Archive for the ‘Online Genealogy’ Category

When the weather is bad…

I was evacuated from the Maryland State Archives during a 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday. I had to go back to the Archives on Thursday to pick up my belongings from the locker, and then return home to tornado warnings. As I write this from my home in Delaware, I am waiting for the worst of Hurricane Irene to arrive and praying for it to move past quickly.

Some week.

Thinking about the past, I wonder what extreme weather may have affected my ancestors’ lives. The website GenDisasters: Events That Touched Our Ancestors’ Lives collects and compiles weather and accident-related events of the past.

Back in August 1884, an earthquake was felt from Baltimore up to Maine. Certainly my ancestors in the counties surrounding Albany, New York, felt it. According to the newspaper report transcribed on the GenDisasters site,

Last Sunday afternoon there was an earthquake shock in this country, which was felt as far south as Washington and as far north a Maine, and in the intervening territory.  In Baltimore the sensation was as a wavy tremor.  It was not near as pronounced as elsewhere, but was sufficient, in a number of cases, to arouse people form their afternoon naps, crack plaster, slam doors and toss furniture about.  From other parts of Maryland there are reports of similar character.  No one was hurt but the shock occasioned considerable excitement. … [1]

More recently, in September 1944, there was another hurricane wreaked havoc up and down the Atlantic coast. Among the news reported on GenDisasters:

Winds up to ninety miles an hour battering the Atlantic Coast last night as a severe hurricane sped toward New England forced many seaside residents to flee for safety, dashed a 250-foot freighter upon the shore and caused widespread damage.

The ninety-mile-an-hour reading was recorded at the Coast Guard station at Manasquan, N. J., about eight miles south of the resort city of Asbury Park. Winds as high as 83 miles an hour were recorded earlier on the Virginia coast.

Water five to six feet deep, all from rain, blocked highways in the vicinity of Hicksville, a Long Island community in an area hard hit by the famous hurricane of 1938. …

The Homestead restaurant on the Ocean Grove, N. J. boardwalk near Asbury Park, was washed into the sea. The restaurant had a capacity of 300 persons, but was believed to have been unoccupied when it was destroyed.

A pier was reported washed out at Asbury Park, but details were unavailable.

Many residents of Fire Island, off Long Island’s south shore fled their homes Wednesday. Four large Long Island airplane plants halted operations last night. …

Gov. LEVERETT SALTONSTALL of Massachusetts broadcast an appeal to shore dwellers to leave their homes for safer places and Rhode Island state police issued a similar warning.

Two vessels described as coal barges ran aground at Rehoboth Beach, Del., and were being battered by a severe gale. Whether crews were aboard was undetermined.

Power and telephone lines were downed in some areas.

In Atlantic City, N. J., the weather bureau reported wind velocity of 65 miles an hour. A report stated Atlantic City’s famous Steel Pier was split in half by mountainous waves, the Heinz Pier had been washed away and parts of the million dollar pier have been destroyed.[2]

The reports sound familiar on both accounts to what I have been listening to over the last five days.

The GenDisasters website can be browsed by disaster, by state, or by year. Within in each state, you can browse by disaster, to find, for example, an earthquake in Maryland or a hurricane in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, you cannot browse each state by town or county–which would be an easier way to locate information relevant to a particular area–or browse each state by year. When browsing the results also do not appear in any chronological order by disaster, so you often have to move through dozens of pages of disasters in no particular order.

There is a Google search box that can be used to search for specific place names or surnames. This can ease the search process significantly.

GenDisasters is a unique site. No other single site offers this sort of information for locations around the United States. The only other way to locate this information (and not a bad idea for thorough researchers) is to manually search through historic newspaper collections. Using GenDisasters, this process can be significantly shortened.

SOURCES:

[1] Jenni Lanham, “East Coast Earthquake, Aug 1884,” on GenDisasters: Events That Touched Our Ancestors’ Lives, posted 27 Dec 2009 (http://www3.gendisasters.com/ : accessed 27 Aug 2011).

[2] Stu Beitler, “East Coast, VA, DE, NJ, NY, MA, RI, CT  Hurricane,  Sept 1944,” on GenDisasters: Events That Touched Our Ancestors’ Lives, posted 31 Jul 2008 (http://www3.gendisasters.com/ : accessed 27 Aug 2011).

