So I went to the Ancestry Card Catalog and clicked on:
* The USA link
* The California link
* The San Diego link
There are 13 databases on Ancestry.com for San Diego. Here is the screen shot of the list:
Ten of the items on the list are in the "Stories, Memories and Histories" Collection, including several older history books and even some books with older photographs.
I had not seen the book "Picturesque San Diego - with Historical and Descriptive Notes" before. So I clicked on that item on the list:
A brief listing of the Table of Contents is provided on the right side of the search box, and source information is below the search box. The Ancestry source citation for this item says:
Ancestry.com. Picturesque San Diego : with historical and descriptive notes [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
I paged through this book, which provides text and photographs (black and white) from this 1887 history of San Diego, including information about the town, the port, the county, the bay, the interior, etc. Here is a screenshot of page 29 - a photograph of downtown San Diego looking toward the Bay in 1887 (the image is presented in landscape mode on the page):
If an Ancestry user wants to learn the history of a state or county, doing a locality search may be very helpful. Of course, many of the pre-1923 books of this nature are available on other resources - the Picturesque San Diego book is on Archive.org and Google Books, and is downloadable there. The book photographic images are much clearer in the book on Google Play. I found a picture of my high school in 1887, and pictures of the beaches, cliffs and rocks along the coast in 1887. Great photos!
The San Diego locality search found the California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 and the specific San Diego passenger list database. However, it did not find census records, military records, etc. that are in larger Ancestry collections. It did not find the San Diego State University yearbooks in the Yearbook collection. The lesson here is that you need to use ALL of Ancestry's search capabilities.
So Ancestry.com can act as a finding aid at a minimum, but also as a treasure trove of historical information for works that are not in the public domain.
Have you tried to find historical records or books for your specific state or county on Ancestry.com? If you haven't, you probably should!
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/04/using-ancestrycom-filters.html
copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver