"This collection contains genealogical research privately published in nearly one thousand family history books. The primary focus is on North American families from the 18th and 19th centuries, especially those with Revolutionary War and Colonial ties. Some European family histories are also included, with emphasis on connections to nobility.
"The following details, when available, have been indexed from the books in this collection. Additional information may be found by viewing the images of the published books.
Birth date and place
Baptism date and place
Marriage date and place
Death date and place
Burial date and place
Names of parents and spouses."
One of my ancestors, randomly chosen for this research, is Caleb Carr (1616-1695), a former Governor of Rhode Island. Could I find an article or a book about Caleb Carr in this database?
Here is my search screen in the database:
I received 100 matches - there were several books with information about persons with this name:
I clicked on one of the matches on the list above, and saw the record summary:
This told me that the digitized work was (this is Ancestry's source citation):
"Book Title: The Carr family records : embracing [sic] the record of the first families who settled in America and their descendants, with many branches who came to this country at a later date
Ancestry.com. North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016."
Here is the first image for this book:
I paged through the book and found my Caleb Carr on page 15 (image 14):
This particular book provides summary information about each Carr family. In the case of Caleb Carr, it provides his transcribed will.
While these books are Derivative Sources, they are still very useful. They provide a summary of what one or more other researchers have found, and the names, dates, places, events, sources and notes can be used to find the Original Source material. In this case, I now have a reference to the Newport town probate records for the actual will (assuming it still exists - we'll see!).
I did searches for many more ancestral names that I know are in published books, and did not see many of the known books in this collection. So it is not "every" genealogy book out of copyright, but it appears to be "many" family history books.
Where did Ancestry.com obtain these books? I read somewhere that they are from the Internet Archive (www.archive.org). However, a search for Caleb Carr did not provide this particular work. I searched Google Books (http://books.google.com) and it is there.
The database description for this collection does not indicate how many books are included in the collection, nor if the collection is complete. That would be nice to know.
The important thing to me is that Ancestry is providing Record Hints for the persons in my Ancestry Member Tree from this collection. There may be clues to some of my ancestral families in this database that I don't have.
Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver