When I am talking about large databases, I include those with huge numbers of documents. Of course, we have Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, FamilySearch.org and findmypast.com, but looking at just these four as being "large data websites" is extremely myopic. Just one example. At the recent RootsTech.org Conference, there were 339 classes listed. This should have been a fair sampling of the topics thought important to genealogists. Here is what I see in the class titles from that listing:
- Ancestry.com - 10 mentions
- FamilySearch - 54 mentions
- MyHeritage - 6 mentions
- findmypast - 5 mentions
- Trove - 0 mentions except as in the term "treasure trove"
- Europeana - 0 mentions
- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) - 0 mentions
- Library of Congress - 0 mentions
- U.S. Central Intelligence Agency - 0 mentions
- Amazon.com - 0 mentions
- YouTube.com - 1 mention
- LexisNexis -- 0 mentions
- Google -- 6 mentions
Let me take some examples. LexisNexis.com has a website called VitalChek.com. Here is the description:
VitalChek is the #1 resource for government-issued vital records.
For over 20 years, VitalChek has provided Americans with official government certificates of birth, death, marriage and divorce. We do this as an official service provider for over 400 government agencies throughout the United States and US Territories safely delivering millions of important documents every year.If you want to know what LexisNexis has on you personally, you can order a free Full File Disclosure Report.
Here are some interesting statistics:
Trove.nla.gov.au has 407,690,477 Australian and online resources.
Europeana.eu is unimaginably large.
The Digital Public Library of America now has 8,500,231 items and is growing rapidly.
300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.com every minute.
If you are asking yourself why some of these online websites are listed, perhaps you are finding out that you do have blinders. Here are some qualifications. These large websites are not "set up" for genealogists. You can do name searches, but you probably need to understand that there are additional types of documents that may help you with your research that don't necessarily come classified with a genealogical label. Let's wake up and look around; there is a whole lot of information out there and perhaps it is time we recognized that what we need to do our research may be in a resource unrelated to genealogy.