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Tom Hanks' Grandfather Was a Squirrel Inspector
June 22, 2006 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Who's Your Grandaddy? Ancestry.com "has compiled an online database of information on 500 million people, culled from every U.S. census record from 1790 to 1930" that "includes screen shots of the handwritten forms filled out by census-takers." Usually you have to pay to access the records, but they're providing three days of free access.
posted by kirkaracha (80 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Personal information is kept sealed for 72 years after each census; 1940 census data won't be available until 2012.

It's a Flash interface that sucks ass in Safari. And my grandfather wasn't listed.

Geostat Center's Historical Census Browser has general data and maps for every census from 1790 to 1960.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:47 AM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's just going to show a picture of a monkey after I put in all my information, isn't it? You won't get me this time!
posted by driveler at 10:49 AM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Note that it's just the 1930 census that's free for the next 3 days.
posted by mattbucher at 11:02 AM on June 22, 2006


I found my grampa.
posted by jonmc at 11:07 AM on June 22, 2006


Read the agreement carefully. Ancestry.com has a notable history of billing beyond what customers believe they are buying.
posted by mischief at 11:11 AM on June 22, 2006


I can't find my grandfather and his kin. Apparently, they successfully eluded the census taker.
posted by dw at 11:12 AM on June 22, 2006


I'm a paying member of Ancestry.com, so this information isn't new to me. If you're into your genealogy at all, it's an essential resource.

I've personally traced at least one of my family lines back to English royalty...my current record for matchups being 29 generations. After someone asked a good question in Askme, I picked up TNG to catalog the sucker, and reserved some web space. After playing around with the Ancestry databases since January, I've imported and cataloged over 5000 people.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:13 AM on June 22, 2006


I found my great grandpa and grandpa. Great grandpa was born in NYC (in what was then slums and is now pricey) but moved to LA to open his own business.

The UI sucks. Does anyone know a way to save one of these pages?

Ben
posted by rbs at 11:14 AM on June 22, 2006


looks like you have to sign up if you want more than just names. BTW my great grandmothers name was Pasqualina. Gotta love that.
posted by Gungho at 11:14 AM on June 22, 2006


"If you are enjoying your free access, do nothing and your membership will automatically continue at the yearly subscription rate of $155.40."
posted by mischief at 11:14 AM on June 22, 2006


Hmmm...where were you supposed to enter billing info? I entered nothing but my name and email address, and I was able to access my grandfather's census record, as well as those of his evil brothers (ain't families grand?) This was in Safari, and yes, the UI sorta sucks.
posted by mosk at 11:21 AM on June 22, 2006


I'm a subscriber to Ancestry.com and have used it an enormous amount. It's true, the census viewer works the best on IE on a PC. I use it enough that I run XP on my Mac when I need it or else I'd go crazy.

Also for anyone who cannot find their grandparents--try alternate spellings. Some census takers had terrible handwriting or our grandparents were mumblers and names are often spelled incorrectly.
posted by jdl at 11:23 AM on June 22, 2006


If you are having trouble reading the headings of records you find, here's a pdf of the 1930 census form

This is cool..I found most of my family!
posted by zerokey at 11:24 AM on June 22, 2006


I second what jdl had to say about alternative spellings. More times than not, your family IS there, but the name could be in any number of variations.

John Theodore Smith could be:

John Smith
J.T. Smith
T. Smith
John Smithe
Jon Smith
Jon Smithe

etc...etc.

If you ever have access to all the census years, just take time and notice how the penmanship usually becomes more beautiful and clear the farther back you go. The 1930's is among one of the worst that I've noticed.

As for saving the pages, if they haven't changed anything, I think there's a "save this page" feature somewhere. Don't just right click and save image, you'll get a wonderful square of uselessness.

As is, I have had lots of success in tracking down relations through Ancestry.com. Though, it seems royal blood eludes me. Alas.
posted by Atreides at 11:46 AM on June 22, 2006


So, anyone have a free/cheaper alternative?

And I did find my grandpa, too. Fortunately, he had an interesting name "Burl" (yes, just like Ives). Although I didn't pay, they apparently have his World War I Draft card records. He didn't serve - strangely, everyone in my direct line avoided military service and war, although their brothers, for the most part, did not.
posted by cptnrandy at 11:53 AM on June 22, 2006


You can get free access to ancestry.com (and many other genie sites) by visiting the National Archives in your region and doing your research there.
posted by grateful at 11:58 AM on June 22, 2006


Last time that I checked a site like this, it was of no use to me as my ancestors on the Reservation were not polled in the Census. A complete listing of Res residents would be helpful, not all of us are European in descent!
posted by rez at 12:02 PM on June 22, 2006


very cool, I found two of my grandparents. Horrific interface.

