Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Family History 101 Web Site

I recently found, and made a Favorite of, the http://www.familyhistory101.com web site because it looked interesting and perhaps helpful. The home page does not offer much - there are links to maps, encyclopedia, forms, software, books, free trials, etc. There are also links on the home page to Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, Ancestry and other commercial web sites.

The real value on this web site is the State resources and links which you get to from the home page by clicking on "View Another State" - who knew? They really need to fix that - put a clear link to the States.

At the States site - http://www.familyhistory101.com/states.html - there is a map of the states currently in their web site. They are mainly east of the Mississippi, but include Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri west of the river, but not Wisconsin east of the river.

When you click on a state, you go to another web site specific to that state and see a map of the state with the current counties outlined.

For instance, I chose Pennsylvania and got a web site named http://www.mypennsylvaniagenealogy.com/index.htm which showed a map of Pennsylvania. When you run your mouse over a county, the boundaries fill in and the county name appears on the map. You can click on a county on the map, or from a list of counties below the map, and go to a web page for the specific county. I picked Mercer County and the web page is http://www.mypennsylvaniagenealogy.com/index.htm.

On the Mercer County web page, there are sections for County History and Facts, Court Records, Vital Records, Census Records, Tax Records, Military Records, County Maps and Atlases, Genealogy Addresses, Church and Cemetery Records, etc. Within each section there are links to web pages that have specific information. Some of the links take you to a commercial genealogy site.

If you put a name in the "Search for your Ancestors" box, it goes to www.WorldVitalRecords.com. If you don't have a subscription, then you don't get to view the record.

There are no actual data records on this web site, only links to places that might have records. As such, it is not overly useful to me - I'm looking for real data and not just information.

I think that some links to the County USGenWeb site, to the County Message Boards and Mailing List, etc. would be appropriate. Links to the LDS Family History Library Catalog for the County could be provided so researchers could see what records might be available at the Family History Library in paper, microform or digital format.

It's a decent start for this site - but it can be greatly improved.

1 comment:

Teri said...

If your looking for real data for Mercer County and not just links to paid and other sites, come and see us at the Mercer County PAGenWeb site - over 9500 pages of the real stuff.