Let’s Get Small!

There’s a secret involved in searching Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) successfully:

The fewer the number of records you search at one time, the more successful your search is likely to be.

If you do a Basic Search of Ancestry LE, you are asking the search algorithm to successfully search 20 billion records (and counting!). Yes, that’s 20 BILLION records! If you use Ancestry LE’s Card Catalog to find and search individual record collections, however, much smaller numbers of records will be involved: millions, thousands--occasionally even just hundreds!

There’s an easy way to see if Ancestry LE has county level record collections for a state of interest. In the black navigation tab at the top of the screen, select SEARCH—CARD CATALOG. On the CARD CATALOG screen, do this search (case doesn't matter):

TITLE: Missouri county

Plat Map of Jackson County (sos.mo.gov photo)
Plat Map of Jackson County (sos.mo.gov photo)

You get 101 hits. Each hit is a collection of records from an individual Missouri county. Many of these record collections are part of Ancestry LE. Others are what Ancestry calls Web Collections: this means that Ancestry LE has searched a collection on the Web and is providing a link to a record in that exterior collection.

If you search for records of counties of states other than Missouri, you get these results:

Pennsylvania 113 hits
Indiana 56 hits
Illinois 46 hits
Ohio 42 hits
New York 31 hits
Kentucky 18 hits
Texas 14 hits

Try it for your states of interest!

You may use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a complete list of SLPL reference databases.

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