Ancestry Errors Wiki is picking up steam

Just a short note about the progress of the Ancestry Errors Wiki.

Since its creation on 1 August 2011, quite a few errors have have been added to the Wiki. There are now pages available for counties in ten states! While quite a few of the errors concern missing or misplaced locations in census enumerations, there are also entries for place names being misspelled and document pages being out of order, missing, etc.

If you have not already done so, please take a look at the Ancestry Errors Wiki. Explore a few of the pages to see if you have anything to add!

If you are aware of any database errors on any of the online sites–Ancestry.com, Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com), or other noncommercial sites–please feel free to create a page and write it up. Don’t worry if it is not perfectly written–there are editors on hand to help you out.

You can also post questions to me on this blog post, and I will try to help out.

Only with the help of the whole community can we turn this into a resource that will help all of us search more effectively!

The Ancestry Errors Wiki can be found at http://ancestryerrors.wikia.com/wiki/Ancestry_Errors_Wiki

On the transformation from Footnote to Fold3

On 18 August 2011, the popular subscription genealogy database Footnote.com announced two major changes.

For nearly five years, Footnote was the strongest competitor to the market-dominating Ancestry.com. The site made available improved images of several federal census enumerations, as well as improved image viewing and tagging capabilities. Over time, Ancestry and Footnote became complementary competitors, as separate agreements with both the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration and the Family History Library/FamilySearch provided different record groups to the two sites. Throughout this time, I have consistently recommended Footnote to audiences in my lectures on the U. S. Civil War, specifically because of the site’s strength in records of this era.

Almost a year ago, on 23 September 2010, Ancestry.com announced the acquisition of iArchives, the parent company of Footnote. Until the 18 August announcements, there were no noticeable changes to the site.

Two major changes have now occurred, according to the announcement:

  • The site will now focus entirely and exclusively on military records.
  • Footnote has been renamed Fold3.

In my opinion, the first of these two changes is a wise move. Especially now that Footnote is a subsidiary of Ancestry, it simply does not make sense to have two separate teams (e.g. the Ancestry team and Footnote team) both working to increase record holdings without focus. There are already several duplicate databases between the two sites. It would be inappropriate to increase this number. What Fold3 has done is recognized its strengths and chosen a focused path.

As a professional genealogist (or aspiring professional) we must do the same. I wrote before about being “Primary Care Genealogists,” that is, strong in the basic universal research skills that can be applied to any problem in any location. This does not mean that we should not define ourselves more specifically. In fact, most professionals eventually become known for a specialty–geographic, ethnic group, record group, time period, methodological, etc. This specialty can be either a conscious decision or a natural development of personal interests. But once a professional becomes a recognized expert on some subject, the amount of business relating to this content will increase (and consequently the amount of business not relating to this specialty will decrease).

So from this perspective, Footnote did what every professional must eventually do: they have created a focus by which they can become known.

The flip side of this coin is that Footnote.com was already known, and had many loyal subscribers. Yesterday’s announcement has upset quite a few of these subscribers. Just take some time to read the comments left on the Fold3 blog. There were quite a few subscribers, including institutions with small budgets, who were attracted to Footnote due to its lower subscription price, as an alternative to the rather pricey Ancestry subscription. Prior to its acquisition by Ancestry.com, Footnote was marketed as a competitor and an alternative, with the promise to someday rival Ancestry. The more specific–and more limited–focus puts an end to the site’s existence as a cheaper alternative.

The name change has also received mostly negative reviews. The most frequent objection is that no one knows what it means. According to the announcement,

We wanted a name that would show respect for the records we are working on and for the people who have served in the armed forces.  The name Fold3 comes from a traditional flag-folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.

This makes complete sense to me as a man whose brother is currently in Afghanistan after having already served in Iraq in the past three years. As a business owner, I feel that, with the new focus on military records, a new name reflecting this focus also seems warranted.

The down side of changing the name to reflect the new focus is that, where Footnote had become a recognizable brand, Fold3 is not yet recognizable. The name change erases years of marketing by Footnote. This is usually bad, but in creating a new name and a new focus, the company has ultimately created an entirely new entity. For some genealogists, this entity will not have any interest. Other genealogists–as well as new markets possibly uninterested in genealogy, such as military historians and reenactors–will continue to find Fold3 useful.