Amazing to me how many of the people had Yiddish as their mother tongue. (This was New York, of course..)
posted by miss tea at 12:04 PM on June 22, 2006


According to this, my great grandfather, Melvin, married my great grandmother, Belle, when he was 22 and she was 14. However, according to the current ages listed on the census, in 1930, he was 59 and she was 49. The implication, of course, being that she was more likely 12 when he married her. Go Tennessee!
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:06 PM on June 22, 2006


so cool--i found my grandpa and his family, and my grandma and hers--he was 18 that year, and she was 19. I'll put the screenshots on Flickr later... : >
posted by amberglow at 12:33 PM on June 22, 2006


If you want to play with this, check to see if any of your local public libraries have it. Then you won't have to worry about fees.
posted by QIbHom at 12:42 PM on June 22, 2006


This can also be a great resource, and it's free... it definitely works best if you try a zillion different spelling permutations.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:42 PM on June 22, 2006


my grandaddy
posted by troybob at 12:44 PM on June 22, 2006


The farm my grandma grew up on was valued at $6000. They didn't have a radio (there was no reception in their town until 1935, and they did get one then).

I wish I could find information about my father's family. They're like ghosts.
posted by padraigin at 12:45 PM on June 22, 2006


Weird. They have my grandpa Elgin down as Elain. I bet he's just thrilled about that, rest his soul.
posted by mds35 at 1:07 PM on June 22, 2006


At the timeI first came online, I was actively chasing genealogical information. I thought that the internet would open up plenty of new sources, distant relatives who had also been doing research. However, except for an unexpected connection to New Jersey Quakers that drove one line several generations back, I've found little new information. I see few matches being made in the forums.

(Although I've never joined any paid sites, which may be more fruitful. I don't have any direct ancestry resident in the US in the 1930s, but I did play with this offering some. I like the interface, although I did have a hard time reading the census record I called up.)

A month or so ago someone asked in Metatalk if there was a wiki like site that would allow collaboration on this sort of research. After several years of not researching, I recently looked to see if these sites had changed any to make research more rewarding. I think there's space for someone to build something using some of the principles that the social networking sites have used, that would allow people to collaborate on digging into their shared family histories. Otherwise it's just a lot of isolated researchers looking through the same census records, finding their grandparents and great-grandparents and maybe a couple interesting stories, then not being able to take it much further.

For those who do find their grandparents and are inspired to search further, the Mormons now provide their Personal Ancestral File software for free download.
posted by TimTypeZed at 1:12 PM on June 22, 2006


I don't know how it is anywhere else, but the public library in Little Rock has free access to AN and Heritage.com in on the library's public terminals.

Be sure to try their family tree links, too. I went through lots of fruitless searching of the census records for the name of my husband's great-great-great grandfather, but found him immediately through the one world tree link.

And a second on the name misspellings. Ginocchio was also spelled Ginoechio.
posted by lemoncello at 1:13 PM on June 22, 2006


I was able to make 4 seperate screen shots of the info I found on my grandpa and then piece them back together in Photoshop. Color me surprised when I clicked on expand search and was presented with a page of records at which point I need to cough up $150+ to see. Bummer dude.
posted by photoslob at 1:15 PM on June 22, 2006


Ancestry.com is one of the most irritating sites I've ever run into. Far too often, information is dangled, sometimes supposedly for free, only to be yanked away until a fee is paid. I have a page on the site with information mostly cobbled together through other sites. I don't understand why all of this information isn't put online, free. There is virtually nothing free about anything Ancestry.com offers, though. If you go poking around on other sites, you'll often see ads offering free access that turn out to be links to Ancestry.com, which then provides next to nothing unless you pay. Having just spent a chunk of time over the weekend working on my mother's family genealogy (any relatives of Emile LeTourneau out there?) and having been extremely frustrated by Ancestry.com, I know what of I speak.
posted by etaoin at 1:37 PM on June 22, 2006


They don't ask for ANY BILLING INFORMATION. Just name and email address - that's it - so don't stress about it. Use a fake name.

