Wherever you are documenting your family tree—on paper, in genealogy software, or in online tree sites—you have an excellent chance of ﬁnding records kept by or about your ancestors in this resource. The Ancestry Library Edition includes a robust subset of Ancestry’s domestic and international databases, so you can ﬁnd family in other parts of North America and further aﬁeld. It includes collections from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Oceania. And the record sets grow constantly thanks to worldwide scanning projects.
You must be in the library to use Ancestry Library Edition. As you ﬁnd treasures related to your family, however, you can email them to yourself. Ancestry Library Edition oﬀers an online learning center with tips for getting started on working with various document types and the creation of timelines for your family. The site oﬀers a number of charts and forms for creating genealogical records in the traditional paper form. It also oﬀers access to message boards where you can ask questions, seek relatives, and share stories. Ancestry.com sends libraries notice of webinars and other resources that can train patrons on genealogical research and the use of Ancestry material.
Nearly eight hundred of the Ancestry Library Edition’s collections contain records of people who were born or lived in Alabama.
If you grow to the point in your family history that you are aggressively researching on a regular basis, you will ﬁnd that it is well worth the investment to get the paid version of Ancestry.com, taking advantage of all the wonderful ways it will save you time and money. But until that day comes, every man, woman, and child in Alabama with access to a public library can start the journey.
Donna Cox Baker has served as editor-in-chief of Alabama Heritage since 2002. She co-chairs the Statewide Initiatives Committee of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and blogs at the Golden Egg Genealogist (gegbound.com).