Spoiled? #general

Donna Dinberg <blacknus@...>

Nancy wrote:

As I check my daily email >from JewishGen I find it interesting the
number of posts that ask the question; "are these records available
online?" <<


and Nancy goes on to point out some of the valuable offline resources
available to those researching their family history.

I would like to mention one additional research possibility that is
often overlooked by researchers working online.

Many libraries, archives, historical societies, genealogy societies and
other repositories world-wide have placed databases and catalogues
online. You are all familiar, for instance, with the wonderful New
York databases for naturalization and other information jointly created
by the New York Jewish and Italian genealogical societies. You also
recognize that a Google search will not reach into those databases; you
have to go to the website specifically and do a search directly within
the databases.

Well, the same thing is usually true for library catalogues, databases
of archival finding aids, smaller databases placed online by historical
societies, etc. You must go to the agency's website, find what
databases they offer, and search directly within those repositories.
Google will not find these hidden gems for you.

Here is but one example (I have e-mailed the researcher privately, in
detail, as well): There was a recent request for information about
the Hirsch Colonies in Canada. One can find quite a bit of information
for starters within the database of the Canadian Archival Information
Network (CAIN), located at

A general search engine will not reach into this CAIN database. You
must go to it and perform your search.

So, if you are looking for information specific to a locality, remember
to broaden your online search to include the websites of libraries and
archives and societies in that area, and also search the databases of
the national libraries and archives serving that locality. You will
often be pleasantly surprised at what you can find online that is
beyond the reach of general search engines.

Also, don't forget that both published items and records reproduced on
microfilm are often available to you via your local public or academic
library on (yes, even international!) interlibrary loan.

Cheers, and happy searching!

Donna Dinberg
Librarian, JGS of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Nancy Ring Kendrick <ringgenealogy@...>

As I check my daily email >from JewishGen I find it interesting the number of
posts that ask the question; "are these records available online?" It also
triggers the thought of how spoiled genealogists have become with access to
millions, upon millions of online historic records through this wonderful
resource called the World Wide Web." I, too, am one of the spoiled ones!

Years ago, I use to travel to libraries in Orlando, FL, (60 minute drive
pending traffic), libraries in the Jacksonville area (90 minutes or more drive),
and visit the local Family History Center searching for something, anything that
was documentation of my BLOCH, KWASNY and RING ancestors. I did this an average
of 3 times a month, when time allowed. Now I don't. Therefore, I only have my
self to blame for not breaking through my brick wall. Are you guilty of the

Many in this world have become so programmed to looking it up on the internet,
no matter what the subject, they forget about all the other important resources
for genealogy research. Not to mention, there is nothing better than scanning
microfilm and hitting gold. This may be the case with many of you, with the
exception of those with handicaps, etc. who really do not have the ability to
get away >from the computer.

For those who think the World Wide Web is your only resource for genealogy
records, remember, you are so wrong. And, you are limiting your chances of
discovery! The World Wide Web is only one way to search. The World Wide Web
should be used in "combination" with other forms of resources, such as your
local library, The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in your
area, The Family History Center, and so many, many, more! For those of you not
in the United States, challenge yourself to learn what facilities in your area
offer genealogy records to meet your needs. Then, use them!

For many reading this, Spring is just around the corner! Get out, and away >from
your computer and when possible commit at least four hours per month to
genealogy research away >from the World Wide Web. Then take what you learn, and
use the World Wide Web resources such as JEWISHGEN, JRI-Poland, and the thousands
of other records online, and proceed.

Remember, the World Wide Web is only one luxurious research option among
thousands to assist you in your goals! It should be used as just that, one
source of research, not the "only" resource.

If you have comments, please reply privately, unless it would be educational
and beneficial to subscribers.

Good luck to all!

Port Orange, FL
Searching BLOCH and RING >from the following areas: Bielsko-Biala/Bystra/Kenty

Manuela Wyler <m.wyler@...>

Nancy made her point in her post and I share her opinion on how spoiled we
all are, as I also spent a large part of the last years visiting archive
holdings in Europe and just came back >from one trip at the Swiss and Italian
border, I just wanted to add a reflexion on how exiting it is to open a box
of Archive that has never been opened since it was given by the
administration to be archived.
I do work only on pre and WWII documents and most of the people I look for
have been interned in various kinds of camps. I am part of a chain that put
the data online as many of you do, for others can stay home to check on what
is available or not on the web....
Manuela Wyler, Lyon France

Diane Jacobs <thegenie@...>

I have found in my 7 years of doing research that when I began there was
little on the web and now there is a great deal which certainly makes my
work easier using records, indexes and discussion groups online. But I also
found that while I don't have to go to the NYPL or NARA as often for
passenger manifests and census records, there are still many records that
are not online and only by going to archives can this material be retrieved.

I also found that when I found a record in an archive and/or online it led
me back online and/or to go again to the NYC archives and get more
information. Using each resource is fabulous in breaking down brick walls!

Diane Jacobs
Somerset, NJ