July 9, 2009 at 10:06pm
Hi Tami. I think no one would disagree with you about what is there. The problem is that less than 5% (some researchers say 3%) of the total research materials available for our research is on the net. It will be long in the future before anything like even 30% of the records are posted. The problem is simple economics; I have written several books now well received on the genealogy market, and I would be silly to post my work for NO money.. All of us who are serious writers have the same problem. There is MUCH more to be found through the local genealogical websites, Rootsweb and community websites than may be found anywhere on the net at no charge.
Cordially. Paul
Comment by tami osmer glatz on July 9, 2009 at 4:49pm
Don't discount internet research though -- why make the trip to the courthouse if they have the records posted online or you can rent the microfilm and view it at your local FHC? I would never discourage on-site research, but the trend these days is to put original records online, either at the state or county level, or even if we're talking about the pilot site at's indexing program. Before hitting the local library, hunt through their online catalog to plan your research attack. Same with courthouse records -- do your homework ahead of the visit and know what resources they have by checking online, or calling them first.
Comment by Dianne Welch on July 9, 2009 at 4:33pm
Pam is right about the squirrels. LOL I have looked for death certificates at the courthouse, but not sure where else to look. Dianne W.
Comment by terry reilly on July 9, 2009 at 12:03pm
I love your posting. I find myself in historical societies looking into dusty old file cabinets that are filled with records that were donated after a person passed and their family wasn't what to do with all this "stuff." I also like cemetery offices for records. A good cemetery has some wonderful records available if you just ask. Late nights when I can't sleep I do find myself wasting time wondering thru the web. I wish more town records were open to the public on the web -- it would be such a wonderful thing.


© 2024   Created by IIGSExecDirector.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service