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WELL465d
23 August 2005, 09:23 PM
I am new at this genealogy thing and realize I must join a genealogical research site. I've purchased Reunion and have begun to enter information. However, I soon will need to begin some serious internet research and do not have a clue as to where to spend my money. There are so many genealogical sites.

What service should I purchase to get the biggest bang for my buck and energy spent.

SGilbert
23 August 2005, 11:02 PM
My opinion: Only those that have what you want are worth anything. One never knows! Some allow searching for free to see what they may have.

Personally, I use Ancestry.com, but I am convinced it is way over priced!

I urge you to spend some time going thru: http://cindyslist.com/
to see what is available for your needs and wants, and it has lots of pointers.

artsmart47
24 August 2005, 05:49 PM
I have both Genealogy.com and ancestry.com. I personally like Genealogy better but ancestry has more features for someone who is new to genealogy. Side note, they were 2 separate companies at one point but they are now owned by the same parent company.

Ancestry has upgraded their preview which has helped but there's still things that annoy me. And I believe a "full" subscription is more expensive on Ancestry than on Genealogy. Ancestry does have more census images indexed (1920 and 1930). So there's pros and cons to both. I believe you can get 2 week trials at both sites. You may want to do that first and see which works better for you.

Also, really take the time to search the web. Places like Rootsweb, and USGenWeb are great sites for free stuff.

Joel Weiner
24 August 2005, 06:00 PM
The Godfrey Genealogy Library offers membership at a fraction of what ancestry.com requires, and you can get to a lot of stuff. Take a look at their site. Many local libraries subscribe to ancestry.com or other major providor, and you can log on to their system from home. Check with your local library.

Joel Weiner
joel.weiner@jhuapl.edu

Sharon Lunde
24 August 2005, 06:48 PM
One of the best things I did when I began was take a class that was offered by the local continuing education program at our high school. The instructor had many good hints for searching and organizing data.

I have never signed up for any of the pay sites. I use my library and local
Family History Center which both have subscriptions to Ancestry.com.

glholder
24 August 2005, 06:50 PM
If you send me your e-mail address, I'll give you my opinion direct rather than post it here and risk starting a number of arguments.

George Holder
Long Beach, MS
glholder AT cableone.net

LarryN
24 August 2005, 10:37 PM
In reply to: "What service should I purchase to get the biggest bang for my buck and energy spent?" - - I have used both Ancestry (better power searching in censuses, and more general data, and Heritage Quest - better actual census images and good limiting parameters in census. I don't use genealogy.com, and haven't for a while for a number of reasons.

Thing is, I am a genealogy librarian, and we offer free onsite and offsite Heritage Quest to our cardholders, and free Ancestry in-house. A great many public libraries do these days. Also, nearly all the Family History Centers also aoffer free Ancestry with newspapers as well. So try out the free accesses. Check with your local libraries and FHC's first before signing up.

If you are in Memphis, TN, that's a large city. Check your library and local Mormon church.

AE Palmer
24 August 2005, 10:53 PM
I am new at this genealogy thing and realize I must join a genealogical research site. I've purchased Reunion and have begun to enter information. However, I soon will need to begin some serious internet research and do not have a clue as to where to spend my money. There are so many genealogical sites.

What service should I purchase to get the biggest bang for my buck and energy spent.If you send your email address back channel, I can offer other points of interest you should also consider. <aepalmer AT a-znet.com>

Venita Roylance
25 August 2005, 10:04 AM
I am new at this genealogy thing and realize I must join a genealogical research site. I've purchased Reunion and have begun to enter information. However, I soon will need to begin some serious internet research and do not have a clue as to where to spend my money. There are so many genealogical sites.

What service should I purchase to get the biggest bang for my buck and energy spent.

Look for connections in other people's research that has been published on the web, keeping in mind that it is someone's opinion and should be verified with your own research. I'd start with FamilySearch.org and RootsWeb.com. If you will be doing most of your research in US records, you might consider subscribing to Ancestry.com, or going to your nearby LDS family history center and access it through their computers. Try Google-ing some family names and see what else may show up.

However, I suggest that you verify and document the information you already have before you add more generations. Do it one generation at a time, then you will know that the information you have is accurate.

Yours,

Venita

juadro
26 August 2005, 01:17 AM
Personally, I use Ancestry.com, but I am convinced it is way over priced!
I agree except going back to Ancestry after a break has benefits. The thing that irks me big time - and I got nasty with Ancestry about it - is they make it so easy to subscribe on-line, then, you have to use antiquated telephone procedures to cancel before your subscription automatically renews!
A big bummer for me with the subscriptions is the historical newspapers. Oh boy ... I spent fruitless hours and lost sleep trying to pan through newspapers that were indexed! The documents are pictures, not OCR products, so you can't put out a 'search' on the page and when you are asking the index to take you to 'Bill Coat' you realize, after your eyes are ruined and your forehead has hit your keyboard, that the index pointed you to a page that had 'bill' in one article about birds and 'coat' in a store's advertisement. Plus the newspapers they've scanned are not necessarily mainstream papers. Of course, it is a beginning in this new information era.
Is genealogy a big enough market to get googlized?
Robert Steuer

WELL465d
26 August 2005, 06:46 PM
WOW! Someone once told me that if you do not want to know don't ask.

