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Old 04-01-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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I never claimed to have the makings of a genealogist.

I just want to learn the info about my ancestors. Kind of like I have a car because I want to get where I need to go, but I don't want to deal with all the greasy stuff under the hood. And I love good food, at restaurants, but I certainly don't want to cook and prepare it myself. I love wine and I love to try different kinds of wine, catalog then and enjoy them, but no one I know had better get me a book on "how to make your own wine at home."


I respect that some people are into the process, but when it comes to genealogy, right now, I really just want the product. I'm into enough stuff already for the "process."
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:13 PM
 
11,426 posts, read 19,433,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I guess what I'm saying is that I wish the following websites existed:
  • A site where you could search all telephone directories from the 1960s all the way back to when phone books and phones were invented. You could review scanned images just like census records. I'd definitely pay for that!
  • A site where you could get maps of all the farms and properties in a county or township for certain dates, and see who owned each farm, the names of their neighbors, etc. Again, I'd gladly pay for that.
  • A site where there's a searchable database of every person buried at every cemetery.
  • A site where you could search for every business that was ever in business (stores, factories, professional services, restaurants, etc) by location, owner, and date. I know my ancestors owned several businesses and the types of businesses, but I'd like to find info on them. Any chance in hell?
  • A site where membership lists of old churches was available and searchable, along with dates of who got married, christened, funerals, etc. Again, where can I pay?
  • A site with all kinds of court records (searchable of course) for every county. Of course they'd have to stop at a certain date to protect the privacy of people who are still alive. But for instance, I really want to know why my great-great-great grandfather was sued by his adult son who took his farm from him. I'd pay a few hundred for that alone.
I'm sure I can think of more, but those are my fantasy websites. I wish all those unemployed people out there would see this need and start up such services/websites (and start scanning and cataloging). I'm sure lots of us would pay for these.
I am laughing SO hard right now... Okay -- first of all there are tons and tons and tons and tons and tons of records out there. Think of it this way -- each area in our country -- each little town, each township, each county -- has a set of records that takes up at least one room, and as the area gets bigger there are more rooms... all filled with stuff that isn't on the internet.

And the internet in this wonderful easy to use format is less than 30 years old. That's not very long. Ancestry.com didn't really become a searchable website till the mid 90's. Up until then you bought the program and various floppy disks or CDs came with it and you could buy more.... it took a couple of centuries to fill those rooms....

I'm like you -- I want all this stuff online and findable because I tend to do my stuff late at night.... it's not. But I get it. I understand people think they can ditch of their Yellow Pages, but try to find a local plumber in the middle of the night on the internet? I'll take my Yellow Pages please... some things are best done the old way.

Doing genealogy isn't like a frozen dinner. Take it out of the box, nuke it and eat. It takes time. And the more you do it, the more intriguing it gets. When I started I was so like you -- these were like blocks that needed to be filled -- got it; lets go on to the next one.

And frankly, I'll say it -- there's nothing wrong with that.

But all it takes is one of those ancestors to grab you and drag you back into the past with him. I have a great grand uncle who's life and death are positively screaming at me to find out more. I don't know why it's him. Died at 24, in the army, maybe his first time away from home, no wife, no children.... I am OBSESSED by the man.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:42 AM
 
9,209 posts, read 18,039,121 times
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When I typed the post above about liking the product and not the process, I was feeling pretty cranky. In actuality, when I first joined Ancestry I enjoyed the process a lot. All the digging up of old records was really fun, but again, all online.

I just get frustrated that there is so much info out there that is not available online. Like, what the heck are we paying for? With all these people out there who are into genealogy, there is certainly a demand, so where's the supply? I'm sure we'd all pay a little more if it meant getting some unemployed people into those old records and scanning them. C'mon, the person working at a cemetery can't be very busy (I mean, not the people who dig and do lawn care, but the person who sits in the office). Can't they go into the old burial records and scan them all, instead of playing solitaire? Sheesh.



Oh well, I don't want to hijack my own thread any further. We should get back to sharing info on helpful and unhelpful websites on genealogy.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:58 AM
 
11,426 posts, read 19,433,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
When I typed the post above about liking the product and not the process, I was feeling pretty cranky. In actuality, when I first joined Ancestry I enjoyed the process a lot. All the digging up of old records was really fun, but again, all online.

I just get frustrated that there is so much info out there that is not available online. Like, what the heck are we paying for? With all these people out there who are into genealogy, there is certainly a demand, so where's the supply? I'm sure we'd all pay a little more if it meant getting some unemployed people into those old records and scanning them. C'mon, the person working at a cemetery can't be very busy (I mean, not the people who dig and do lawn care, but the person who sits in the office). Can't they go into the old burial records and scan them all, instead of playing solitaire? Sheesh.



Oh well, I don't want to hijack my own thread any further. We should get back to sharing info on helpful and unhelpful websites on genealogy.

They did just that in the Great Depression, you know. Cemeteries were transcribed by the unemployed as employment. A great resource if the originals were transcribed onto the 'net. Of course, there have been additions since 1934...

