The recent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on Ancestry.com has caused withdrawal symptoms in many a genealogist. But it is also a reminder that a good genealogist doesn’t rely on just one source for all of their research. Technology is wonderful, but the glitches that occur should remind us that it’s still possible (and desirable) to do research the old-fashioned way. There are still more resources “offline” than there are “online”.
Consider the repositories you may not have visited lately. Have you explored the records of the local courthouse which may not have been microfilmed or digitized?
Do you know what type of information is available at your local historical society or museum?
Have you ever paid a visit to the regional National Archives sites? They hold a wealth of material that many genealogists never stop to explore.
Does your local library have a genealogy or local history section? Have you browsed through their holdings lately? Or do any of the local genealogical societies have libraries you can explore? University libraries often have materials relevant to genealogical research, including manuscript and map collections. Many of these libraries are also depositories for government documents.
And of course, if you’re in town, come visit the Newberry’s Genealogy and Local History Section. With over 17,000 published genealogies, 600,000 maps, over 800 Modern Manuscript Collections, county histories, military unit histories and more, you’ll be sure to find something of interest.
Too hot to venture out? Start writing up the family history you’ve been putting off. Catch up on filing and organizational tasks, update your research plan, review previous “finds” for facts you may have missed the first time. If you can’t keep your fingers off the keyboard, check out some genealogy websites you may not have explored before. A great place to start is GenealogyInTime Magazine’s “Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2014”