Dick Eastman, in his Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter blog on Saturday, Dec. 5, highlights an article by genealogist Beau Sharbrough, an expert at online and computer genealogy, on his Unofficial Footnote Blog. On Saturday Beau wrote, updating the unofficial list of online census images and indexes available and in the works. He mentions the four major resources and compares what they have to offer: Ancestry.com; HeritageQuest Online; Footnote; and FamilySearch. We discussed each of these in class, but a brief review might be helpful.
Ancestry.com requires a subscription, but offers thousands and thousands of databases beyond the U.S. Federal Census. Some are indexes only, but many are linked to scanned images of the census pages. You may subscribe directly to Ancestry.com, but you may also use it for no charge, on-site at many libraries, including all branches of the Tulsa City-County Library, and at the Tulsa Genealogical Society.
You may use HeritageQuest Online onsite at the Genealogy Center, a part of the Tulsa City-County Library. Private subscriptions are not available. Of the four resources mentioned, HeritageQuest offers the fewest databases, but I like its census index searching functionality and the quality of its scanned images.
Footnote.com offers millions of records, but not nearly as many databases as those found at Ancestry.com. It is also available by personal subscription, for a much lower cost than that of Ancestry.This subscription is also provided by the Tulsa City-County Library, for use on-site at the Genealogy Center.
FamilySearch is the online resource of the Family History Library and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Beau explains, FamilySearch has partnered with Footnote to enable users access to some of the images, but they have also digitized many of the images themselves, and have a very large body of images and databases. Their indexing project is being accomplished through the use of volunteers. Access to their information is free. The section of their site which offers the U.S. Federal Census images is called Record Search, currently found at this url: http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start.
For specifics, I would recommend reading both posts, both by Dick and by Beau, as well as the comments that follow each.