In preparation for a tour of our local Family History Center (FHC), I've identified three things we won't want to do there:
#1 - RESEARCH OUTLINES: YES, I love these phenomenally helpful research outlines, but the paper versions are terribly outdated. Also, they do not contain clickable hyperlinks to a glossary of terms, websites or record groups mentioned. Quite simply, use the most recent versions online at: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rhelps.asp. You'll find one for every US state & Canadian Province and major countries of the world. Also look at "Tracing Immigrant Origins" for ideas for researching in the country of departure and the country of arrival. These outlines are written by research experts who know what it takes to find ancestors in a given area, taking into account major collections that are not part of the Family History Library.
#2 - PERSI - It's the index to over 1.6 million genealogy & local history articles. The microfiche version of the PERiodical Source Index available at our FHC is simply quite limited and outdated. It's faster to search it online through our public library's subscription to www.HeritageQuestOnline.com . I read it through my membership to www.Godfrey.org.
#3 - SCOTTISH CHURCH RECORDS - There is a CD-ROM and an extensive OPR microfiche collection at our FHC. It's simply much better to use http://www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk the official Scottish government index. Links include: Statutory Registers: Births 1855-1904; Marriages 1855-1929. OPR: Births & Baptisms 1553-1854, Banns & Marriages 1553-1854. Census: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901. Free Index Search 1513-1901 of Wills & Testaments.)
OK, there is still a TON of valuable resources which can be accessed through our local Family History Center including something our center calls the "6 MILLION NUMBER MICROFICHE." Consider that a book on fiche is better than two in the bush, if bush = a remote library or archive that doesn't participate in interlibrary loan. When given a choice of ordering microfilm or microfiche, order the fiche since it becomes part of our local center's permanent collection.
Happy family tree climbing!
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