I think the interface is elegant and the typography unobtrusive. Although tracking down Luries in NY in the 30s is not all that easy - there are way too many of us!
posted by luriete at 1:42 PM on June 22, 2006


Anyone know if there's a registry like the Ellis Island one for immigrants who came in through New Orleans?
posted by lemoncello at 1:42 PM on June 22, 2006


No matter where I go on Ancestry.com, I get this message:

Emile Letourneau is just the beginning.
Join Ancestry.com and access millions of historical records and family trees that can tell you who your ancestors were, how they lived and so much more.


And I run into a billing demand, immediately, every time. If someone else isn't running into the same, I'd appreciate more info.
posted by etaoin at 1:53 PM on June 22, 2006


It looks like the images are right-truncated to hide the enumeration district, at least for the page I found. WIth the enumeration district and page info, NARA should be able to serve the image. NARA server's currently overloaded, though, so I can't say for sure. Have others found pages with enumeration district intact?
posted by lw at 1:57 PM on June 22, 2006


Ah, I think I found the census-specific link. Thanks. By the way, Wikipedia has a great "cousin chart" here
posted by etaoin at 1:59 PM on June 22, 2006


Found my Grandpa and his family; plus his 14 year old wife who was NOT my Grandma! I'd love to know what happened to her and if they may have had kids. We'd heard rumors that he was married before but we've never known for sure. Cool.
posted by Mamapotomus at 2:02 PM on June 22, 2006


Ancestry.com is a decent resource as long as you are looking at census data... but when you base all of your research on what others have uploaded, you will end up with a lot of bad information...

Family members and the library are better resources... although the genforum at genealogy.com is a great resource to get started...
posted by WhipSmart at 2:26 PM on June 22, 2006


Warning: unnecessary, superfluous Flash interface.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:27 PM on June 22, 2006


and remember, you may not always like what you find...

I was surprised to find out a few years ago that, thanks to my G.G.Grandfather's perfectly normal love for his first cousin (normal for that day and age, I guess) I am my own 3rd cousin...

yep...
posted by WhipSmart at 2:29 PM on June 22, 2006


Did this last year and found out my dad was adopted. He didn't know.
posted by atchafalaya at 2:30 PM on June 22, 2006


> thanks to my G.G.Grandfather's perfectly normal love for his first cousin (normal for that
> day and age, I guess) I am my own 3rd cousin...

If you two wanted to get married I'm pretty sure it's legal here in Georgia. I guess you can arrange to be opposite sexes?
posted by jfuller at 3:03 PM on June 22, 2006


Warning: unnecessary, superfluous Flash interface.
No shit. That's wayyyyy overkill.
This teeters on the edge of being spam, though. A free peek at poorly scanned pages from the 1930 census? It's a come-on, really.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:07 PM on June 22, 2006


I found gramps, but oddly one of his sons is missing. And not on his own anywhere else. And Gramps's brother is nowhere either, but of course I know he was.

Wife's great-gramps (born 1860) was there as were both her gramps and grams.

Perhaps Grams wins an award for middle name least likely to be carried on in the family: Uzona.
posted by beelzbubba at 3:18 PM on June 22, 2006


My grandma and family

My grandpa and part of his family (some of his sisters were already married and out of the house by then)

(Go to All Sizes, then Original, to read the entries)
posted by amberglow at 3:22 PM on June 22, 2006


I was delighted to be able to see the actual 1930 Census canvass report showing my Irish grandparents and their seven children in Boston. My father (b. 1925 and the last child) is shown as being born "abt. 1926." Guess it was hard to keep track of how old "the baby" was. . .

Sure, and it's a come-on to subscribe, but it opened a window to my family history I would never have seen otherwise.
posted by rdone at 3:46 PM on June 22, 2006


We have a family book that traces the Cook name back to 1776 when four brothers came to the United States (not exactly sure when during the year). They came on a ship from Scotland, but anything before that I'm not too sure. We have lions on our crest from King Richard. I wish there was a handy way to search the 18th century and prior.
posted by Phantomx at 3:47 PM on June 22, 2006


Isn't the Census a government endeavor?

If so, then why do these guys (Ancestry.com) get to make money with the info?
posted by jaronson at 3:51 PM on June 22, 2006


I was looking feverishly for my grandmother and puzzled as to why I couldn't find a match, I tried every person with her maiden name in the whole country...

... and remembered that she didn't emigrate until 1938. SMOOTH.