Changes are difficult to accept. But sometimes they are for the best of everyone involved.

The official announcement appears in the following blog post:

“Footnote is now Fold3 (updated),” Fold3 HQ blog, posted on 18 August 2011 (http://blog.fold3.com/ : accessed 18 Aug 2011).

 

Introducing the “Ancestry Errors Wiki”

Subscription genealogy websites–like Ancestry.com and Fold3.com–provide a great service to genealogists by providing remote access to digitized record images. In most cases, the image databases allow researchers to search or browse for their ancestors.

Unfortunately, occasional errors in imaging, image organization, or database programming on these websites cause inadvertent obstacles to our research. For example, some townships appear in the wrong county in one of the federal census databases. Or pages appear out of order. There are many examples of these kind of errors, but no way to know if your county of research suffers from one of them.

For this reason, I have created the Ancestry Errors Wiki. This wiki will provide a hub for genealogists to notify other genealogists of errors that exist on various subscription genealogy websites. In time, these errors may be corrected, but until then, researchers should be able to search for any known existing errors, and adjust their research accordingly.

The purpose of this site is not to report name-indexing errors. Both Ancestry and Fold3 contain effective internal mechanisms for amending and modifying indexing errors. This site is for the reporting of imaging or programming errors only.

The site uses the wiki platform, so that any user can create and edit content. This will allow the site to include information based on the research experience of the whole online genealogy community.

I would like to invite all genealogists to visit the site and add any errors of which they are aware. Only with all of our help will this site be a successful and useful resource.

Visit the “Ancestry Errors Wiki” at http://ancestryerrors.wikia.com/wiki/Ancestry_Errors_Wiki. For more information, contact Michael Hait, CG, at michael.hait@hotmail.com.

Every minute on the web…

Earlier this month, a very interesting post appeared in Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections entitled, “Every 60 Seconds These 21 Things Happen On the Internet.” It is pretty short, but includes a beautiful infographic from Shanghai Web Designers.

For copyright interests, I will not reprint the entire 21-point list here, but I invite you all to read the post using the link above.

Several of these items are particularly interesting as an Internet genealogist in general but also as a self-employed small business owner and as a professional researcher.

    • The search engine Google serves more than 694,445 queries

How often do you repeat your genealogy-related Google searches? The way that Google’s search algorithm works (at least the last time I read on the subject — it may have changed, so if someone knows better, please correct me), the more hits a site gets, the higher its search ranking.

With well over a half-million searches every single minute, it is possible that a site that did not show up (or showed up too far down the list for you to find) could find its search ranking improved and move up the search results. This means that a site that was barely visible before could now be made visible.

    • 70 new domains are registered

Do you plan on creating a website? If so, you’d better check on the availability of your ideal domain name and reserve it, before it’s too late! ; )

    • 1,600+ reads are made on Scribd

Are you familiar with Scribd — a great platform for creating and publishing ebooks?

  • As a researcher, I found on Scribd a published transcription of a young woman’s diary from the small town of Lynn Haven, Florida — a diary that just happened to have been written by a young friend of my great-grandfather (who also appears to have had a crush on his younger brother). Reading this was wonderful!
  • I always upload flyers for the genealogy events where I will be appearing, as well as other local events where I will not be speaking, to Scribd. From there I can tweet and post the link on Facebook, etc., to share with others.
  • As an author, I use Scribd to sell electronic copies of all of my books.
  • As a publisher, I use Scribd to distribute copies of all of the 1867 Texas voter registration lists that I have published as PDF “e-books.”

If you are not already using Scribd, please take a look. And be sure to run a search for some of your surnames. You may be surprised at what you find, just like I was!

Also take a look at the remaining items on this list of what happens online in a single minute. I would love to hear your thoughts on these, as both Internet users and as online genealogists. Could any of these statistics change the way you leverage your Internet use?

SOURCE: Hurt, Jeff. “Every 60 Seconds These 21 Things Happen On the Internet.” Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections. Posted 11 Jul 2011. http://jeffhurtblog.com/ : 2011.

If you would like to cite this post: Michael Hait, “Every minute on the web…,” Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog, posted 29 Jul 2011 (http://michaelhait.wordpress.com : accessed [access date]).

