Despite the wealth of genealogical information on the internet, there is an even greater wealth not there. Further, some that is available on the internet can be difficult or costly to find.
What is not on the internet?
- Much of what is available on film through the family history library
- Most of what has been published after 1923
- Many books published prior to 1923, but not digitized
- A huge amount of manuscript material held in libraries and archives but yet digitized.
- Material held in courthouses, but not filmed or digitized.
Context may be missing; information in a large database might be retrievable only piece by piece. Something your eye might have caught is hidden under a misspelling or mis-transcription. There may be no records for a span of years, but without the volumes in front of you, you may overlook the gap. Any one of a number of problems can cause a database to malfunction for research purposes.
When we comb the internet for information, we are searching… not researching. Research requires that we identify what relevant information might be available to us and for that the internet is enormously useful. Use these 3 free sites to discover what is available –and where it can be found.
Libraries with strong genealogy collections used to be crowded and bustling. Now they are underused. Of course we want to take advantage of what is available online…. but we still need to also use what is not online.