I found my grandfather though. If I wanted to pay money, I could see his army enlistment records too.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:57 PM on June 22, 2006


I've been doing genealogy research since the early 1980s, and Ancestry, if you can stick with it and be an amateur detective, will save you much work (you used to have to hunt and peck through rolls of microfilm in the 1980s and 90s). Believe me, Ellis Island Records online sucks like a Hoover in comparison. And it isn't apples and oranges.
posted by datawrangler at 3:58 PM on June 22, 2006


Wow. It's weird to see my grandmother and her family listed, right there, in writing, particularly since my grandmother's parents died when she was young, and she never spoke about a lot of the details of her early life, including my her heretofore unknown teenage stint as a stenographer (listed as her occupation in the census). This is made all the more entertaining by the spelling variations of her surname which had been translated from Italian into Greek and then into English, by which point no one apparently knew what the "official" spelling was.

Guess it was hard to keep track of how old "the baby" was. . .

My grandfather knew which year he was born it, but had no idea about the month or the day. I guess his parents never bothered to tell him.
posted by deanc at 4:03 PM on June 22, 2006


The incorrect spellings and lack of info can also be because at times the info was from neighbours etc.
posted by raedyn at 4:26 PM on June 22, 2006


Isn't the Census a government endeavor?

If so, then why do these guys (Ancestry.com) get to make money with the info?


I also wondered this. It does seem like census or social security data should be open access public information (after the privacy time periods have expired). But their intro does claim that several million hours of labour and several billion keystrokes were involved in making the data available. Perhaps ancestry.com is given rights because they've invested in making it available. If free access to the site is available at libraries or archives, then ancestry.com isn't being given ownership, and it is making the information more available while netting some return on their efforts. The Mormon church, despite their access to a supply of interested volunteers, has only put the 1881 Census returns for the UK, US and Canada online, even though they already have several others transcribed.

What bothered me when I recently took a new look at the gensites is that rootsweb once seemed like a ambitious cooperative project to collect all this information. Now it is full of links to its sponsor, ancestry.com, who promises that all of what you seek is behind their doors.
posted by TimTypeZed at 4:39 PM on June 22, 2006


Census information is free. If you go to your local public library, you can order the microfilms (they may charge you a small fee for shipping and processing). You can also look at the census tract books (and they are worth a look).

But, the US government gives this data to anyone for free, so folks like ancestry plus and others take free, government provided data, add some lacey trim and go faster stripes, then resell it for a big profit.

This is known as "capitalism." And it is why you should go to your local public library and talk with a good reference librarian before shelling out capitalist monetary units for something your tax dollars may already have paid for, and that she may have behind the desk.

This rant brought to you by the cynical, underpaid library staff hand spinning circle.
posted by QIbHom at 4:44 PM on June 22, 2006


I noticed some people wondering how to get into ancestry.com for free... go to any Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Center (there is one in nearly every county or neighboring county in the United States) and you can get into all of ancestry.com for free. You can also get genealogy help from people who may (or may not, they are volunteers) know what they are doing.
posted by loafingcactus at 4:47 PM on June 22, 2006


I found my great-grandfather, listing my grandmother as his daughter; she was a 10 year-old girl at the time. Also his WWI draft card, which I can't see without paying. Still cool, though.
posted by bingo at 4:53 PM on June 22, 2006


If so, then why do these guys (Ancestry.com) get to make money with the info?

You're free to go to the National Archives and look up the microfilm of the census data. Or, you can pay the people who digitalized it, so you can sit at your computer and do searches through it. This is why they get to make money with the info, they're the ones who digitalized the information and at the least, made it available through the internet.

As for the complaints about Ancestry making you pay for everything, well, they're not in it for the good will.

any relatives of Emile LeTourneau out there?

Here's some brief data on two Emile's who popped up:
(1920 Census)
Age: 18 years
Estimated birth year: abt 1902
Birthplace: Maine
Race: White
Home in 1920: Waterville Ward 7, Kennebec, Maine
Sex: Male
Marital status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Mother's Birth Place: Canada
Father's Birth Place: Canada

Father: Alfred age 56
Mother: Dalaine (sp?) 56
Sister: Lourne (sp?) 21
Brother: Roland 15
Brother: Eugene 12
Brother: K or N. Charland (sp?) 16

Or...?

Name: Emile Letourneau
Age: 18 years
Estimated birth year: abt 1902
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Race: White
Home in 1920: Lawrence Ward 4, Essex, Massachusetts
Sex: Male
Marital status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Mother's Birth Place: Canada
Father's Birth Place: Canada

Father: Edmund age 63
Mother: Marie age 50
Brother: Joseph age 16
Brother: Job 13

Hope that helps some [from the paying side of Ancestry]
posted by Atreides at 4:55 PM on June 22, 2006


Like a lot of databases available online, ancestry.com is assembling stuff a good portion of which can be viewed for free elsewhere on the internet. God bless America! Here are some alternatives.