Call to Action: Pennsylvania Historical Record Access

Today, 5 June 2011, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a professional genealogist in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania, posted the following message on several forums, including several genealogy mailing lists and social media sites:

I just received the following this morning:

“Vital Records Bill SB-361 is scheduled for an important vote in State Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee on Wednesday June 8th, 2011 at 10am in Room 461 of the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg (I only just found out about it). More can be found on this at the June 1, 2011 entry on our website under The Latest News: http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htm.

This bill just makes birth certificates over 100 years old and death certificates over 50 years old open records. It doesn’t force them to be online, but making them open records is required before anything at all can be done. It is basically the same bill that passed this committee unanimously last year in the previous session. However, we cannot assume it will do so again. Your help is needed to make sure it passes again. Please visit, call, or at the very least email any or all of the committee members and ask them to vote in favor of this bill. If your state senator is on the committee so much the better. Be sure to let him or her know you are a constituent.

Please let your membership know about this. Thank you for your help.

Tim Gruber

610-791-9294”

If anyone can lend their support, please feel free to do so. The website Tim mentions is of the organization whose sole purpose is to get the PA Vital records opened up for easier access. It has information on why we need to do this, and who to contact.

Pennsylvania is one of only a few (less than ten) states that have refused to open their vital records to researchers, regardless of the age of the record. The state began their current vital registration program, for births and deaths, in 1906. All of these records, including those for people who died in 1906, are not considered public records by the state. This means that (1) there is no publicly available index to births or deaths within the state, from 1906 to the present; (2) researchers have absolutely no access to search any birth or death records, from 1906 to the present; and (3) researchers must provide detailed information on the deceased, including a specific familial relationship, in order to obtain a death certificate. And of course there are other implications for genealogists, as well.

Compare this policy with some of Pennsylvania’s neighbors. In the state of Maryland, birth certificates become publicly available after 100 years, and death certificates become publicly available after 10 years. Birth indexes are available for viewing on microfilm at the Maryland State Archives even for the period during which the certificate is restricted (for births less than 100 years old). Death indexes are available online from 1875 through 1972 for Baltimore City, and from 1898 through 1968 for the rest of the state. In the District of Columbia, the seat of our federal government, birth certificates are restricted for 100 years, and death certificates are restricted for 50 years.

The open-access advocacy group quoted above only requests open access to death certificates older than 50 years as a start, the same as has been available in the District of Columbia (not to mention most other states) for many years.

For more information please visit the website for the People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access (PaHR-Access). This website discusses the issues in great depth, and includes a list of “Ways You Can Help,” sample letters, and other useful information.

If you live or have research interests in Pennsylvania, please get involved. As mentioned, there is a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday, 8 June 2011, in Harrisburg. Please contact the members of the State Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee immediately. We must make our voices heard, so that this bill will pass.

Are my sources original? Who cares?

Many genealogists conduct all of their research using digitized and microfilmed records.

So what?

Ancestry, Footnote, GenealogyBank, the Internet Archive, USGenWeb, and other genealogy websites provide access to indexes, abstracts, transcriptions, and digital images of a large number of records. And their offerings are literally growing every day. The Family History Library holds microfilm of deed books, church records, will books, vital records, county histories, landowner maps, tax lists, and all of the other important record groups from around the world. These can be ordered through our local Family History Centers and provide access to the local records we need.

Here is the problem: these are not all of the records that you will need to use.

I use digitized records. See my recent “online case study” in which I attempt to research the family history of a freed slave in Texas using exclusively records held online. I have subscriptions to Ancestry, Footnote, and GenealogyBank, and have even compiled and published an e-book containing over 2,000 records available online on non-genealogy websites.

I also use microfilmed records. Sometimes from the Family History Library, and sometimes at other repositories such as state archives.

But I also use many original records directly at the repositories that hold them. By original records, here I mean those records available exclusively on paper. Records that have never been digitized and never been microfilmed. Often these records have not even been indexed, and the only way to research within the records is to conduct a page-by-page search.

In many cases, my success at locating the necessary records to prove a link or move beyond a brick wall was founded entirely on my use of these original, undigitized, unmicrofilmed records.