I really appreciate all your suggestions. I have checked with my local library and they have access to several research programs plus I have found out we have an LDS church here with a direct link to Salt Lake.

Thanks,

Herschel

AE Palmer
26 August 2005, 09:37 PM
The thing that irks me big time - and I got nasty with Ancestry about it - is they make it so easy to subscribe on-line, then, you have to use antiquated telephone procedures to cancel before your subscription automatically renews!
Robert SteuerAncestry.com at one time was also a MAJOR contributor to the email spam problem we now endure.

As a "potential" customer some years back

Kim
27 August 2005, 09:11 AM
A big bummer for me with the subscriptions is the historical newspapers. Oh boy ... I spent fruitless hours and lost sleep trying to pan through newspapers that were indexed! The documents are pictures, not OCR products, so you can't put out a 'search' on the page and when you are asking the index to take you to 'Bill Coat' you realize, after your eyes are ruined and your forehead has hit your keyboard, that the index pointed you to a page that had 'bill' in one article about birds and 'coat' in a store's advertisement. Plus the newspapers they've scanned are not necessarily mainstream papers. Of course, it is a beginning in this new information era.
Is genealogy a big enough market to get googlized?
Robert Steuer
Just wondering if anyone here has ever tried newspaperarchive.com? I'm considering a subscription there and wondering how it compares to ancestry's historical newspapers. Thanks for any & all input!

Venita Roylance
27 August 2005, 12:08 PM
Is genealogy a big enough market to get googlized?
Robert SteuerYou'd be surprised!! Type in one of your names and see what comes up. 8o)

Venita

juadro
27 August 2005, 04:51 PM
Venita, I was pleasently surprised by that strategy a little while back. What I am thinking about is reports I've heard that Google might be leading the search engine race to take us right to the point without all the misleading hits, there's more to it than that - I'm sure it's over my head. For example, what if all the IMAGES[emphasis] of text that's now available were OCR'd or otherwise "searchable", or what if all indexes were accurate. One of the biggest breakthroughs I've experienced in my research is the time I finally realized the reason I could not find someone in the Census records is because the indexes were AND STILL ARE using incorrect spellings. One time I commented it was too bad enumerators weren't required to print and someone replied "to print!" why not "to use a typewriter!".
Archives, of vital statistics, right now, are missing the opportunity to give us users of the indexes a method to add editorial comments to them when we find translation errors.
Robert Steuer

Venita Roylance
29 August 2005, 08:04 PM
Venita, I was pleasently surprised by that strategy a little while back. What I am thinking about is reports I've heard that Google might be leading the search engine race to take us right to the point without all the misleading hits, there's more to it than that - I'm sure it's over my head. For example, what if all the IMAGES[emphasis] of text that's now available were OCR'd or otherwise "searchable", or what if all indexes were accurate. One of the biggest breakthroughs I've experienced in my research is the time I finally realized the reason I could not find someone in the Census records is because the indexes were AND STILL ARE using incorrect spellings. One time I commented it was too bad enumerators weren't required to print and someone replied "to print!" why not "to use a typewriter!".
Archives, of vital statistics, right now, are missing the opportunity to give us users of the indexes a method to add editorial comments to them when we find translation errors.
Robert Steuer

Hi Robert,

I understand your frustration, but things aren't likely to change anytime soon. The census takers wrote what they heard the way they heard it, for the most part. I have a case where an ancestor's family and his father's family were living in the same village in Utah and their information was taken by the same census taker, but their surnames are spelled differently. The surname on the father's family was so different that I just found it by accident - it was on the same page as another family I was looking for.

Remember, the US censuses we are allowed to access were taken before 1930. (I imagine the year is about the same for most countries.) People could not easily carry a typewriter with when they went from door to door, nor was the census form designed to be typewriter compatible. Everything had to written out. I don't know if they were instructed to use cursive, but I've never seen a census that wasn't written in cursive. Of course each census taker had his own style of handwriting. It's not likely that OCR would be of much additional use to the digital images.

I've done some extracting from census records and know that it can be a real challenge. So I bless those who have done the work required to create the indexes and I'm grateful to have an image to view to see if I can find what they found. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me to see Google be the first to come up with a way to successfully read digital images of hand-written records. The mind boggles!!

Yours,

Venita

juadro
01 September 2005, 07:55 AM
I have seen 1 [one] census that was printed - I should have kept a note of it, as now, I have no idea in what year or Enumeration District it was taken. I think it was 1870 or later.