Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's almost not fair

Doing genealogy research today is so much easier than in years past if you use the resources available online. The software I use, Family Tree Maker allows me to highlight a person and search online for any record about them at with one click. Anything I find is then added to their record in the database.

In the past you would have to search microfilm records for hours to locate one census record on the family you were looking for and then have to transcribe it.

I just started using a new software program called GenSmarts that is supposed to take my entire database of 60,000 people and locate records on them from any online source. I haven't used it enough to figure out how well it works but the concept is amazing.

There are so many other records online that for most people looking for family history there is no reason to go to a court house or library anymore. Social security death records are published each month and put online for free. Cemetery records are available for free at and several other places and literally thousands of records are being added each day.

For those who spent their entire genealogy career doing research with paper and microfilm records the advances would probably be considered unfair. But our goal is to locate information on our ancestors and using what is available is the way it has always been done. We just have the fortune to see the resources online.

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