The Genealogical Proof Standard is a five-part checklist that allows one to verify, to a certain extent, the validity of one’s genealogical conclusions. The first requirement is that we conduct a “reasonably exhaustive search” for all records relevant to our research problem.

This does not read “all digitized records” or “all microfilmed records”; it reads “all relevant records,” and should without a doubt be taken to include those records that are not digitized or microfilmed. Take the following cases as examples:

1. Goal: identify the former owner of a freedwoman born enslaved in Maryland. How original records helped: In 1852, some Maryland counties recorded the names and ages of slaves owned, on the tax assessment records. These slave assessment rolls have never been digitized, microfilmed, or indexed. A page-by-page search through hundreds of pages, encompassing four separate election districts, finally revealed a household assessed for slaves with the names of the mother and child of the appropriate ages. Why digitized or microfilmed records would not have worked: The only other source that would have provided the names and ages of slaves during this time period would have been the estate inventory of the slave owner. In this particular case, the slave owner identified died in 1848, but the child was not identified by name in his inventory. These slaves did not bear the surname of the slave owner, and without having even a small “cluster” of people to look for, it would not have been possible to identify the family.

2. Goal: Identify the family of a man born ca. 1800 with a surname common to the area. How original records helped: The county in which this man lived his entire life had a courthouse fire that destroyed all of the probate records prior to 1852. A microfilmed land record was found in which the father sold land to the son, but this deed did not identify them as father and son. However, a case file in the state’s Chancery Court recorded the distribution of land owned by an unmarried brother among his siblings, as fellow “heirs at law” of their father (from whom the brother had inherited the land). This case file, while indexed, has not been digitized, microfilmed, or abstracted. It provided further support by proving that the land was originally owned by the father and distributed among his children. Why digitized or microfilmed records would not have worked: As noted, a single deed in which the father sold land to his son (the subject of research) was located, but no family relationships were noted within the deed. There were also no other tell-tale signs that this was a family deed, such as a low consideration amount, etc. The surname is relatively common within this specific county, so the deed alone does not prove a filial relationship. No other records containing specific relationship information about this family appears in the surviving county records. Only the undigitized, unmicrofilmed court case file provides the list of all surviving heirs at law that was vital to truly proving the relationships.

There are many other cases that can be used as examples, but these are two of the most recent cases that I have worked on. In both cases, there is simply no way that the digitized and microfilmed records would have provided the evidence needed to form a valid and reliable conclusion. Only the original, paper records, held by the State Archives, provided this evidence.

A suggestion for FamilySearch…

FamilySearch has been busy lately. During the NGS Conference last week, two announcements were made for recenly digitized Civil War records and South Carolina records. But many other records have come online in the past few months.

I was excited to learn of two new databases for Maryland: “Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940″ and “Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983.” Though I frequently work with these record groups in their original form at the Maryland State Archives, the convenience of online access is still much-desired and much-appreciated.

However, I would like to make a suggestion to FamilySearch: Please identify the records correctly.

For the “Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983,” for example, the search page provides the following “Source Information”:

“Maryland Probate Records,” database, ”FamilySearch” ([https://www.familysearch.org https://www.familysearch.org]); from various county clerk offices throughout Maryland.

I’m not sure which edition of Lackey’s Cite Your Sources or Mills’s Evidence! or Evidence Explained you are using, but this is not a source citation for the records in this collection.

The actual images of records included in this collection, furthermore, are not even all records from the Register of Wills. In Prince George’s County, for example, more than half of the records are actually records of the Circuit Court. This includes, but is not limited to, the record group identified on the website as “Circuit Court of Prince Georges County, 1841-1881.” There is no other identification as to what this collection actually contains.

In another example from Prince George’s County, the collection “Wills on Deposit, 1866-1958, A.H.L. No. 1″ does not contain any wills, but is actually a will index. The title of the collection is misleading.

Where did these records come from? Are they digitized microfilm from the Family History Library collections, as are most of the FamilySearch collections? The website does not say.

The FamilySearch Wiki page for these collections offers no other explanation of the collection. Instead it offers basic information about probate records in general. The “Record Description” reads,

Probate records were court documents and may have included both loose papers and bound volumes. The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.

Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.

