Monday, January 09, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy : Paid Genealogy Tools

Week 2 - Paid Genealogy Tools : Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most?  What special features put it at the top of your list?  How can it help others with their genealogy research?

Without a doubt, the paid genealogy tool that I appreciate the most is my subscription to  For the money, there just isn't any research tool that has been as beneficial as my subscription.

For years, I avoided subscribing because of the cost - and now I don't know what I would do without it.  My subscription began after I had completed a research project for my MBA program, with as the subject matter.  After exploring the subject, I was convinced to ask for a subscription for my birthday.  Though the subscription only renews annually, nearly every day I open a new "genealogical present" when I find records of ancestors and relatives online.

Not everything is online, and there are some databases at Ancestry that can be found for free in other locales.  But you cannot beat the aggregation of the information at your fingertips.  You have the ability to access the information anytime you have your computer running, and you can easily lose track of time exploring the databases.

Probably the features that put it at the top of the list right now for me are the census databases and the newspaper archives.  I have been digging into newspaper research on my blacksheep relatives, and use the census databases to track the movements of families across the country.

A subscription to will not solve all of your research problems, but it will aid you by providing access to more records than you could conceivably access manually by traveling all across the country.  It is a wonderful tool to supplement on-site research at courthouses and libraries.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. 

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