Locating Online Databases Part Four: Internet Sources
In the last decade, there has been a literal explosion in the availability of online genealogy records. This article will explain methods for locating online genealogy records in a variety of internet sources.
- For using the FamilySearch Wiki to find online records, see Part One.
- For online records using FamilySearch Historical Records and the FamilySearch Library, see Part Two.
- For online digitized books, see Part Three.
First, here are some warnings to consider.
Complete or incomplete?
In some cases, the database shows a complete copy of all the existing or known records in a collection. However, in many cases
- 1) the collection is still being digitized and uploaded. The uploading is a work in progress.
- 2) the collection is fully digitized, but only partially indexed. The index is a work in progress.
- 3) the original collection is still being gathered and will eventually be digitized, uploaded, and indexed. The collection is a work in progress.
It is important to read any descriptive notes about the collection. If it is incomplete, you will want to study the source again from time to time until you can determine that the project is finished.
Index, index and images, images only?
Some databases show digitized copies of original documents. Some databases are indexes of genealogical data found in documents. Some databases have indexed a collection of documents and linked the index entry to the digitized image of the document named. Warning! Every time information is copied into an index, abstract, or extract there is a chance of human error. An index may speed up location of a desired record. However, if the indexer misread or mistyped an entry, dependence on an index can result in missing a valuable record or greater details found in an original record. Always study the original source. Look at the digitized copy linked by the index. Browse the original source in the appropriate time period or section where you would expect to find your record, whenever possible.
FamilySearch has a partnership with several subscription genealogy websites making it possible to view their collections without charge from a Family History Center computer.
Click to search Ancestry.com by index:
Click to search Ancestry.com by record source: Catalog Search Use this to find records that are image only and have not been indexed.
Searching Original Images
Click to search findmypast by record source: Search A-Z of record sets
Searching Original Images
Enter the word "Browse' in the Search A-Z of record sets search field to browse original images.
Click to search MyHeritage by index: Welcome to SuperSearch
Click to search MyHeritage by record source: Collection Catalog
Click to search Geneanet by record source: Geneanet Collections
Cyndi's List is a comprehensive, categorized and cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online. Cyndi's List
Search Google with a combination of your location and a variety of keywords. Try "birth records", "marriage records", "death records", "genealogy", "family history", "probate records", "land records", "census records", etc.
Here is an example of a Google search.