The wiki page contains the following information for “Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections”:

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Examples of Source Citations for a Record

  • “Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940.” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 25 March 2011. entry for Emma Maude Carter, filed 1930; citing Probate Files; digital folder 4,103,819; Cecil County Courthouse, Elkton, Maryland
  • “Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983.” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed March 25, 2011, entry for James C Allen, 2 April 1969; citing Wills Books, Prince George’s, Index to Wills and Administrations, 1698-1978, A-D. Image 15; Prince George’s County Courthouse, Landover, Maryland.

This citation does not fit the standard format as defined by Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, though it comes close. But more importantly, the county seat of Prince George’s County (and Circuit Court) is in Upper Marlboro, not Landover. The county seat has been in Upper Marlboro since 1792, precisely the date of creation of the cited records. I am not sure where exactly in Landover these records would have originated.

I find it extremely problematic that the wiki page instructs users of the importance of citing sources, then does not heed its own advice. I have been unable to identify any reliable source information for the records in these collections anywhere on either the FamilySearch collection pages or the FamilySearch Wiki site.

I have not checked any of the other collections, but I would assume similar difficulties must exist elsewhere on the site.

So, FamilySearch, are you listening?

Please provide us with the actual sources for the records that you are digitizing. I want to know the real, actual source and provenance of any records that I use on your site.

Website review: GenealogyLinks.net

Occasionally I will use the site StumbleUpon to become aware of new websites. I will review these sites periodically on this blog.

Today’s site is GenealogyLinks.net.

GenealogyLinks.net defines its mission:

I have endeavoured to add sites that either have online genealogy records through which you can search for your ancestors or sites that provide helpful information to aid in your research.

The site claims to contain

4,500 pages of more than 50,000 Free Genealogy Links; for US, UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Europe, Canada, Australia & New Zealand.

The site is organized under various geographic categories. Under “US Genealogy Links,” there are further categories for “African American,” “Cemeteries,” “Censuses,” “Military,” “Ship Lists,” “Marriages,” and “Societies.” There are also additional categories under this main category, for each state. The links for the general US category follow the state links.

The general US links include links to commonly known sites such as the USGenWeb Archives, CastleGarden.org,  Cyndi’s List – USA, and the National Archives and Records Administration. Also included are some lesser known genealogy sites such as American Local History Network, the United States Digital Map Library (a USGenWeb Archives Project), and Southern New England Irish. However, several links appear more than once in this list, including the USGenWeb Archives. The list also includes numerous links to other pages on the GenealogyLinks site, and I counted at least one dead link (to NARA’s old AAD record site) and several affiliate links (to GenealogyBank and Ancestry).

The state link pages do not far much better. Included on the site for Maryland, explored as a sample, are specific categories for each county. The general statewide links are as troublesome as those for the general US category. In addition to the numerous links to other pages on the site, there are quite a few duplicate links, such as several to various USGenWeb pages. The links for Maryland under the American History and Genealogy Project and under the American Local History Project actually point to the same destination, as the statewide Maryland site is affiliated with both projects.

On the other hand, the site does include a few useful links to Maryland genealogy sites, including the Archives of Maryland Online and the Society of the Ark and the Dove. Other lesser-known Maryland genealogy sites also appear in the list of links: Handley’s Eastern Shore Maryland Genealogy Project, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and Mid-Maryland Roots. The site also contains links to multiple record transcriptions on various USGenWeb pages, as well as New River Roots, and Genealogy Trails.

 My overall assessment is that this site is largely unnecessary. This site does not appear to offer anywhere near the number of resources contained within the much earlier Cyndi’s List website. GenealogyLink.net’s mission statement claims to focus on sites that feature records that can be searched. However, these are, at least in the case of Maryland, to the most common sites, such as those provided by the Maryland State Archives, or to similar page “systems” of record transcriptions, like USGenWeb.

However, I have only reviewed the site links for Maryland research, specifically due to my own personal experience with researching in that state. I would be extremely interested in hearing the assessment of those with experience in other states, as to how thorough the other lists of links are, by country, state, county, or category. Please feel free to reply with your assessment either here in the comments, or in your own blog post, and provide a link here.

Michael

Talking about YouTube – Using Google News Timeline for Genealogy & Family History

  This is a great video from Lisa Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcast!

Quote

YouTube – Using Google News Timeline for Genealogy & Family History
 

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