With so many sources of information available today and so many websites to choose from, it’s sometimes difficult to understand just what and how records are used for researching – especially if you are new to genealogy. As much as we would all just love to jump right in and begin researching this could probably be one of the biggest mistakes we make. One is almost guaranteed to miss an important clue. I can’t tell you how many sources I have had to revisit because I did this very same thing.
The answer to this is read, read, read! Every reputable website should have a newsletter or archive that should explain just how to read, understand or use the records available. Ancestry is no exception.
I subscribe to several newsletters and in several languages (I do this just to spice it up a bit). They are delivered directly to my inbox to an account in which I use just for this purpose. This keeps me current on which new records are being added to sites and how they are used. I also find the Learning Archives at Ancestry to be a treasure trove of information for both the new and seasoned researcher.
Recently, Ancestry posted this article on 10 Census Questions That Lead to More Answers which I think is worth a definite read. With the 2010 US Census in full swing, it’s interesting to note just how the census’s have changed over the years and what can be learned from them.
- Appearance: Excellent
- Ease of Navigation: Lots of Links to Choose from so stay focused or you will find your self backtracking quite a bit.
- Quality of Information: Very Good but you will need to track migration patterns of your ancestors and variations in name spellings on your own.