Easing into E-Resources: Ancestry.com
Updated: Apr 14
The Hidden Resource:
You may be familiar with many of the materials that you have access to at our library, such as books, CD's, audio-books, magazines, and DVDs. But are you familiar with the array of resources that are available electronically? Do you know what an electronic resource is? For those of you who are willing to take a journey into the vast world of electronic resources, this blog series is for you.
Ancestry.com - What Is It?
Ancestry.com is a great way to conduct genealogy searches to understand your family heritage or the heritage of anyone else you are interested in. In this database, there are billions of records to support your search. Commonly referenced are birth, marriage, divorce, death, and military records. Often people have more than one record to trace their life history and Ancestry uses these records to build a cohesive trail into the past.
Why I Love It
If you have been to the library and have seen me or my coworker working on the microfilm computer, we may be conducting genealogy searches for patrons (other times we are doing huge digitizing projects...any volunteers interested in learning this process are more than welcome to give us a hand!). While we tend to do most of the searching for those who are out of town or cannot make it to the library, we are always willing to train others to use the microfilm machine so that they can conduct their own searches. We use Ancestry to track down specific dates, which help us go through our local records faster and with as much accuracy as possible.
You can use Ancestry free of charge at the library - either on one of our computers, or by connecting your device to our WiFi. By accessing the Ancestry website through our library website, you can begin exploring. Once you are connected to the website through our library access, push the "begin searching" button and then fill out as much detail as possible to narrow your search. Name, location, date of birth, date of death, or the name of a close relative can get you started on a search into your history. The more information you can fill out, the more specific your search is! If you need help using Ancestry, and you want to learn on your own, checkout the AncestryLibrary tutorial on Niche Academy.
Not everyone is comfortable or familiar with online database searching, and that's where your local librarians can help. Come in and use our computers or WiFi, and if you get stuck or need help getting started, you can ask the reference librarian so we can assist. Or, if you think you will need more uninterrupted, one-on-one help, then book a librarian or book a tech tutor appointment and we can work with you individually. We like to encourage as much learning and hands on experience as possible, so come with your notes, prepare to take more notes, and we can guide you through it so you feel comfortable working on your own!
Up Next: Digital Newspapers
As well as housing local and national newspapers in print, we also have access to a lot of newspapers online! Our next e-resource blog will be about our digital newspapers collection. Explore all the information of the past from different locations throughout the US!