Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ancestry.com - love it or hate it

Ancestry.com can be a real pain, and it's cordially hated by a lot of people--including, occasionally, me.

However, it is occasionally worth the price of membership. It was Ancestry that helped me piece together the Meyer family--all 12 of them--by acquiring and publishing ships' passenger registries.

The most recent coup is in their new collection of Missouri records. So far I've found images of marriage licenses or certificates for 15 relatives, including some of the people I've done the most work on and spent a lot of time wondering about. One is as early as 1853. It's been a thrill to see these people's names written down--handwriting seems so much more personal than type, don't you think? And this is just the beginning.

Okay, it's not complete. Although the marriage record database says it's through 2002, I haven't found any marriages I'm looking for after about 1880.

Still. If asked, I'd suggest a subscription is probably worth it, at least for 3 or 4 or 6 months. Even one of the free trial subscriptions--they're easy enough to end. I've never had any trouble with calling and having one cancelled. The census material alone is invaluable, and you just never know what the heck you're going to find in the other databases. You have to be very cautious about accepting family tree information submitted by other members--extremely cautious--but they can give you a place to start, good clues, and sometimes some actual information, like a will or a story of some kind. I've even found pictures of Judge John Megown and his family--the Judge being my gg-grand-uncle and his bevy of 11 children my first cousins 3x removed. That was exciting, putting faces to names, esp. since I haven't many photos on that side of my family. The Megown family photo also includes his parents, of the Pennsylvania Megown and McCready clans, and the judge's wife is holding a painting of what I guess must be her father. (And my sincere heartfelt thanks to Ron Evans, who posted them.)

2 comments:

John said...

I don't know how close to St. Louis you live, but if you are close enough, you might consider a trip to the St. Louis County Library headquarters on Lindbergh. Their microfilm collection is extensive

http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/sc-filmcab.htm

And it includes marriage records for several Missouri counties.

T-Mom said...

Hi, John. Actually I live about 4 hours not only from St. Louis but from my parents' home counties in north central Missouri. One of my dream vacations is spending about 2 weeks over there with my laptop and digital camera, researching my heart out. Some day.