Tips from the Pros: Revisit Databases, from Michael John Neill

Do the databases you use have regular updates with new information? Or are they static? Do they allow users to submit corrections or alternate readings of names? If you do not know, you may be missing out on your research. And if you do know, are you keeping track of when you search these “in flux” databases? If not, you could be missing out if you never re-research them for your family members. Your initial search in January will miss new information that is added in March or alternate readings of a census entry that another family historian posts in February.

Is it necessary to search these databases every day? No. However, those of us who fail to find our ancestors in a dynamic database should periodically search the database again to determine if the ancestor is still not there.

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4 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Revisit Databases, from Michael John Neill

  1. I recently found my grandmother’s and grandfather’s marriage announcement posted on Ancestry in a new newspaper listing. I’m on Ancestry nearly every day but haven’t looked for that particular item for some time. I felt like it was Christmas! Once I had the date I was able to get a copy of the original license for $2 from the county courthouse which gave me grandma’s parents names as well. Now I have a list of my “favorite” sites and plan to check them monthly for those items that continue to elude my tree.

  2. I was into the local Family History center the last week and found my great grandfather’s name, the birth date & birth place was right, however the other information was in error.. would like a way to correct this information in the Salt Lake records… How?

  3. The US Passport Application database provided a treasure trove of new information including in some cases the birth city, not just country, the date and ship name of immigration, date and location of naturalization, address, signature, and in for later applications, a photo. Remember to check for a 2nd or more pages.

  4. I went into a GENWEBIL county database. I found a photo posted, this photo had a name attached to it. From this photo + name, I could identify an unknown lady in my photograph. It was a long time since I had visited this site. Lucky find!

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