So what you're describing is not outside the realm of possiblity. But I don't think anyone wants to go the Great Depression route again.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Dalton Gardens
2,798 posts, read 5,360,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
They did just that in the Great Depression, you know. Cemeteries were transcribed by the unemployed as employment. A great resource if the originals were transcribed onto the 'net. Of course, there have been additions since 1934...

So what you're describing is not outside the realm of possiblity. But I don't think anyone wants to go the Great Depression route again.
Actually, I think it would be a fantastic idea and I would most certainly do it. There are a lot of unemployed Americans who are having a terrible time finding employment, especially with this trend of companies wanting employees who are bi-lingual (ie...cheap labor). I have been working out a plan with my nephew to record forgotten cemeteries in Ventura County. I'll transcribe and he'll photograph. The main problem being that unemployment=limited funds and the cost of gas makes it difficult to get to where these cemeteries are.

One major pet-peeve with sites like Genweb...people who submit a cemetery transcription but have only bothered to transcribe the graves of their own ancestors. So frustrating! If you are going to transcribe at a cemetery put in the effort to get ALL the graves listed, not just 7 or 8 of them!
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:03 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,057 posts, read 22,775,493 times
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Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
I'm not sure you get the point of the GenWeb. It's all done by volunteers. Nobody is paid to do it, there are no advertising revenues, etc. An individual (coordinator) is responsible for maintaining the website, but the content of it is contributed by researchers. ...
True, and it's yielded some good information for my family tree. Just it's uneven in the delivery for the reasons you've stated.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,214 posts, read 9,093,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I am new to family history research, and I wanted to share my experiences with genealogy websites, so other newbies can learn from my experiences and avoid my mistakes. Also, I hope others will jump in and share info about other genealogy sites so we can all benefit.

Ancestry.com
This is the recognized "big one" in the field. It is fee-based, but they are a business and provide information and services, and I believe that justifies the fee. It is chock-full of information. I love the tree-building function, and how you can link to other people's family trees and find people ou didn't know about. I love how you can view original images of census records and other historical documents. The negatives are that the birth/marriage/death records seem to be somewhat limited (I found records of marriages on other sites that I didn't find on Ancestry.) I highly recommend this site for new family history researchers. the one thing to be careful of is accepting "hints." When I first joined, I accepted almost every hint they sent me, but then later realized they were wrong, or about a whole other person. Then I had all this incorrect info woven into my tree that I had to go in and pull out, which is not easy, because when you accept a hinted person into your tree, you're accepting all his relatives, etc. So be careful, and picky about the hints you get--other people are often wrong.
Ancestry is somehow related to something called Rootsweb, but I'm not sure what rootsweb does, or how it's different for Ancestry.com. Maybe someone else can comment on that.

Genealogybank.com
Another fee-based site, but you pay for a whole year, and it's not much money. The best part is that they have historical newspapers, so you can find news articles, death notices, birth and wedding announcements, on your ancestors. Also, when you want to take a break from family history research, you can look up famous crimes and events in history and see how they were reported in the newspapers at the time. The negatives are that they are missing some major historical newspapers, and that sometimes you get a hit, and you look over the whole entire page of the newspaper, and there is nothing on your ancestor, and the highlighted word is totally unrelated. It doesn't seem to respect that when you put a whole name in quotes ("David Nicholson" for example), you want to only see where that whole name shows up, and not every instance where the name "David" and the name "Nicholson" randomly show up somewhere on the same page but not together. But all in all, getting all these old newspaper articles has been worth the money I paid.

Archives.com
A bait-and-switch rip-off. You go on the site for free, enter your relative's first and last name, maybe a date and a state, and wow, you get like over 1,000 hits. I was shocked, as this was an ancestor that has eluded me for a year. I figured $40 was well worth seeing over 1,000 hits that could reveal info on him! But after you pay, you'll see that you have to refine your search (which you could not do before paying). Next to the first name, last name, state, and date you entered, you have to check the box for "exact" meaning, yes, you want exactly that word/item searched and not something "remotely close to it." So when I re-searched my ancestor's name, I got 2 hits. Big difference form the 1,000+ that they dangled in front of me to get me to pay! The other annoying thing is that in your search results, you might see that they found 1 birth record and 1 death record on that person, but when you look at both records, they are both the exact same SS death index entry. Those were my "two" hits--both the same record. The other thing that ticked me off is that I paid for this site, then learned that if I want to get a records search done on something, I had to enter my credit card info and pay more.
Since I wasted my money on this site, I decided to squeeze all I can out of my $40, and search everyone in my tree plus anyone any friends or friends of friends want me to search for. If I get mad enough at them, I may just give out my log-in and password!

mocavo.com
I learned about this site from a thread here on City Data. The best thing I found was pictures of gravestones of ancestors. In one case, I knew the year someone died, but not the exact date, and there it was carved on his headstone. The search function is not very good though. Even if you put a name in quotes and try to narrow it to a certain state, you still get hits on people of that name from other states. And the search bar does not seam to let you enter to/from dates to narrow your search by time. But it's free. I dove into this site as soon as I learned about it, but after a week, I'd gotten all I could out of it. I hope they periodically add more documents and info.

