AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Re: On Line or In Library Research?
In Response To: Re: On Line or In Library Research? ()
Marci's remarks and her reference to the Pensacola along with Lisa's description of researching long distance piqued my interest.
Although my family and I are native Floridians (Pensacola included), my biggest research challenge, like Lisa's is distance and time. On line archives have certainly help solve some family mysteries. And if not, pointed me to clues for further research that I would have never found had I not used on line historical data.
I must admit that I hate playing with those machines/viewers or what ever they are called. Spending my precious vacation time over one of those readers for hours is not my idea of fun. But seriously:
I've solved some of that by joining Florida, Pensacola and Charleston Historical Societies to network with local historians. On-line catalogues also tell me what is available in city and state archives. I've queried and ordered by phone marriage and tax records, wills etc. Making voice contact builds professional friendships.
Subscriptions to Ancestry etc are OK. But census records etc. are only the beginning of one's search. They do point the way to father research...drilling down" past a record to discover the life and times in which our ancestors' lived. But as someone recently wrote on Afrigeneas, the Ancestry transcribers' mistakes are worsening. Some I've found are downright fiction. Recently genealogy sites and a library have noted that Ancestry outsources its transcription work to South East Asia/India. Unfortunately there is very little voice contact and never a courteous reply by the My Family senior management staff.
Using the internet also helps you to "step back" from an historian's documented history of a place, ancestor or group of people. Your computer helps you compare documents in the real time of your search and sometimes uncover more evidence or make connections than what a library collection or file may contain.
An example is the very well known and accepted myth of a free woman of color and one of my ancestor's owners who bought slaves and then benovently freed them. Thanks to the sterling research of Dr. Gwen Midlo Hall, this freer of slaves was buying keeping and selling slaves throughout her life...not to mention her mother, sister and her children.
I understand the importance of visiting archives and libraries, but it is just not an option for people who have to research long distance.
K Wyer Lane
PS Having said all of the above, Marci, some of those glass plates identified as my family are incorrect. But then I noted this long distance. LOL
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