I subscribed to the Ancestry and AncestryAU YouTube channels and watched many hours of instructional videos, spent endless days teaching myself how to search effectively using a wide range of strategies and variations in search techniques. My library background served me well with diverse database research skills developed over many years.
I used the card catalogue for Australia as well as the variety of search forms available. I investigated the contents and year coverage of a wide range of databases contained within Ancestry. No point in searching for something that is not there. The company certainly has a wealth of resources and if you are lucky enough to have ancestors from the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA or Canada there are currently more than 32 467 databases to explore with more being added and updated regularly.
My ancestors are mainly from Ireland's southern counties and they migrated directly to South Australia in the 1840s and 1850s so while there are useful records in the Ancestry collections they are relatively few in number in comparison to other places in the world. Some of the records available for Ireland and South Australia I had already sourced elsewhere. I had much greater success with my husband's ancestors, some of whom arrived in Australia through NSW and Victoria.
I am very grateful to Ancestry Australia for sponsoring NFHM and awarding such a prize which has given me the opportunity to help many other family historians in the local library through my newly acquired knowledge. However it is time for me to say farewell to Ancestry for now, as I pursue diverse avenues for my research. For relative beginners like me, the wealth of resources compiled at Cyndi's list is an excellent starting point.
A family member recently asked "Is it really true that you just put in a name and let Ancestry guide you?" A seasoned researcher will know this is a simplification at best and quite misleading for a novice. Advertising is what it is - advertising, designed to sell product. The large genealogy companies do us a service by providing access to digitised resources but it is up to each consumer to evaluate his or her specific needs. Some companies offer conditional free trials, and for me a lucky prize afforded that opportunity.
Thank you Ancestry I am pleased that my local library and genealogy society both have subscriptions that I can use as and when needed. There is no doubt that at some stage when my genealogy budget determines I will be back.
For those looking for South Australian sources, some sites are compiled on my Pinterest board.
Follow Carmel's board South Australia Family history and Genealogy on Pinterest.
This post first appeared on https://librarycurrants.blogspot.com