genealogy.com
Another site bordering on rip-off. It's free, well, sort of. For free, you can enter search info, but you can only view a few of the hits. But if you want to view a hit that's in their "genealogy library" you'll have to pay $49.99 for a year. If you want to see a hit that's in either their "family & local histories" database or their "international & passenger" database, you'll have to pay $79.99 for a year, for each database separately. If anyone can convince me that the info I get will be wonderful if I pay for any of these, then I'll re-think it. But after falling for the 1,000+ hits that Archives.com dangled before me, I decided not to pay the fees on this site.

werelate.org
I don't really understand this site. It's a wiki (like Wikipedia) meaning all members can add info. But whenever I searched for relatives' names, I got zero hits. The site has a bunch of video tutorials, but I haven't had time to watch them. I prefer websites that I can just figure out on my own without taking a darned class. If anyone knows the secret to this site, please share. For now, I'm calling it a dud.

usgenweb.com
I kept reading in other places how great this site was, but I don't get it. It's free. You have to pick which state you're interested in. Then you go to the website for that state. But you're now at the mercy of how good or how bad the local hosts of that site are. When I go to the NJ site, all I can find are addresses to contact some outside source about getting records. I want to be able to search stuff right on my computer, not write a letter and send a check to some state bureaucrat! Then if you think maybe you'll look up a cemetery or a church in a certain county, to find your forebears, you're lucky to maybe get a link to the church's general website or a street address of a cemetery, not an online searchable database of who is buried in that cemetery or the people that attended that church in the 1800s. Kind of useless.

Familysearch.org
This is the free site created by the LDS church (the Mormons) but it includes all kinds of info, not just on Mormon families. You can get SS death records, marriage records, and even info from other people's family trees. The problem I've noticed is that you can go to the site at different times, like a week or two apart, and get different info. On week I enter a relative's name and get 4 hits, one being about him. Then a week later, I got like 23 hits, with 4-5 being about him, then the other day, I got zero hits on him. Same guy, same search info entered. I also am a little suspicious of some of the info that people get entered onto that site. I've found a marriage record with a name clearly incorrect (I had the primary source and a number of secondary sources that said so). So search it, but be careful, kind of like with "hints" you get on Ancestry.com.

I found some other sites, just from googling around, but they aren't worth mentioning. Many, many of them just tie into Ancestry.com. You go to XYZ site, and enter search info, and it takes you right to Ancestry. Gee, thanks, I could have just gone there myself.

Please add in your experiences, positive and negative with genealogy related sites!
I agree with you about Archives.com. I did pay for a subscription but finding info about the people I WANT to know about is like pulling hen's teeth! Rootsweb and GenWeb are great for the inquiry boards, etc. but they are contributor based so if nobody else is researching your family lines you won't find anything.

My favorite website, by far, is Cyndi's List. Thousands of websites to check out. I've found a lot of info in the archives.

And you're right about Ancestry.com....they have their fingers in everything!
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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My Grandfather Leonard Mc Carty lived in oakland farms,his Father was Donald J Mc Carty he also lived in Oakland farms, John Mc Carty (Grandfather of Leonard)he lived at 1070 Miller Street Sunbury.
Where can i write to in Order to get Information on Donald and John Mc Carty.
I hope someone can help me i am stuck with my Mc Carty's
Thanks
Rosie
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:06 AM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,421 posts, read 16,677,475 times
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I have a question concerning remarriage or divorce on sites. Last night I looked through Ancestry.com and did find some amazing things. I was able to trace my maternal grandfather back past 1700, where apparently two blood relatives of the Spurgin clan got themselves transportated to Virginia. They even had the court document from the Old Bailey.

What
i found was several instances of remarriages not referenced. My grandparents were divorced when my mom was 15 and he met "the other woman". No mention of this at all. I grew up with the situation, including the most touchy moment when he and wife number two decided to come visit when we were on vacation (he was unaware of) with grandma. They politely said hello and them politely ignored each other.

I'm wondering if this sort of thing is common. My grandmother's mother was also remarried. This is something I heard from my grandmother directly. The first husband, an Irishman named Smith had died and she remarried and Englishmen named Martin Smith. So no change in name. He died before my grandmother was born and my mother remembered there were letters from a sister of his in Manchester.

My great grand mother Laura was not quite to five foot. Her first husband was also very short as were all the children. My grandmother was almost six foot as was her father so I tend to think that the record of the Irish smith being her father may be wrong.

Where, or what sort of record would I look at to see if there is an additional marriage recorded? It would be around 1890 in Minnesota.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Rochester MN
125 posts, read 259,756 times
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
Where, or what sort of record would I look at to see if there is an additional marriage recorded? It would be around 1890 in Minnesota.
MACO eCounties - Marriage
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