What Alabama Data is on Ancestry.com

Did you know that you can use Ancestry.com at Nichols Library?

People tend to think that Ancestry is all about Family Trees or finding an ancestor in a census. Both of those are there & the census access is valuable. Ancestry has upgraded their view of the census several times and if you have not looked at one in several years, you might well be surprised at the improvement. Family Trees — well, those were uploaded or entered by “just folks” and I’ll address using family trees with care in a separate post.

Someone advised me years ago to frequently check the new & updated collections.
Check card catalog. Check records. Check on-line books.

Here is a list of the Alabama collections on Ancestry.com New & Updated in 2016:

New | Updated Collection Dated Posted
or Updated
UPDATED Alabama, Wills and Probate Records, 1753-1999 4/14/2016
UPDATED Alabama, Select Marriages, 1816-1942 3/8/2016
**NEW** Alabama, Civil Appointments, 1818-1939 2/29/2016
**NEW** Alabama, WWI Gold Star Index, 1917-1918 2/22/2016

And a list of what is in the Card Catalog for Etowah County:

Title Collection Records
Etowah County, Alabama cemetery records Birth, Marriage & Death 145
Cemetery survey, Etowah County, Alabama Birth, Marriage & Death 484
A history of Hokes Bluff, Alabama Stories, Memories & Histories 158
Interstate Directory Company’s Gadsden, Alabama city directory, 1931 Schools, Directories & Church Histories 249

Screen capture of Alabama Collection Page.

And of course there are MANY Alabama census records.

But is the above all there is?  That & census records?          Hardly.

Scroll down a bit — this is a large picture as far as size. I didn’t display the image for reading. Clicking it will display the Ancestry page.

There are TONs of Alabama related records on Ancestry.com. You can even, from this page, easily filter by county.

At the top of this page are three links:

From this page you can also select a different state.


there are no family trees on this *long* page. Just REAL data from various sources.

Do You *Really* Know How To Use Ancestry’s Interactive Viewer?

Interactive Viewer has changed considerably if you are a long-time Ancestry.com user. Are you taking advantage of the new features? Or *assuming* you know what you need to about it?

Do you know there are Settings for the Interactive Viewer?

Did you handle the Settings ages ago and haven’t looked at them since?

I had to answer YES to the last question. But after finding the Ancestry tip article below, I checked mine. I’m still happy with the settings I did eons ago (and if you wondered, I have Basic Viewer turned off).

Interactive Viewer Settings

Screen Capture of Ancestry.com’s Interactive Viewer Settings & more

BUT I found something neat that I had missed:  RELATED CONTENT.

How to FIND Related Content

This isn’t part of the Ancestry tip as it really isn’t a setting.
HOWEVER, it appears on the Settings menu.

Interactive Viewer Related Content

Flyout of “See What’s New” in Tools menu.

See What’s New (circled in the image to the right) has what kind of “related content” is available.

Related Content is associated with the image you are viewing.

#1 shows the members who also have this image record saved to their tree.

#2 actually begins the displayed under Suggested Records.

Definitely click on the NEXT > button and continue until you reach DONE. You just might find some surprises.

BTW, I like the “Source” access off the tools menu too.

NOW — here’s the link to the Ancestry tip article:  Using the Interactive Image Viewer (Updated 11/12/2015).

A MUCH Faster Search Using Green Leaf Hints on Ancestry.Com

The first in a “Using Ancestry.com” Series.

Search One Database for All Green Leaf Hints in Your Tree

Did you know that you can filter your Ancestry.com green leaf Hints by record collection? ~ Source: Randall J. Seaver on Geneamusings.com

Instead of searching an all “green leaf” hints for an ancestor by going through all the hints provided, learn to utilize the power of computing to search only ONE database for anyone with a hint for THAT database in your tree.

Talk about a research time saver!

Mr. Seaver shares the exact steps to create a “collection filter” for a specific database. You’ll learn that your Ancestry.com tree has a Member Tree 8-digit number. And that each Database also has a number. Using those two numbers and a certain URL combo — magic can happen.

Tried it! It Works!!!!

The first two databases came up blank for matches. My first reaction was “But I know I have people in Web: Missouri, Death Certificates, 1910-19621 AND in Web: Illinois, Databases of Illinois Veterans Index, 1775-1995.1 Then I realized — it matches HINTS, the leaves. I just didn’t have any “hints” in those. I had already recorded the data.

So I tried one I hadn’t seen before, U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, and got nine hits. This is SUCH much faster than sifting through all the hints what I’m now thinking as ‘the old-fashioned way’.

How to try this new search

Go to Seaver’s article titled “Tuesday’s Tip – Search Ancestry.com Hints by Record Collection“. The core of the how-to starts at “If you read those posts, you can see that there are two key numbers to learn“.

Enjoy! I sure did!

And a HUGE thank you to Randall J. Seaver and his genealogy blog, Geneamusings.com.

Ancestry.com Hint from NEAGS:

  1. When you see the word “Web:” as the first word in Ancestry.com’s card catalog, it means the data for that collection is located NOT on Ancestry.com but someplace else on the Internet. Many times those Web database collections are free.Both Web links above are free. The above links are to their locations on Ancestry.com. The free links to the same data are here (Missouri) and here (Illinois). These links provided for those who do not have a membership to Ancestry.com.
    NOTE: Nichols Library has a membership to Ancestry.com and researchers (that’s you) may use one of our computers to research. We usually have volunteers that can assist you if you are new to working with Ancestry.com.