1)Many libraries will let you access something called Heritage Quest if you visit. It's great.

2)Information from and often the images too of old census forms are frequently available online via your state archives etc. NARA is also a good resource as someone mentioned. And 1930 is the most recent year available.

3)Yes, the mormons provide a number of things for free. Thank you LDS. The 1880 census lookup and the social security death index (SSDI) are useful resources which are available for free here.

4)Here are few more good links if you are interested in your genealogy:

Cyndi's List

GenWeb
posted by bim at 5:02 PM on June 22, 2006


Also for anyone who cannot find their grandparents--try alternate spellings. Some census takers had terrible handwriting or our grandparents were mumblers and names are often spelled incorrectly.

I did. That's what's so bizzare about it -- none of the possible spellings work. Kuehner seems to be common, just not in Oklahoma.

But, I hadn't thought about it being, say, "Cooner." Hmm.
posted by dw at 5:33 PM on June 22, 2006


OK, here's a dumb question -- if the census records are publicly available, how do I get a hold of them? The fact my grandfather's family isn't in the 1930 census in such a small town has me asking some questions. So, how do I get hold of the census tables for McAlester, Oklahoma?
posted by dw at 5:40 PM on June 22, 2006


dw, you go to your local public library, you ask the reference librarian. If she doesn't help you, go to another library or ask another librarian. Do what she tells you to do, unless it is anatomically impossible (joking - we aren't allowed to do that in the public areas).
posted by QIbHom at 5:42 PM on June 22, 2006


I see Phillip Kuehner (born in Germany) & Fannie & kids in the 1910 census in McAlistar (Pittsburg County). Is that them?
posted by bim at 6:13 PM on June 22, 2006


That's my great-grandfather, so yes, that's them. But why aren't they in the 1930 census? McAlester isn't what's misspelled -- I found my grandmother, and they lived in the same neighborhood.
posted by dw at 6:16 PM on June 22, 2006


According to this, my great grandfather, Melvin, married my great grandmother, Belle, when he was 22 and she was 14. However, according to the current ages listed on the census, in 1930, he was 59 and she was 49. The implication, of course, being that she was more likely 12 when he married her. Go Tennessee!

You need not trust either census takers or, with apologies, your family. When it became a matter of collecting social security, my grandmother admitted to a new found birth year her children had known nothing about.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:21 PM on June 22, 2006


Found my mum's dad and mum and their parents (and siblings). I have a cousin who has done our family tree and the binder she has is huge, but it was still nice to see the census myself.

Oh, and they mispelled my grandmother's surname.
posted by deborah at 6:29 PM on June 22, 2006


Indigo: Thanks for the response. Even being generous, my great grandfather married my great grandmother when he was 22 and she was 14 or under. It is still sort of an ewww moment since there are people alive today who knew them. Of course, then there was Jerry Lee Lewis and his child bride, so what do I know?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:35 PM on June 22, 2006


Kuehner was indexed as Kuchner in the 1920 census. It's hard to read but it looks like Philip now owns a hotel (as opposed to running a boarding house in 1910).

I don't have an index for Oklahoma for 1930.
posted by bim at 6:44 PM on June 22, 2006


Bah. Someone asked if Ancestry.com had tools for those of American Indian descent. They do. Here's a link, I'm not sure if its accessible by the non-subscribers, though.

Here's a cut and paste though of whats at least offered:

Native American Databases at Ancestry.com
Dawes Commission 1896 Index
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3075.htm

Dawes Commission Index 1898-1914
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3118.htm

Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3603.htm

Navajo Springs, Colorado Ute Census, 1904-1908
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3601.htm

Nebraska Pawnee Scouts, 1861-1869
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3738.htm

Walker River Valley, Nevada, Paiute Indian Records, 1897-1901
http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/3698.htm
posted by Atreides at 6:49 PM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think this is awesome, tho I'l never pay ancestry.com a dime (sorry). I found my grandfather who I didn't know was my grandfather til I was 18...my dad was "illegitimate" and no one wanted to talk about it. It makes it so REAL to see this guy's name - he really WAS a person, my dad's dad. Very cool. Thanks for this.
posted by tristeza at 6:56 PM on June 22, 2006


Bah. Someone asked if Ancestry.com had tools for those of American Indian descent. They do.

