Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Over 2000 (new to me) source records

I rarely get enthusiastic about a "new" website or computer program for more than a few minutes. When I was operating my Apple Dealership, I used to review dozens of programs a week. So, to some extent, it is a rare exception when I find something that changes the face of world of computers and it is even rarer to find something new in genealogy. This year has definitely been and exception.

One of those exceptional developments has been a long time coming and is still on the way, so to speak. That is the development of a replacement for in the form of FamilySearch Family Tree.

But now, there is a second significant and totally unforeseen development in the Record Match feature of Why is this significant? And why would I care? Don't I already have a subscription to and doesn't that pretty well cover everything? Well, no to be blunt.'s usefulness is not diminished by an additional tool. In the commercial world, and may be competitors, but from the genealogist's perspective, it is like having Sam's Club and Costco on the same block. They are competitors but we go to both stores, depending on what we are looking for. (As an aside, there is a place in Salt Lake City, Utah where the two stores are less than a block apart).

Why go on and on about Simply put, because of the depth of the searches and the number of valid source records discovered.

You can upload either part or all of your genealogical file to, just as you can with or any of dozens of other programs. pioneered the concept of giving you "hints" in the form of green leaves, on your uploaded file with suggestions as to records in the data base. I have been mining those records for some time now. Right now, my file shows 114 leaf suggestions. The way this works in is slick. You look at the suggestion and if it applies, you simply attach the record to your ancestor. This connection between your online database is very convenient.

Now, we come to With the same file, Record Match has found 2313 source matches for my family tree. The number looks significantly greater than's figure, but in actuality, they are different numbers.'s number is the "new" matches found.'s number is the total. In both cases I have more records than I can comfortably process.'s suggested records are what makes a difference. They do not come from one huge database, but from dozens upon dozens of separate unrelated databases around the world. I do not recall ever giving me a suggestion for records for my Australian ancestors, but there are suggestions from I cannot remember ever giving me a suggestion for newspaper obituaries with copies of the entire newspaper page to download. Likewise,'s suggestions for are from an index. gives links to the actual website. I would spend hundreds of hours even beginning to locate the records suggested by The existence of this tool gives a whole new perspective to the process of searching for and finding source records.

Neither nor find "all" of the sources by any means. But both are valuable tools and extends the search to places neither you nor I could imagine going.

No comments:

Post a Comment