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17 August 2014

A Source You Don't Often Use

Are there sources you avoid using because they are "difficult" to use, interpret, or access? Is it possible you are hampering your research efforts by doing so? Is there a way to learn about the records you don't understand or another way to access them?

7 comments:

  1. One source I should be using avidly: The Church records for the Catholic diocese of Passau, Bavaria. Online over 2 years, on a beautiful and inviting website.

    Why I have not used them more? They may well hold the key to how my husband's grandmother was related to her adopted parents. My very limited German is no excuse. I just need to concentrate on the local geography, and parish hierarchy, before narrowing down which parishes. And have I looked for any Finding Aids in English? One may exist. Thank you for the nudge!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to have nudged ;-)

      Most of us have records that we find easier to use and we tend to focus on those--but not doing so may cause us to overlook good leads and information.

      Foreign language records are a challenge for most of us.

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    2. Have you tried google translate to help with the language barrier?

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  2. I hesitate to use Ancestry.com. I no longer have a subscription to the site, so I go to my local library when I have a list of items to look up. I hesitate because I always get soooo many hits with non-relevant information, even when I try to narrow down the search. Narrowing down search information isn't easy either, when you know the information should be there. It just gives me a tremendous headache wading through all the hits. Also, for some reason, Ancestry has little information for Northern New York, where pretty much all my people are.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you know about this site for NY:
      Old Fulton NY Post Cards - Fulton History
      www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html

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    2. I agree, I DO use ancestry.com but get very annoyed when the returns are simply nonsense and not even close to my search string. They are showing their greed or inability or unwillingness to hire good programmers. Such a shame because there IS a lot of good info out there. The whole site has become too complicated and "busy", it has evolved worse instead of better over many years!

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  3. Historic court records on the Library of Virginia's website. There's a wealth of documents and I've probably only scratched the surface of the ones pertaining to my ancestors, but none have been transcribed and it's exhausting to spend more than about 45 min. trying to decipher the old handwriting. As with many old documents there is also damage here and there that makes it even harder so I have to take it in short bursts. Since I can't put off eyestrain indefinitely I end up taking a lot of extra notes about parallel families and addition connections that may be useful for the next time I visit that site rather than tracking them down in one session as I normally would. Frustrating to have so much data online and freely available only to grind to a halt due to illegibility.

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