They've also got some Canadian registries as well for the Native folks. I don't have access to that, however, as that requires a level of subscription I don't plan to acquire.
posted by thanotopsis at 7:47 PM on June 22, 2006


Kuehner was indexed as Kuchner in the 1920 census. It's hard to read but it looks like Philip now owns a hotel (as opposed to running a boarding house in 1910).

Actually, he just upgraded the flophouse to a decent hotel. Grew and pickled his own vegetables, made his own sausage. Sadly, the pickling recipes are lost to history; I'd love to get hold of those.

I noticed that on another great-grandfather a middle inital E became a C thanks to a hard-to-read copy.
posted by dw at 7:57 PM on June 22, 2006


About the ages given in the census...women at that time regularly lied about their age (this is often referred to in comedies from the 1930s & 40s).

The entry for my wife's grandma gives her age as 34. This is about a ten year discount, and she didn't really get married at 12 and have her first child at 14.

When my mother retired at age 65 (in the 1970s) she asked my sister to 'correct' the information about her. Her age was about 5 years off, and the name she used for social security (Lillian) was one she liked and picked out herself. They socsec people told her to get public school records (my mother had immigrated in 1920, at about age 13)
.
My sister thought the whole story sounded loony, but the school records people had heard it all before, and there was no problem correcting everything.
posted by hexatron at 8:09 PM on June 22, 2006


The 1930 stuff isn't much use to me -- I already know my family back much farther than that, at least the male lines. My Hartung ancestors came from the hamlets of Hinkelhof and Vollmerz, near Frankfurt. My Swedish Bjorklund ancestors came from Kalmar, Sweden. And my Penn ancestors appear first in Maryland, living cheek-by-jowl with Penns who are cousins of William Penn -- and later moved to Pennsville, Ohio, a Quaker community named for him. But there's a questionable marriage, and a missing father, at that point.

Anyway, once you realize that almost anybody in the US is descended from Edward II, finding a King in the pile isn't as special as it sounds. What I like about genealogy are the interesting life stories, often from people you'd never expect.
posted by dhartung at 8:35 PM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


If so, then why do these guys (Ancestry.com) get to make money with the info?

I believe because they've paid a crap load of money to transcribe all these paper/microfiche records into an easily searchable database.

I'm a paid subscriber and so far it's been worth the money. I have a mixed ancestry (African, English, French, Native American) so it's been good for some ancestral lines and not others. My English ancestors I can trace back to the late 1600's. I even met a woman, who was also researching this line, who turned out to be my fourth cousin, once removed and today, we would be considered two different "races". My great great great grandfather, John, was a slaveowner and father to my great great grandfather Harrison. John was her great great great great grandfather. Trippy.

If you dig around there's quite a bit more to the site than census info. There are a ton of birth, marriage and death records as well. For me, worth the money. Before getting a paid subscription, however, I'd suggest rootsweb.com. It's free and many of things that ancestry.com will charge you for are right there on rootsweb.
posted by SoulOnIce at 8:43 PM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


SOI - your great great grandfather was father to your great great grandfather? Dude, how many toes do you have?
posted by goo at 1:40 AM on June 23, 2006


One of my ancestors was named "Micajah". Glad to know this as I now have the responsibility to continue such a kick-ass name down the family line.
posted by Poagao at 1:40 AM on June 23, 2006


goo, you're missing a "great". John is 3 greats, Harrison is 2. John is father to Harrison.
posted by SoulOnIce at 6:52 AM on June 23, 2006


Oh, duh. I must have needed coffee at the time.
posted by goo at 7:14 AM on June 23, 2006


And... please excuse the aspersion on your family. Sorry.
posted by goo at 7:29 AM on June 23, 2006


Genealogists know it's not unusual to find multiple connections between people, if you go back far enough. Just to cite one example I was looking up recently, Tom Kean is both the grand-nephew and the great-grand-nephew of Hamilton Fish. (There were two intermarriages across ancestral lines, between people who were themselves only distantly related, so Kean has two paths a couple generations apart back to the same common ancestor.)
posted by dhartung at 10:21 AM on June 23, 2006


whipsmart, if it makes you feel better, I'm also my own third cousin (yep)
posted by culberjo at 6:03 PM on June 23, 2006


It used to be free for 30 days. I had it for that long and managed to remember to cancel before they billed me. Too bad I didn't remember that for Classmates.com. And actually, I've gotten some interesting stuff from Ancestry.com, but Classmates.com has been much more worth the money.
posted by etoile at 11:34 AM on June 26, 2006


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