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Surnames and Family Research Forum Archive

Re: Some Free Resources On Inter

Joe,
How long have you had Ancestry.com? Have you used it to search for more than just one person? I say that because if you are only looking for one person, or even one family, I don't think it would be worth it to pay for Ancestry.com. But if you are doing research on a lot of people, it is well worth the price of a subscription, especially because there are many, many resources that Ancestry has compiled databases for each state. I believe you are also researching in North Carolina, just as I am, and I happen to believe that they have really gone all out lately with additional NC databases, which include births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, and census records that are fully searchable. These databases are all searchable in various ways, and it all depends on how you approach it to do your research. First of all, I use the Census records to locate the families I'm researching, which can be done either as a surname search, or surname and first name search. The reason I do that is because I have found so many people with incorrect spellings for their names, either through transcription error or by census spelling errors. For common surnames like Green, Davis, Sneed, Evans, or Williams, you wouldn't think those names would be difficult to research, but I have been greatly surprised by some of the ways I've found them spelled. Green can be mistranscribed as "Grun", or "Grean"; Davis can be "Dayvis" or "Davies"; Sneed as "Snead", "Sneyd","Sned", or "Sneede"; Evans can be "Evens", "Evins", "Ivans", "Ivens", "Ivins", and so forth, names that I would never have thought to look for before I started doing research. So, when you are searching through the Census Records, you would do best to first look for the traditional spellings, then use their Soundex(names that sound similar) , and Wildcard, where you just type in at least the first 3 letters of a name, plus an asterisk *, or question ? mark, to get results. Most of Ancestry's databases are supported by Soundex or Wildcard searches, and believe me, it really helps in locating some people. And now that Ancestry has included their Birth databases and Death databases for North Carolina, I find myself spending hours going through them locating the actual birth or death dates for many people I had previously researched and had never before been able to pin down their deaths, for instance. Ancestry has unfortunately incorrectly indexed their NC Death databases for deaths prior to about 1960, where the counties were apparently indexed using the wrong coding system. But they do have a copy of the actual County Codes on the first page of the Death Database, which can be printed out and kept as a guide. And for those deaths that are prior to 1960, an actual copy of the record is linked to the Results which can be viewed and you can see the actual code yourself to determine the correct county of death. It doesn't make any difference whether you're looking for a black person, or white, the data is there, if you just know how to use the databases.
As for other resources, I believe I have already mentioned that you need to look for copies of deeds and wills, and such, to help you to research your HOUSE family further. Ancestry can only supply so much info, and it is up to the researcher to look beyond what they have, and to get the actual records.

Deloris


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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