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Old 01-26-2013, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 28,562,395 times
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I've been trolling the web for quite a long time looking for information on ancestors who lived more than a couple hundred years ago. I rarely see anything new. Has pretty much everything been dug up and posted that's going to be on the folks from back then? One would think that as people came across new things in libraries they'd put it out there but I hardly ever see that. Seems just about all was put out there in the late 90s and early 2000s, presumably when the internet gained wide use. Anyone else noticed this or is it unique to my ancestry?
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
23,311 posts, read 22,459,075 times
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Lately I've been finding tons of stuff online. I just type in an ancestor's name and date and that turns up complete online books from little towns that I never would have known about. I have to trawl through the book to find things but it's interesting.

Previously you had to go to the tiny towns yourself and look through the books or you could send away for the records. I used to hang out on message boards and those don't seem to active anymore. They were fun for connecting with other researchers but I think with so much information available in the original form being online, people don't use them so much.

The other day I typed in a name and date and the guy turned out to have lived in Amesbury, MA which is a local town that I could get to in 20 minutes! His wife's name is connected to a historic house that is still standing and I'm going to go over and see it. THEN I was typing in another ancestor's name and date and the wife's name sounded familiar. Turns out I had another ancestor who married the same wife after the first husband died. gaaaag.

Is that what you mean?
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
31,269 posts, read 33,374,082 times
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I think it is potentially out there. As more people become interested in genealogy, the stuff in attics gets digested and posted. I have a cousin who recently inherited boxes of material, including photos, on one of her lines.

More and more old newspapers are getting digitized and made searchable.

Unfortunately, there are some primary records that are just lost forever, due to wars and natural disasters, especially fires.

So I just periodically look at people again. You never know. And the hunt is where the fun is!
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,675 posts, read 15,191,562 times
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The further back you go, the fewer primary records there will be, of course. And there is a chance that going back 200+ years, all the surviving records of a particular ancestor are indeed already online. But I highly doubt that ALL records that have ever existed from that far back are already online. There are definitely still some being added to databases on the internet. It's not really a matter of someone finding it in a library and automatically putting it online - that kind of thing takes funding so there will still be some records from that far back which haven't been digitized yet.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
23,311 posts, read 22,459,075 times
Reputation: 42031
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
The further back you go, the fewer primary records there will be, of course. And there is a chance that going back 200+ years, all the surviving records of a particular ancestor are indeed already online. But I highly doubt that ALL records that have ever existed from that far back are already online. There are definitely still some being added to databases on the internet. It's not really a matter of someone finding it in a library and automatically putting it online - that kind of thing takes funding so there will still be some records from that far back which haven't been digitized yet.
What intrigues (and frustrates) me is that I would love to go to all the dinky little towns in my surrounding states and spend days sitting in their libraries reading. It would practically take a lifetime. Also knowing that there must be old family Bibles out there somewhere or letters. We can find a lot online but as you said, it will take forever to get everything online and probably there are things that will never even be deemed valuable enough to be put online. That's probably the article or letter from your ancestor that you've been looking for all these years. LOL

In early New England the first settlers were well educated and many did keep diaries or wrote things down. The towns kept good records. There's a lot more out there if only we had the time and energy to go out and really delve.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 11,016,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I've been trolling the web for quite a long time looking for information on ancestors who lived more than a couple hundred years ago. I rarely see anything new. Has pretty much everything been dug up and posted that's going to be on the folks from back then? One would think that as people came across new things in libraries they'd put it out there but I hardly ever see that. Seems just about all was put out there in the late 90s and early 2000s, presumably when the internet gained wide use. Anyone else noticed this or is it unique to my ancestry?
I doubt it's even close. But whether anyone is working to put those things up is another matter. Problem with the real old records is, they are so difficult to read. So transcribing them is a tedious job.

I don't see many land records, wills, estate records, court (or church court if you're talking the British Isles) records, etc. I'd guess most of the vital records have been done, but that's not all there is.
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