Lesson 4

Workshop 4 - Large Databases

5 Step Research Process

All of the different websites we’re going to go over today fall under steps three and four of the 5 step research process.

  • Step 3: Select Records to Search

  • Step 4: Obtain and Search the Records

In order to select records you need to know what records are available. In order to search those records, you need to know where they are available. Our goal today is to help you understand what other large databases are available to you as a BYU student and what kinds of information they have.

 

The Need for other websites

FamilySearch is great because it is free to use, and has a community Family Tree.  However, you it is important to remember that Family Tree is not always accurate, and that FamilySearch’s databases are not exhaustive.  Therefore, we often need to consult other websites in order to find the best sources available for the families we are researching.



Partner Access

FamilySearch has deals with five other websites allowing you to create a free account if you have LDS membership. To sign up click on the following link:

www.familysearch.org/partneraccess

  • When you go to the link, you can select which websites you want a subscription with.

  • Once you sign up this initial time, you will have an account with the website and will never have to sign up again.

If you don’t have an LDS account you can use BYU accounts for some of the websites while on campus

 

BYU Family History Library website (http://lib.byu.edu/sites/familyhistory/)

The BYU Family History Library is an incredible resource that is available to the BYU and the Provo communities. They have classes, digital databases, reference books, links, and a lot more. Take advantage of what they have to offer.

 

Large Paid Subscription Databases

 

MyHeritage (www.myheritage.com)

  • Paid subscription website

  • You do NOT have free access on campus (however we do have free access to a similar website www.worldvitalrecords.com, which is owned by MyHeritage)

  • Comes with the LDS free access

  • Start your searches broad and then narrow down

  • Has a database for Family Trees as well. This allows you to attach records you’ve found in MyHeritage to the family tree. You can then make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree.  You can also upload a GedCom.

  • Uses categories (given off the right side of the main search screen) for filtering.

  • Contains a more world-wide set of records – based out of Jerusalem but NOT church-owned

 

Find My Past (www.findmypast.com)

  • Has a database for Family Trees as well.  This allows you to attach records you’ve found in Find My Past to the family tree.  You can then make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree.  You can also upload a GedCom..

  • Specializes in British Isles research (English company)

    • Still contain US records—in fact it has the best collection of US Marriage Records

  • Paid subscription website

  • Comes with the LDS free access

  • You do have free access on campus (without signing in)

  • Start your searches broad and then narrow down

    • When searching, keep in mind that it does not automatically search name variants for surnames.  However there is a box where you can check for name variants—make sure you check this option.

 

Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com)

  • Paid subscription site, however, if you are using BYU internet you have free access when you go to ancestryinstitution.com.

    • Ancestryinstitution is through BYU’s subscription.  It gives you access to the records; however, you can not upload a tree on this website.

  • Comes with the LDS free access

  • Start your searches broad and then narrow down.

  • You can determine what collections Ancestry.com has by going to their “Card Catalog” and searching key terms (such as state name and record type) in the keywords box, e.g. England Marriages

  • Has a database for ‘Member Trees’. Similar to Family Tree in FamilySearch but it has different features and links especially to Ancestry.

    • When you have an LDS account, you can transfer information from Family Tree to Ancestry and vice versa.

    • You can also make this tree public so other people can view and help expand the tree

    • You can upload a GedCom.

 

American Ancestors (www.americanancestors.org)

  • Covers primarily Colonial America, but has other good resources such as American Jewish collections

  • Records are scattered so most often it will be a digitized book

  • Search:

    • Databases

    • Library Catalog: like FS Catalog, includes online and offline resources, such as books in genealogical societies along the east coast

    • External Data: includes 19th Century Newspapers and Marquis biographies

    • Digital Collections: American Jewish database

 

Geneanet (www.geneanet.org)

  • Focus primarily European, good resource for French research

  • Search is done last name, first name *pay attention to that*