Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finding a Better Copy

I’ve had this little tip in the back of my mind for quite sometime, but I can never seem to find a good example.  Just moments ago, I found the perfect example.

While working on my Parks family in Michigan, I came across the 1870 census for one of the family members.  Below is a partial copy of the image found on Ancestry.


Boy, sure can’t read that faded handwriting, can you?

Wondering if it was the image itself, I headed over to HeritageQuest (through my library subscription) and found the exact same document, however a more readable version (below).


That’s much better, don’t you think?

The point is, some records exist in several formats/media and if the reproduced image is poor, try finding it somewhere else.  This is also relevant to indexes.  When I can’t find what I am looking for on Ancestry (my primary census source), I head over to HeritageQuest hoping their index is slightly different helping me to find what I am looking for.  In the case of censuses, there are now two additional sources with indexes to use (FamilySearch and Footnote; completeness varies).



Nancy said...

Yes! More than a few times I've been unable to find someone at one site but quickly found the individual on another, particularly when I'm searching for census records. I hadn't noticed/realized about the variation in image quality. Knowing this will be very helpful. Thanks so much.

Ginger Smith said...

Great example, thanks for the reminder to look elsewhere if we aren't satisfied or cant find what we are looking for at the first site. I think we are pretty fortunate to have these resources. Even in the 6 years I've been doing genealogy, many things have changed :-)

Greta Koehl said...

Yup, this is what I have done several times. In a couple of cases, one copy was too light and the other was too dark, but by looking at both I was able to get most of the information.

Lori E said...

Don't forget to report the poor image to ancestry as they can fix that.

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