Thursday, March 06, 2008

FamilySearch Record Search

Yesterday was a good day for online resources. Not only did I find out that the Missouri Archives got caught with death certificates through 1957, I read via The Ancestry Insider that FamilySearch Labs had uploaded images for "Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956." My RICK ancestors spent a few years in this area, so off I went to log in.

This is probably the first time I spent more than about 30 seconds looking at Record Search. Before, none of the available records really interested me. I mean, I'm subscribed to Ancestry so the census records were redundant, though the clarity of the images I did look at were nice. So I was essentially new to the Record Search experience, and I've got to say I really liked it. The area for the image is nice and large, images loaded fast and the controls and navigation were easy to use. My only complaint or suggestion: when going from page to page, I wish the image would load at the top left (as if reading a book) and not remember where the user was on the screen for the previous image. Admittedly this may not be much of an issue once everything is indexed, but it probably wouldn't hurt to make this an option left up to the user's discretion.

Several of August and Magdalena (M√úLLER) RICK's children were baptized while they lived in St. Clair County, Illinois, and though I had already found all of this information on local microfilm, I hadn't previously printed out every record. Now I have these records from St. Joseph and St. Pancratius in digital form, which I now strongly prefer.

This is going to be the resource five or ten years from now.

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