If you have used Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) for any length of time, you know that sometimes search results direct you to an outside website. When this happens, the record abstract screen includes this symbol:
Some people have told me they find these redirects annoying, but I think that redirects can be used to our advantage. Why?
- They serve as a reminder of all-state websites that should be checked for ancestors from your state of interest.
- You may find, as I have, that you can often do a more effective search using Ancestry Advanced Search than you can using the search engine native to a particular website—a great example is Find a Grave. I always search Find a Grave using Ancestry LE’s Advanced Search!
Here’s one way to see what Web Record collections are available in Ancestry LE for your state of interest (case does not matter):
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORDS web records missouri
This search provides 18 hits. Some hits are all-state websites; some are state (even county) specific. Here are some of the outside websites containing Missouri records that can be searched using Ancestry LE’s Advanced Search:
- Find a Grave
- Obituary Daily Times
- Nationwide Gravesite Locator
- St. Louis Public Library Obituary Index
- Catholic Cemeteries of St. Louis Burial Search
- Gravestone Photograph Index
- Missouri Death Certificates
One drawback of searching via Ancestry LE rather than the website’s native search engine: Ancestry doesn’t always update its search algorithm when a website makes significant additions to its collections. For example: Ancestry LE searches Missouri Death Certificates for 1910-1962, even though that website now covers 1910-1967. So remember to check the year ranges listed for Web Record collections in Ancestry LE.
The search highlighted above for Missouri Web Records can be easily replicated for other states of interest:
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORDS web records illinois (11 hits)
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORDS web records california (13 hits)
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORDS web records georgia (11 hits)
You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.