Last week I spent the morning in the Greenwood County Courthouse for the first time. My self-guided field trip reaffirmed the reality that most people will eventually need the service of a professional genealogist.
FamilySearch1 estimates that over 92% of the world’s records are still offline and only available by visiting the archives and repositories where they are located.
- When marriage records began to be recorded for a particular location
- Where marriage records are held (often in a county courthouse, but sometimes only in an ecclesiastical repository, or possibly only in a state or provincial capitol)
- Whether or not an index exists for the time period you are researching
After you figure all that out, you need to be fortunate enough to find the record in good enough condition to be readable. If you spend most of your time researching online, you may be neglecting the 93% of records that are currently sitting in repositories, and which unfortunately, with the passage of time, may be deteriorating.
1FamilySearch Works to Put the World’s Historical Records Online in One Generation. FamilySearch Blog. 4 Feb. 2014.
by Robin Foster © 2014, Genealogists.com. All rights reserved