Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quick Tip: About Searching Online Databases

I really believe that when we search online databases we are passing up information that we do not realize is there because we only search from the main page of the database.

1.  Spend time getting to know the known records in the geographical area where your ancestor lived.  If you are at a loss, search the county and state on FamilySearch Wiki to see what historical records may exist for that locality.

2.  When you search a database like Historical Records at FamilySearch Internet or Footnote, research the collections in the database first.

3.  Search each collection individually.  This will undoubtedly narrow your results by the 1000's if not by 10,000.

When you search every collection at once, you may never reach the results page containing your ancestor.

4.  Check online databases regularly.  They make additions all the time. Just because you did not find success the first time, it does not mean you never will.

If you ever find a new resource, please feel free to share it with us.  We will contribute it to the FamilySearch Wiki for you.

Happy Hunting!


  1. My, it's been a busy two days for you. Thank you for sharing your findings. Going over to the wiki right now.

  2. You are welcome, Darlene! It's a wonderful journey!


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